Biodiversity Pulse Weekly: Thursday February 2, 2023

Published 11:31 on February 2, 2023  /  Last updated at 11:31 on February 2, 2023  / Carbon Pulse /  Biodiversity, Newsletters

A weekly summary of our biodiversity news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. All articles in this edition are free to read (no subscription required).

Presenting Biodiversity Pulse Weekly, Carbon Pulse’s free newsletter on the biodiversity market. It’s a weekly summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. Subscribe here

All articles in this edition are free to read (no subscription required).

TOP STORY

Plan Vivo prepares release of draft protocol for biodiversity credits

The first biodiversity credits issued by a major standard are rapidly approaching market readiness, as Plan Vivo Foundation was set to publish its draft biodiversity protocol on Tuesday.

BUSINESS & FINANCE

Australia commits A$3 mln to Indian Ocean marine park conservation projects

The Australian government has committed A$3 million ($2.1 mln) in grants to projects in the Christmas Island and Cocos Islands marine parks, however scientists warn that the level of protection in the country’s marine parks is still relatively low.

Danish foundation launches biodiversity impact investment initiative

The Copenhagen-based Hempel Foundation has launched the Impact Investment Initiative for Biodiversity on Land, which has made its first investments in two funds that back sustainable plantation forestry and reforestation in Southeast Asia and Latin America.

Race is on to teach business how to navigate the biodiversity crisis

Sweden’s CircHive and UK-based NatureAlpha this week became the latest initiatives seeking to offer businesses and financials insight into their impact on nature and how to deal with it, a field that is rapidly becoming crowded.

BC’s Incomappleux Valley conservancy secured with public-private funding

A non-profit Canadian conservation group along with federal and provincial governments, First Nations, and several private and individual donors announced an agreement to establish a conservancy in the Incomappleux Valley of south-eastern British Columbia.

World Climate Foundation launches biodiversity network

The World Climate Foundation (WCF) has launched the World Biodiversity Network, a cross-sectoral, partnership-driven initiative that will support the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework.

Experts call for greater urgency from private sector on biodiversity

There needs to be greater urgency in private sector action if the world is to make improvements on biodiversity in light of the historic deal on nature positivity at COP15 in Montreal at the end in December, a webinar heard last week.

POLICY

EU nations face stricter fishing curbs, leaked biodiversity plan suggests

EU member states will have to increase the number of protected marine areas in their seas to at least 30% by 2030 and prohibit more harmful fishing practices in these areas, a leaked draft European Commission document revealed on Monday.

India launches mangrove, wetlands initiatives in 2023 budget

An initiative to plant mangroves along the coastline and on salt pan lands as well as a wetlands conservation scheme were the main nature-related headlines when India on Wednesday announced its 2023 state budget.

UK outlines nature restoration plans and green space boost

The UK government plans to expand or create 25 national nature reserves and ensure that everyone in the country is no more than a 15-minute walk away from a green space or area of water, it said Tuesday.

South Korea announces raft of biodiversity actions, gets to work on 5-year plan

South Korea on Thursday announced a number of biodiversity initiatives while confirming that its 5th national biodiversity strategy, covering 2024-28, will be finalised before the end of the year and designed to ensure the nation will meet its commitments under the Global Biodiversity Framework.

Environment ministers from 12 countries urge the EU to better protect the grey wolf

The environment ministers of 12 EU member states have written a letter to environment commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius, urging him to preserve the protection of the grey wolf.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

MARKET

Offset deal – Vast wetland areas comprising six reserves in Blue Haven and Tumbi Umbi will be forever protected in a conservation management plan set in motion by Central Coast Council in New South Wales, Australia. The six reserves in those wetland areas cover 161.8 ha and include Blue Haven Reserve, Tumbi Umbi Wetland South and North, Sir Joseph Banks Bushland, Eric Malouf Close Reserve, and Tumbi Umbi Wetland Beaverdale. The biodiversity credits generated by this agreement have been sold to Transport for NSW to meet their offset requirements for road developments on the Central Coast. (Coast Community News)

BUSINESS & FINANCE

In the weeds – An area of ocean almost the size of Australia could support commercial seaweed farming around the world, providing food for humans, feed supplements for cattle, and alternative fuels, according to new research. Seaweed farming is a nascent industry globally but the research says if it could grow to constitute 10% of human diets by 2050 it could reduce the amount of land needed for food by 110 mln hectares (272 mln acres) – an area twice the size of France. (Guardian)

POLICY

The cost of war – Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced it has taken action against Armenia under the Bern Convention of the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, the first interstate action since the convention was signed in 1979, according to lawfirm Cadwalader. Azerbaijan argues that Armenia has caused “extensive destruction” of the environment and biodiversity of the area during Armenia’s near 30-year “illegal occupation of internationally recognised territories of Azerbaijan”.

Far from enough – Insects play crucial roles in almost every ecosystem – they pollinate more than 80% of plants and are a major source of food for thousands of vertebrate species – but insect populations are collapsing around the globe, and they continue to be overlooked by conservation efforts. Protected areas can safeguard threatened species but only if these threatened species actually live within the areas we protect. A new study publishing on Feb. 1 in the journal One Earth found that 76% of insect species are not adequately covered by protected areas. (phys.org)

Adding up – To promote the vision of sustainable development and climate justice across Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Territory administration has taken several greening programs in the name of “Green Jammu & Kashmir Drive” to enhance the green cover and improve the quality of forests of the Union Territory. According to a report by J&K forest department, the government under ambitious initiative ‘Har Gaon Hariyali’ has planted 9 mln saplings during the current fiscal against the set target of plantation of 13.5 mln seedlings. (Kashmir Observer)

Getting bad – Dredging is likely to increase around the English coast, while pollution and sewage are piling pressure on coastal ecosystems, and an increasing number of people are at risk of coastal flooding, the Environment Agency has warned. Three-quarters of shellfish waters around England failed to meet “aspirational” standards for environmental protection in 2021, the report by the agency’s chief scientist’s group found. (Guardian)

Baltic probe – Latvia’s Constitutional Court (ST) reports having initiated a case over government regulations that narrowed the average size of trees to be felled, which opened the way to cut down young forests. Amendments to Rules on Forest Logging, which permit chopping down young pine, spruce, and birch forests were proposed in 2017 and then again in 2019. Both times these amendments were halted due to objections from environmentalists. But in summer 2022 Krisjaņs Kariņs’ government ignored the objections from environmentalists. (Baltic News Network)

More money – Pakistan’s federal government has allocated Rs500 mln ($1.85 mln) under the Public Service Development Programme (PSDP) for a proposed “wildlife conservation and information centre” to be established at the now abandoned Marghazar Zoo. After the Islamabad High Court issued orders to vacate the Islamabad Zoo of animals over poor upkeep, care, and management and shift them to more spacious sanctuaries across the country, the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board proposed to convert the zoo into a state-of-the-art and environmentally sustainable conservation centre to keep local wildlife species in open enclosures for public entertainment, education, and research purposes. (Tribune)

SCIENCE & TECH

Can they really dodo it? – Genetic engineering company Colossal Biosciences said Tuesday that it will try to resurrect the extinct dodo bird, and it’s received $150 mln in new funding to support its “de-extinction” activities. The dodo was already part of Colossal’s plans by Sep. 2022, but now the company has announced it with all the pomp, circumstance, and seed funding that suggests it will actually go after that goal. (Gizmodo)

Pallas in the sky – A 2019 scientific Mount Everest expedition has led to a new paper published in Cat News identifying the first ever report of the shy Pallas’s cat on Mount Everest, in the Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal, reports WCS. From Apr. 7 to May 2, 2019, Dr. Tracie Seimon of Wildlife Conservation Society’s Zoological Health Program, based at the Bronx Zoo, co-led the Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition biology field team of scientists who collected environmental samples from two locations 6 km (3.7 miles) apart at 5,110 and 5,190 m (16,765 and 17,027 ft) elevation above sea level along Sagarmatha National Park on Mount Everest’s Southern Flank. The DNA analysis of scat samples collected from both sites confirmed two Pallas’s cats inhabit Mount Everest and overlap in territory with red fox.

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