Data startup partners with voluntary carbon certifier to launch biodiversity standard by year-end

Published 00:01 on July 20, 2023  /  Last updated at 16:05 on August 3, 2023  / Roy Manuell /  Biodiversity

The Plan Vivo Foundation and biodiversity data startup Pivotal have announced a new partnership as they aim to deliver their first biodiversity certificates by the end of 2023, the companies announced Thursday.

The Plan Vivo Foundation and biodiversity data startup Pivotal have announced a new partnership as they aim to launch the Biodiversity Standard (PV Nature) by the end of 2023, the companies announced Thursday.

Pivotal, a data analysis, technology, and biodiversity monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) firm, and Plan Vivo, which has been an established voluntary carbon market (VCM) player for over 25 years, will launch their methodology for crediting biodiversity protection, called ‘Pivotal-for-PV Nature’, by the end of the year.

The aim is to issue certified biodiversity credits under the wider Plan Vivo Nature Standard launched in 2023.

Eligible projects will generate Plan Vivo Biodiversity Certificates under the methodology, though – unlike the VCM – these certificates are not targeted at an offset approach, the firms said.

Instead, consistent with the goals of the UN Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) agreed last year and ‘nature positive movement’, the aim is to incentivise, via the credits, landowners and communities to conserve and restore important habitats across the world that are critical for biodiversity.

“The emerging biodiversity market represents a significant opportunity to increase much-needed finance for biodiversity conservation, while at the same time offering incentives for those on the ground protecting and restoring nature,” said Keith Bohannon, CEO of Plan Vivo.

“We are excited to partner with Pivotal on the development of this innovative methodology, which will enable projects to take a high integrity approach to generate biodiversity certificates that represent real, evidence-based biodiversity outcomes.”

The two are working to develop tools, capacity building resources, and training, to support prospective projects.

Using multiple biodiversity indices, the Pivotal-for-PV Nature approach is founded on percentage change per hectare, per year, as a unit and can be applied to both restoration and conservation projects, for terrestrial and marine environments, explored in a recent Carbon Pulse interview with the startup.

This approach based on key ecosystem attributes, including species-level data across a range of taxonomic groups that are relevant to the project area, to calculate a multimetric value. Percentage change in the multimetric per hectare per year forms the unit change that underpins the quantification methodology.

“The launch of high-quality biodiversity certificates will be a turning point for how we tackle the nature crisis,” said Zoe Balmforth, co-founder of Pivotal.

“Certificates created under this methodology will represent an important first step in creating an effective biodiversity market with high standards that will give confidence to buyers that their money is having a real and tangible impact. This brings us closer to closing the nature finance gap.”

Demand for the new biodiversity certificates is expected to be high and is set to kick-start a market that will help close the funding gap for nature, calculated to be as much as $824 billion per year, as estimated in a report by The Nature Conservancy.

For the last 18 months , Plan Vivo and key partners including a number of pilot projects have been working on the development of  the Nature Biodiversity Standard.

Building on an initial concept pioneered by the Wallacea Trust, the current methodology is an evolution of the original “basket of metrics” approach.

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By Roy Manuell –