Sectoral Scope

13. Oceans and Marine Resources

1. Agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU)

Status

Open for Public Consultation

Nature is in crisis. Wildlife populations have decreased by almost 70% since 1970, and one million species of plants and animals are at risk of extinction. The urgency to protect and restore nature is high.

Nature-based climate solutions, such as forest regrowth and restoring coastal wetlands, are channeling funding to the conservation of priority ecosystems. However, many high-quality conservation efforts remain inadequately funded, and many of the services they provide beyond carbon sequestration, such as species conservation, water purification, soil health, or efforts to preserve marine biodiversity, have no monetization pathway. At the same time, companies and other market participants lack structured, auditable channels to invest in nature.

Verra is developing the Nature Framework to drive finance to critical nature conservation and restoration activities. The Nature Framework encompasses concepts and core principles for Nature Credits, along with generalized steps for measuring biodiversity outcomes.

Using the Nature Framework, project proponents will be able to verify biodiversity outcomes and issue tradable Nature Credits as standalone assets. Companies and investors will be able to buy Nature Credits to support high-quality projects and local communities while derisking their value chains and contributing to a nature-positive world. Nature Credits represent positive investments in nature and may not be used for offsetting.

Nature Credits will therefore contribute to the recently adopted, ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) (external) goals and targets including by increasing biodiversity-related international funding, transparency and robustness of monitoring and outcome reporting, or linking projects to demand. Projects certified with the Nature Framework will contribute directly to SDGs 14 (Life below Water) and 15 (Life on Land), and–given nature’s inextricable links to climate–SDG 13 (Climate Action).

Summary of Development

Verra initiated the development of the Nature Framework in early 2022. To support its development and ensure a participatory process, Verra formed two different and complementary expert groups:

The Nature Framework Development Group (NFDG), comprised of the Blue Nature Alliance (with support from McKinsey & Company), Conservation Finance Alliance, Conservation International, Great Barrier Reef Foundation, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Biodiversity Consultancy, and Verra as independent standard setter.

An expert Advisory Group (AG) comprised of 26 experts in biodiversity conservation from diverse sectors representing a broad range of geographies and sectors with expertise on market demand and drivers; technologies, methods, or indicators for biodiversity measurement; nature-related frameworks; financial instruments for investing in biodiversity outcomes; and biodiversity-focused project development.

Public Comment

This methodology is open for public comment between September 18 and November 19, 2023.

Verra is holding a parallel consultation process focused on learning from and engaging with Indigenous Peoples and local communities to strengthen the Nature Framework. If you or your community wish to be involved, kindly contact Lorena Arredondo Tagle, Manager, Sustainable Development Innovation (ltagle@verra.org), to receive detailed information.