Welcome to Verra’s Sustainable Development Download, including updates on Verra’s Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta), the world’s most advanced standard for projects demonstrating sustainable development impacts.

Launch of Biodiversity Methodology

Verra is pleased to announce the development of a biodiversity methodology as part of our Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta). This new methodology will enable the independent assessment and verification of the real-world biodiversity benefits and certification of nature-positive investments.

It’s no easy task – no standardized approach to measure natural capital currently exists – but Verra is gathering expert support. We are building an SD VISta Nature Framework Advisory Group of leading conservation NGOs and biodiversity experts motivated to close the biodiversity finance gap.

Project developers will be able to use the methodology to quantify the biodiversity benefits of their conservation and restoration activities. Once a project has been verified using SD VISta’s world-class systems, companies will be able to purchase the resulting biodiversity credits to invest in biodiversity and progress their nature-positive commitments.

The biodiversity methodology responds directly to the call to action by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres at this year’s United Nations General Assembly:

“The world must agree on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework — one that sets ambitious targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, provides adequate financing and eliminates harmful subsidies that destroy ecosystems on which we all depend.”

Biodiversity has declined by 68% since 1970, but just 0.1% of global GDP is directed towards biodiversity restoration. Meanwhile, the costs of ecological breakdown are infinite. [Source: The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review]

Finance is the key ingredient for ensuring that nature conservation and restoration projects can deliver on-the-ground biodiversity impacts at scale. New initiatives like Aviva’s Finance for Biodiversity Pledge and UNDP’s Biodiversity Finance Initiative are welcome to increase corporate engagement in biodiversity finance solutions.

But McKinsey reveals that although 51% of companies acknowledge biodiversity loss, just 5% have set quantified biodiversity targets.

Nature-positive investments must be verified using robust monitoring and reporting methodologies to raise corporate ambition on biodiversity and rapidly close this finance gap.

With the support of our advisory group and SD VISta’s world-leading systems, finance can be channelled to the highest impact projects with the most tangible conservation outcomes.

And there is no better time than now for corporate action to put biodiversity on the path to recovery as we lead up to the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in December.

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Image: Farm Africa Bale Mountains Eco-Region REDD+ project. Photo credit: Lisa Murray

SD VISta Case Study

In addition to biodiversity, SD VISta certifies a wide range of sustainable development impacts.

Using SD VISta’s world-class systems, the diverse benefits of the Tuik Ruch Lew Improved Cookstoves Project have been independently verified so that investors can have full confidence in its social and environmental impacts – from air pollution reduction to meet SDG 3, to community-savings schemes that progress SDG 8.

To learn more about how SD VISta helps to drive urgently needed investment to deliver sustainable development impacts, check out our project case study.

A Look Ahead

Verra will send a delegation to COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 6-18 November 2022. Please email events@verra.org if you’d like to arrange a meeting or invite us to your event.

Don’t miss Verra’s Sustainable Development team at these additional upcoming events this year:

  • November 9-10: Plastic Waste Free World (Europe) – Komal Sinha
  • December 7-19: UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) – various Verra staff

If you’d like to invite a Verra team member to speak at your event or to your organization, whether in person or virtually, please contact events@verra.org.

Did You Know?

Biodiversity has declined by 68% since 1970, yet only 0.1% of GDP is directed toward biodiversity restoration!

Melissa Fleming, UN

“It is clear the Sustainable Development Goals are needed now more than ever. They are and remain our blueprint for a better world.”