In December, the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity adopted the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Montreal, Canada. The GBF provides the foundation for halting and reversing biodiversity loss and improving ecosystem functioning by 2050.
Verra is developing a new nature crediting framework to drive finance to high-quality nature conservation and restoration activities that can help meet the GBF goals and targets.
Here is why:
Nature needs finance
An estimated annual investment of US$700 billion is necessary to achieve the GBF’s four long-term goals and 23 short-term targets. Wealthy nations currently plan to provide only US$30 billion annually to economically developing countries by 2030 to support GBF implementation.
Target 19 of the GBF calls for increased financial resources from all sources in an effective, timely, and easily accessible manner, and calls for this finance to come from domestic, international, public sources, and private sector finance.
Nature credits can deliver needed finance
Biodiversity credits are an innovative financial tool proposed in Target 19 (d) of the GBF to increase private-sector funding for biodiversity initiatives.
Verra is developing a nature crediting framework and biodiversity methodology under its Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) Program that will enable projects to issue standalone, transactable, and standardized nature credits by certifying projects’ high-quality conservation and restoration outcomes.
Companies and investors can buy these credits to invest in conservation and restoration activities to complement the steps that they have taken to avoid and reduce their impact on nature. The purchase of these credits drives needed finance to projects implementing biodiversity conservation and restoration activities.
Note: Although the term “biodiversity credit” is used in the GBF, Verra uses the term “nature credit” because biodiversity is just one component of nature, and our framework seeks to encompass other components, such as water.
Nature credits provide a structured form of investment
Target 15 of the GBF encourages large companies and financial institutions to assess and disclose risks, dependencies, and impacts on biodiversity. Increasing awareness from companies and investors on their biodiversity-related risks and opportunities had resulted in a call to action for the adoption this target.
Nature credits will support Target 15 by providing a verified pathway for companies to fund high-quality biodiversity projects across ecosystems and geographies. Such investments reflect companies’ desire to contribute to a nature-positive world given increasing awareness of their dependencies on nature and functioning ecosystems.
Nature credits can equitably benefit nature custodians
Target 22 of the GBF advocates for equitable, inclusive, effective, and gender-responsive representation and participation of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPs and LCs) in decision-making and implementation of biodiversity initiatives.
Verra’s nature crediting framework will include safeguards to ensure IPs and LCs s are involved in the design and implementation of projects and that nature credits deliver finance equitably. The custodians of nature, primarily IPs and LCs, are also included in the development process of Verra’s nature crediting framework. Such inclusion is key to successfully scaling biodiversity conservation and restoration.
Verra’s nature crediting framework will drive finance to critical nature conservation and restoration activities, while also providing companies and investors with a structured way to invest in these activities. In doing so, the framework will help meet the goals of the GBF to address the biodiversity crisis and protect nature.
About the Development of Verra’s Nature Crediting Framework
To develop the nature crediting framework, Verra launched 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 supports this work, and broad stakeholder consultation is planned to ensure a participatory process and a big tent approach that builds on existing efforts and lessons learned.
Stay up to date as Verra develops the first version of the nature crediting framework, expected to be released at the end of 2023, by signing up for our nature-related mailing list.
Why Verra’s Nature Crediting Framework Can Help Protect Global Biodiversity