There is an increasing demand for data on how biodiversity is being affected either from schemes already implemented or being planned. The first point when deciding how to quantify these gains, is how the gains can be independently verified. rePLANET uses the Wallacea Trust methodology which is open source and quantifies gain across at least 5 taxa (data on species richness, conservation value and relative abundance are collected for each taxa) that reflect the conservation objectives for the site. These data can then be verified by the Biodiversity Futures Initiative, which is an independent grouping of academics that can verify claims such as project A has achieved a 30% increase in biodiversity over 1000 hectares. This claim can then be used to quantify the biodiversity co-benefits of carbon credits to increase their value or just used as a quantified measure of the biodiversity benefit that has been achieved from projects in which investments by corporates, philanthropists or govt agencies have been made. The claims can also be used to issue separate biodiversity credits using a distributed ledger system run by Nomica who issue and retire biodiversity credits. Note only 80% of the claim is used (the remaining 20% is retained as a buffer as for carbon credits) and these are issued as individual credits (one biodiversity credit is a 1% gain per hectare).
This approach allows biodiversity to be monetized either indirectly as co-benefits of carbon or direct as a biodiversity credits, which are stacked with carbon credits. The rePLANET consultancy team can help with:
- Designing biodiversity monitoring programmes to quantify biodiversity gain in a format that can be verified by the Biodiversity Futures Initiative. We use a mix of modern and traditional ecological survey techniques. The best results come from using teams of ecologists on site but whilst this produces more accurate results it is more expensive. Working in conjunction with Mozaic Earth we have developed a package that uses data collected by farm teams using smart phones with offsite identification by specialist ecologists that measure 5 metrics (DEFRA Biodiversity metric 4.1, species richness, conservation value and relative abundance of higher plants, pollinators, detritivores and breeding birds) for £10k.
- Helping landowners to identify ways in which they can access private sector funding for ecosystem restoration or protection projects. This can be stacked with public funding through schemes such as Landscape Recovery or packaged so that carbon and biodiversity credit funding can attract investment funding either from single funders or via multiple funders using a Special Purpose Vehicle where carbon and biodiversity shares are issued.