Building a Biodiversity Credits Market

Healthy ecosystems provide services that underpin a range of foundational economic activities - regulating air, water, and soil quality; enabling pollination; providing protection against flooding; and serving as the source of foods, medicine, and certain energy sources - and their loss will have an impact on the economy.

Asia Pacific is rich in biodiversity found nowhere else on the planet. Yet a combination of forces - including population growth, economic development, urbanization, deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices and overfishing - continue to erode, pollute, damage, and destroy nature. According to recent projections, over 40% of all species in Southeast Asia could be lost by 2100. Furthermore, as much as 63% (US$19 trillion) of Asia Pacific’s GDP may be at risk from nature loss.

Conserving and restoring nature will require an unprecedented mobilization of capital from the private sector. A market instrument that could facilitate this mobilization is biodiversity credits, which can be used to finance actions that result in measurable positive outcomes for biodiversity (i.e. species, ecosystems, natural habitats) through the creation and sale of biodiversity units. However, structures and guardrails must be put in place to be sure that the market is set up to meet its environmental goals respecting at the same time the rights of the Indigenous People and Local Communities.

This multi-stakeholder project, curated by the World Economic Forum's Nature Action Agenda, explores the potential of voluntary biodiversity credits to unlock financing for nature, convening the most relevant public, private and civil society actors to define the key foundational elements and integrity principles of this market.



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