Just over a month ago, the Australian Government announced the creation of a biodiversity certificates scheme, delivering benefits for landholders, investors and the environment.
While the Government’s announcement is welcomed and is an encouraging step in incentivising market-based solutions, it is still unclear how the scheme will work.
As the private sector looks for ways to invest in carbon offsetting projects, there needs to be a path for landholders and the environment to benefit.
This scheme will recognise landholders who manage or restore local habitats and will grant them biodiversity certificates which they say can be sold to other parties and operate similarly to their carbon crediting scheme and regulated by the Clean Energy Regulator.
Biodiversity projects include protecting waterways, erosion reduction, protecting topsoil, improving drought resilience, creating shelter for livestock, and providing safe habitats for native species.
Many landholders are already taking action to improve the health of their soil, water and ecosystems but are not often properly rewarded or incentivised.
The Government can play an important part in directing the market to value and fund certain activities to ensure investment is directed to high-value projects to biodiversity outcomes with priority.
“Businesses and philanthropic organisations are looking to invest in projects to protect and restore nature. We need to make this easier.”
Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Environment and Water
How will outcomes be measured and exchanged for biodiversity certificates? It is still uncertain how projects should be measured and verified, with the Government in consultation on the detailed rules of the scheme. Science-based methods which lead to certifiable biodiversity outcomes by measuring and verifying can be technically challenging and associated costs outweigh the gain from trade. The Government needs to ensure to take the complexity out, so it doesn’t deter participation and impact the supply in the market.
Impact Ag Partners is well placed to gain biodiversity incentives for their investors as we have been collecting on-farm data for many years. By collecting data, you can measure what you can’t see in the ecosystem’s climate. Our land management strategy builds nature-based solutions and gives our investors options to incentivise them.
“It’s getting easier and cheaper for us to collect huge amounts of data on farm to demonstrate the positive changes we’re having in the landscape,” says Toby Grogan, Chief Operations Officer and Natural Capital Manager at Impact Ag Partners. “And in sharing the positive impact we’re having with climate, nature and our produce, we’re getting access to new and improving income streams back to the farm gate.”
See how Impact Ag Partners have assisted their investors by monetising Carbon Credits and Green finance.
The Government is currently conducting consultation and feedback on the framework. More information can be found here