Media Release: Friday 6 October 2023: After more than three years of development, testing and validation, environmental markets investor and project developer, GreenCollar today announced issuance of over 8,500 NaturePlus™ Credits from a sustainable grazing and carbon farming project in western New South Wales, with Queensland-based credits soon to follow.
GreenCollar has also publicly released the NaturePlus™ Standard, Guide and Claims Guidance. Together, this suite of documents provide the rules for how projects work and how credits can be generated for measured, verified conservation outcomes. GreenCollar has designed the NaturePlus™ Scheme to open opportunities for projects around the world to be developed and drive private investment into meaningful biodiversity improvement and outcomes for nature.
The announcement about the first credits has been accompanied by the release of two independent expert reports by climate change investment and advisory firm, Pollination. The State of voluntary biodiversity credit markets: A global review of biodiversity credit schemes report provides an overview of the rapidly emerging global landscape of voluntary biodiversity credit schemes and assesses eight existing and emerging schemes against key integrity, governance and technical frameworks.
The Global Review focuses, in particular, on how to ensure highest integrity outcomes and results are achieved for people and nature.
The other report, Voluntary Biodiversity Credit Scheme Review: the NaturePlus Scheme, found that a number of features distinguish the NaturePlus™ Scheme from the majority of the other reviewed schemes, including the potential for the scheme to be applied in all ecosystem types. The report also found the NaturePlus™ Scheme to be well positioned against all of the reviewed schemes in relation to governance and scheme design indicators.
“GreenCollar commissioned Pollination to undertake an independent review of the NaturePlus™ Scheme and to compare it to other leading biodiversity credit schemes developing internationally. We wanted to make sure that we had built the Standard to deliver high integrity outcomes for nature. It is critical to us that project participants and buyers have confidence that the projects are contributing to positive outcomes for nature,” said GreenCollar’s General Manager of New Initiatives, Anjali Nelson.
“NaturePlus™ Credits have not been designed for use in any existing compliance market and are not biodiversity offsets. NaturePlus™ Credits are being generated by land (and hopefully in the future, sea) managers who are committed to doing the work required to deliver real outcomes for nature, including measuring and understanding how their management is improving the environmental condition. Data is collected across multiple indicators and compiled into independently verified and audited accounts. NaturePlus™ is designed to incentivise these resource managers to continue to adapt management to restore and protect biodiversity over the long term.”
Pollination Director and report lead author, Laura Waterford, said the analysis carried out for the Global Review, was important given rapidly increasing interest from the private sector about how it can understand and invest in biodiversity regeneration and stewardship.
“Globally, there is increasing pressure on businesses to disclose their nature-related risks and therefore to demonstrate a commitment to mitigating those risks by reducing their impacts on nature and investing in the regeneration and stewardship of nature. Growing demand from the business community for solutions and projects to invest in to support positive biodiversity claims, including via voluntary biodiversity credit markets, is therefore driving the need to understand the strengths and differences between the various voluntary biodiversity credit schemes and products that are coming online as the ‘supply side’ of the market grows and the business case for investment builds.”
Each NaturePlus™ Credit represents habitat or species restoration or conservation outcomes achieved over one hectare. NaturePlus™ projects are registered with the Accounting for Nature® Framework which sets the overarching standard for measuring the trend in ecological health for different environmental assets (e.g. agricultural soils, native vegetation, fauna) in a cost-effective, scientifically robust, fully transparent and verifiable way.
The NaturePlus™ Scheme has been designed to incentivise restoration of degraded landscapes, as well as to reward ongoing stewardship of intact ecosystems. It is progressing towards third party administration of the NaturePlus™ Standard and is accompanied by claims guidance to ensure claims made around investment in the scheme are honest and accurate. The scheme has been explicitly designed to have application to any ecosystem, including marine areas, and allows for continuous crediting to support long term impact.The reports, plus detailed information about the NaturePlus™ Scheme, including the Standard, Guide, Claims Guidance and the projects can be found at the new NaturePlus™ website.