One Planet Lab : Activities 2023

At COP 15 in late 2022, the One Planet Lab launched a new initiative, as announced in the communique issued by President Macron the 7th of November at COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh : a working group in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

This High-Level Working Group (HLWG) focuses on innovative mechanisms to address biodiversity financing needs. For its first working session during the COP in Montreal, it brought together leaders and experts from around the world.

As highlighted by France and its Minister Chrysoula Zacharopoulou during the kick-off meeting, this group is crucial to finding ways to close the biodiversity financing gap. 

Forests are central in this issue; as pointed out by the Gabonese Minister Lee White , there is a need to "make forests more valuable standing than lying down".

France and Gabon are particularly committed to advancing the ambition for the preservation and sustainable management of forests, moving forward with the organisation of the One Forest Summitin Libreville on 1st and 2nd of March, 2023.

The main recommendations of the Working Group will thus be presented to leaders during the high-level segment of this Summit.

The need for innovative mechanisms to finance biodiversity

The lack of adequate financial resources is widely recognised as one of the reasons for the failure to achieve the previous global biodiversity targets, known as the Aichi targets. Within the overarching imperative to align all financial flows with biodiversity objectives, there is a need to explore how innovative mechanisms could deliver nature-positive outcomes and bridge the biodiversity finance gap at scale.

So far, protected areas receive only one third of the funding they would need to be effectively managed. The rates of deforestation and degradation are relatively low in most of these areas and therefore they generally sit outside the carbon markets, and there is little or no large-scale financing scheme available, especially financing that is accessible to local communities.

These critical ecosystems provide a common service for humanity. It is vital that we therefore rapidly scale our efforts and cooperation to ensure their protection.

How to address biodiversity financing needs

On the one hand, the existing and growing voluntary carbon market must integrate nature-related concerns and we need to increase the biodiversity co-benefits of the article 6 market, through environmentally valuable carbon credits that should be traded at a premium compared to "classic" carbon credits.

On the other hand, one promising avenue is for a voluntary market for "nature positive certificates" to enable public and private entities to contribute to nature positive outcomes beyond climate-related credits and trading schemes. Such mechanisms can build on the lessons learnt from biodiversity offset schemes and from the voluntary carbon market.

Biodiversity credit mechanisms have so far been mostly considered in the context of mandatory offsetting under national "no-net-loss" regulations. The necessary ecological equivalence implied in compensation schemes, which fundamentally distinguishes biodiversity from carbon credit mechanisms, limits their upscaling and use for protection of vital reserves of carbon and biodiversity.

A key challenge in this endeavour is the measurement of impacts on biodiversity, as no global index has yet emerged as unchallenged reference metric of nature positive impact. Not only the measure but the verification and certification of such measure will be key factors of success of any future scheme.

Scope of work of the Working Group

The aim of the Working Group is to explore the potential for such schemes - both carbon credits with a high environment impact and new biodiversity credits or certificates -, to identify barriers to be addressed for their development, integrity and scaling up, and to make recommendations on how such innovative mechanisms can deliver both climate and nature- positive outcomes, while bridging the finance gap.

The group should in particular review and benchmark the different metrics and frameworks for measurement and reporting on nature impact and their potential for solid and independent verification and certification.

Based on the outputs of the Working Group, development and pilot phase roll-out in selected geographies of a Nature Positive Certification may be explored by the GEF and partners.

 

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Members of the Working Group

- Mr. Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

- Mr. Yannick Glemarec, Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF)

- Mr. Aniruddha Dasgupta, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute (WRI)

- Mr. M Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International

- Mr. Philippe Zaouati, CEO of MIROVA

- Dr. Barbara Buchner, Global Managing Director of the Climate Policy Initiative

- Ms. Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)

- Dr. Cristián Samper, Managing Director of the Bezos Earth Fund

- Ms. Qu Dongyu, Director general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

- Ms. Maria Pangestu, Managing Director of the World Bank

- Mr. Makhtar Diop, Executive Director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC)

- Ms. Jennifer Morris, CEO of The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

- Mr. Rémy Rioux, CEO of the French Development Agency (AFD)

- Ms. Lucy Mulenkei, Executive Director of the Indigenous Information Network, Chair of the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group (IPAG) of GEF 

- Mr. David Antonioli, CEO of Verra

- Ms. Razan Al Mubarak, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

- Dr. Partha Dasgupta, Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge

- Dr. Carlos Nobre, Chair of the Science Panel for the Amazon of the US National Academy of Sciences, Brazilian Academy of Sciences and the World Academy of Sciences

- Mr. Craig Cogut, CEO of Pegasus Capital Advisors