Our global biodiversity is under dramatic pressure and has declined significantly in the past 60 years. Deep and immediate solutions are needed to protect and restore those outstanding habitats and ecosystems, which it has taken us so long to recognise we also depend on for healthy and secure lives.
Among the different typologies of biodiversity, the HCV Network (HCVN) advocates for the identification and protection of High Conservation Values, or HCVs. This suite of values includes rare, threatened, or endangered habitats and ecosystems, large landscape scale ecosystems, and intact forest landscapes, and nature’s contribution to people.
Identifying, protecting and monitoring these key elements of nature in support of a thriving planet and achieving the global goals does not happen without adequate support and resources. In the absence of incentives or funds to make this work happen, our most unique and significant natural values remain at risk of being lost.
One way that could help make this work “pay” is through the emerging market for voluntary biodiversity credits. These credits are a tool to enable investment in biodiversity conservation and/or enhancement, and can be broadly defined as a quantifiable unit representing a biodiversity conservation and/or enhancement claim using a scientific methodology.
HCVN believes that the focus we have on such unique and significant natural values can provide a solid foundation from which to build the components of a project eligible for biodiversity credits, in any methodology. Whilst the requirements of individual methodologies may differ, the values being identified, maintained and enhanced under the HCV Approach are precisely those which biodiversity credits are intended to recognise and pay reward for their protection and enhancement.
This is why we are teaming up with The Biodiversity Credit Alliance (BCA). By becoming a member of their Forum, we will learn more from the many organizations already coming together to find effective pathways to opening up credit-based approaches, and how to contribute our knowledge and experience of years of working in a practical way, often with global sustainability standards and their certified producers, to protect what matters most to nature and people.
The mission of the BCA is to bring clarity and guidance on the formulation of a credible and scalable biodiversity credit market under global biodiversity credit principles. Under these principles, the BCA seeks to mobilize financial flows towards biodiversity custodians while recognising local knowledge and contexts. HCVN’s mission is to help conserve nature and benefit people where commodities are produced, linking local actions with global sustainability targets. We look forward to bringing these ambitions together with our participation in the BCA Forum and working with our members to find implementable solutions at all scales and contexts wherever possible.