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Halt ‘Biodiversity Offsetting’ and the Scaling of Biodiversity Credits

Biodiversity 2024-07-10, 12:46pm


Biodiversity- UN Tourism.

Biodiversity credits and offsets are identified in Target 19 of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) as a way to increase financial resources for biodiversity. These mechanisms have, however, proven problematic and ineffective for biodiversity protection and have failed to address unsustainable economic models. Yet, new multi-stakeholder initiatives aimed to develop or scale biodiversity credit or offset markets have emerged without enabling Indigenous Peoples’ broad, informed and effective participation in decision-making, as required by the GBF.

There seems to be a special interest from private companies to lobby governments to create regulation to scale biodiversity markets, with companies in the mining sector seeking to claim “nature positive” outcomes through the use of biodiversity credits.  Similar mechanisms such as carbon credits have incentivized and caused violations of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, resulting in various Indigenous Peoples’s mechanisms and bodies calling for a moratorium on carbon markets and nature-based solutions.

This Policy Brief, written by Emil Sirén Gualinga, a Sustainable Finance and Indigenous Rights Specialist from Ecuador, highlights the lack of sufficient protection for Indigenous Peoples’ rights in biodiversity credit schemes, and calls for a moratorium on the development and promotion of biodiversity credit and offset market/mechanisms.

Instead, it calls for the prioritization of actions that address unsustainable consumption patterns, the protection of Indigenous lands, territories and resources, strengthening Indigenous territorial governance, Indigenous-led conservation, resiliency to biodiversity and nature loss, redressing historical and ongoing injustices, binding free, prior and informed consent, and direct and flexible funding for Indigenous Peoples to achieve those outcomes.

It also highlights the need to guarantee full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples, in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), in the implementation of the GBF in its entirety, including decisions regarding whether or not biodiversity markets should be developed, promoted or prioritized.

- Third World Network