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Measuring the Earth's vital signs: how EBVs can build biodiversity markets

  • Dr Sadadi Ojoatre
    Research Associate
  • Dr Nick Atkinson
    Chief Science Officer
Biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services can contribute significantly to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Yet global trends in biodiversity continue to decline, with climate change itself a major and growing driver of biodiversity loss.

Many voluntary carbon market (VCM) projects make claims to be effectively contributing to biodiversity restoration or protection, but such claims usually cannot be rigorously substantiated. Quantifying biodiversity in this context is challenging: approaches include using in situ site measurements and ex situ remote sensing. A third approach is developing that can improve the rigour of biodiversity measurement. In this report we explore how essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) can be integrated with remotely sensed datasets for assessing and quantifying biodiversity claims within the VCM.

Here are some key takeaways

  • Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) provide vital signs or indicators of ecosystems  that can facilitate monitoring of biodiversity change over time. EBVs can fill the gap between EO and in situ data collection approaches by providing measurable and scalable biodiversity indicators. 

  • EBVs can overcome challenges to creating biodiversity credits by providing a layer of information that can be used to determine project baselines and allow tracking of impact of nature projects.

  • Efforts to mitigate biodiversity loss can benefit from risk-based approaches such as nature projects, however determining the efficacy of these projects can be assessed using the EBVs to determine how accurate the baselines and assessments are undertaken.  

Contents

  • Introduction

  • Definition of Biodiversity 

  • Essential Biodiversity Variables 

  • Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCMs)

  • Conclusion

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