UPDATED 24 May 2024


Frameworks for Biodiversity Conservation and Restoration

Did you know that a spoonful of soil harbors more living things than there are people on the planet?

Biodiversity  Cover

On International Day of Biological Diversity, we should reflect on the significance of this diversity of life, and our role in supporting and protecting the diversity of species and ecosystems on Earth.


The Biodiversity Crisis: Understanding the Impacts

Biodiversity loss is apparent to those who work closely with nature, yet to many of us living in urban environments, it goes unnoticed in our daily lives. The facts are stark: since 1970, global wildlife populations have declined by 69%. 


The loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystems impacts all aspects of society.


From reduced food security due to declining soil health and diminishing pollinator populations (e.g. bees), to loss of coral reefs and marine biodiversity negatively affecting the livelihoods of the millions of people who depend on reef ecosystems for food, income, and coastal protection, the biodiversity crisis is increasingly impacting us all.


So, what is causing this rapid loss of biodiversity?


Human activities are one of the key drivers. The way we use the land and sea, overexploitation of natural resources, climate change, pollution, and the introduction of invasive species all contribute to biodiversity loss.

A combination of weak local institutions, lack of land-tenure, weak enforcement of environmental laws, displacement of communities, destructive farming practices, unsustainable consumption patterns and illegal activities are all drivers of biodiversity loss.


But, there is hope for the future.


The Global Biodiversity Framework: A Vision for the Future

So, what is being done? In December 2022, the international community made a historic commitment to address the biodiversity crisis with the adoption of the The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which outlines a vision of living in harmony with nature. This agreement sets a plan to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2050, with concrete targets and measures to be implemented by 2030.

One critical element of the Global Biodiversity Framework is Target 19, which aims to increase the level of financial resources for biodiversity conservation and restoration. By mobilising adequate financial resources, we can scale up conservation efforts, support sustainable land management practices, and incentivise investments in biodiversity-friendly initiatives.

Gold Standard Biodiversity Impact Framework Methodology

Whilst there are a wide range of finance mechanisms to fund conservation and restoration being explored, rigorous measurement of the biodiversity impacts will be important for all of them. Different mechanisms and interventions need different tools. The key is to ensure that claims are true and honest to the quantification approach they are based on.

At Gold Standard we are developing a biodiversity impact framework methodology that guides the design, management, implementation, and monitoring of actions that generate true biodiversity impacts. The methodology aims to encourage the development and use of different levels of biodiversity and ecosystem impact monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV). The release of this framework should take place before the end of 2024.

The new methodology will allow flexibility on claims, whilst ensuring they arise from the right methodological approach. We are exploring a variety of solutions, from claims that report whether positive biodiversity impacts were generated, to detailed quantitative claims that report changes in a particular species population or habitat area.

Our approach will look to identify cost-effective methods and tools, such as remote sensing, models, and proximal sensors, for MRV of biodiversity risks and impacts. By leveraging technology and scientific expertise, we can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of conservation and restoration efforts.

But the biodiversity and ecosystem crisis cannot, and should not, be addressed separately to climate and societal components. We are championing integrated approaches that address multiple challenges simultaneously. By aligning biodiversity conservation with climate mitigation and adaptation efforts, we can achieve outcomes that benefit both people and the planet. By fostering shared ownership and engaging local communities and stakeholders in the co-development of projects and solutions we can build resilience and ensure the long-term success of our initiatives.

We believe that permanence of impacts can only be achieved by identifying context-specific drivers of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and addressing these via collaborative design, management, implementation with local communities and indigenous people. Therefore, our approach is not just to involve these stakeholders, but ensure that projects truly take integrated approaches that create empowerment.


Being Part of the Plan

At Gold Standard, we recognise the critical importance of innovative solutions in addressing the biodiversity crisis and advancing the goals of the Global Biodiversity Framework. Our goals are aligned to our values: to achieve true, measurable, and permanent impact by addressing the drivers of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.

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