Can biodiversity credits boost restoration?

GLF Live with Mirna Inés Fernández, Sophus zu Ermgassen and Hanieh Moghani

Biodiversity credits are billed as an innovative tool for environmental conservation, offering a clear incentive to protect and restore ecosystems around the world. But there is still one big question left to answer: can these market-based mechanisms actually solve environmental problems?

In this GLF Live, part two of a three-part series on biodiversity credits, we were joined by Mirna Inés Fernández, researcher at Third World Network, Sophus zu Ermgassen, an ecological economist based at the Oxford Nature Positive Hub, and Hanieh Moghani, expert member and vice-chair at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).

Join us for Biodiversity credits part 2: A civil society perspective to explore the challenges, opportunities and controversies around this new biodiversity conservation financing mechanism.

Mirna Inés Fernández is a researcher at the biodiversity program of Third World Network, following the discussions at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other multilateral environmental agreements related to biodiversity conservation, ecosystems restoration and biodiversity finance schemes. She is also a member of the CBD Informal Advisory Group on Technical and Scientific Cooperation and a founding member and a former global policy coordinator of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network, the youth constituency of the CBD. At the national level, Mirna is a co-founder of Kaaijayu, the GYBN Bolivian chapter, and of Reacción Climática, a citizen collective promoting action to address sustainability and promote the rights of Indigenous Peoples and environmental defenders in Bolivia.

Sophus zu Ermgassen is an ecological economist based at the University of Oxford’s Nature Positive Hub, specializing in biodiversity market-based instruments, infrastructure sustainability, biodiversity finance, biodiversity offsetting and ecological economics. Sophus holds three ongoing expert advisory roles for the U.K. government: on Natural England’s Biodiversity Net Gain Monitoring and Evaluation expert advisory group; the UK Treasury’s Biodiversity Economics working group; and the International Advisory Panel on Biodiversity Credits. He was an expert contributor to the U.K. Environmental Audit Committee report on Biodiversity and Ecosystems and frequently contributes to policy reports by the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology. Sophus is co-host of the European Society for Ecological Economics podcast “Economics for Rebels.” In 2022, he was listed as one of the 100 most influential environmental professionals in the U.K. by The ENDS Report, and he was given the award of most impactful early career environmental scientist by the U.K.’s NERC: Natural Environment Research Council in 2023.

Hanieh Moghani is an expert member and vice-chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII); senior legal advisor, CENESTA (Member of the ICCA Consortium). She is an Indigenous advocate, legal counsel, community facilitator, educator and activist working at the interface of science, policy and society, with expertise in developing political, economic and systems analysis models for complex problems involving water, biodiversity, food, climate and the environment to derive policy, law and governance insights.

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