Integrating Finance and Biodiversity for a Nature Positive Future

Lead Research Organisation: UK CENTRE FOR ECOLOGY & HYDROLOGY
Department Name: Science Programme Office


Our Vision is to build national capability bridging scientific, finance, policy and third sector communities, harnessing and catalysing world-leading science to enable the greening of finance for nature and mobilisation of capital for nature recovery.

The programme aligns with the 2023 UK Green Finance Strategy and Environmental Improvement Plan and is internationally relevant.?We bring together 17 research institutions, already engaging over 250 partners, into one high-impact network delivering co-designed, excellent and needs-orientated research, with activities that aim for broad-ranging impact.

The programme comprises three 'flagship' initiatives, linked by a strategic coordination and integration hub.

Flagship 1, Financing Green Sector Transitions, addresses the need to restore nature in the UK's agriculture sector, which accounts for over 70% of land-cover. In collaboration with the agri-food sector, investors and civil society, it will inform the development of financial tools and policies. These will be implemented at real-world sites in England and Northern Ireland to assess their impact on biodiversity. The research will also analyse the impact on habitats of international supply chains, such as tea and rubber imports. The goal is to create financial instruments and reporting mechanisms that benefit investors, land-users, nature and society, while addressing the impacts of global and UK agri-food chains on biodiversity.

Flagship 2, Greening Finance for Nature, focusses on the decision-making processes of financial institutions such as banks and asset management companies. Their decisions can impact nature adversely, yet change could substantially address biodiversity loss. The focus will be on portfolio risk management, business strategy, risk disclosure and the prevention of greenwashing. The challenges include securing reliable data, addressing gaps in scientific knowledge and bridging the gap between science and finance. The goal is to revolutionise financial decision-making by incorporating nature within it. This will be driven by scientific data and guidance, and new regulatory frameworks.

Flagship 3, Financing Biodiversity, tackles the challenge of financing biodiversity conservation and restoration with integrity at large-scales. It will promote best practices and coordination in biodiversity finance, and will champion the importance of between-site biodiversity and extinction risk reduction. This will ensure that conservation and restoration is effective, interconnected and extends beyond individual sites. Key stakeholders, including the Biodiversity Credit Alliance that co-designed the flagship, will help deliver a theory of change for scaling-up biodiversity finance. The goal is to define what high-integrity finance for biodiversity should look like, identify barriers and opportunities and start addressing them.


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