Biodiversity offsets are a form of conditional environmental financing. Like their more well-known cousin, carbon offsets, various parties (e.g. governments, companies or individuals) look to compensate the damage they cause in one location by benefitting bidoversity somewhere else.
Reducing Emissions from forest Degradation and Deforestation (REDD) is a policy measure for mitigating climate change caused by loss of carbon in forest ecosystems. It uses a carbon emissions-offsetting structure that places an economic value on the safeguarding of forest carbon stocks and provides an incentive for investment in sustainabiity.
At the UNFCCC conference in Poznan, Poland, negotiators reached a consensus that REDD activities should be broadened. The original two aims were to:
The International Standards Organisation has developed a series of standards that specify principles and requirements for organisations involved in greenhouse gas emission reporting. The ISO standards can be seen as guiding protocols providing general guidelines for the development of other programmes or standards.
The ISO standards relevant to GHG emissions are:
The Voluntary Emissions Reduction VER Standard is for carbon offset projects and has been developed by TÜV SÜD (a German based verification company).
A number of project types are elgigible for certification, however like the Kyoto mechanisms (Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation) it excludes nuclear power projects and large hydropower projects over 80MW. Hydropower projects over 20MW must conform to requirements of the World Commission on Dams.
The Clean Technology Fund (CTF) is a Climate Investment Fund (CIF) administered by Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and is designed to finance demonstration, deployment and transfer of low emissions technologies to middle-income countries.
The Global Environment Fund is an investment firm deticated to the energy, environment and natural resource sectors and it is a signatory on the United Nations Principle for Responsible Investing. In it's pursuit of sustainability and well-placed capital, it works to uphold standards in three areas - these are:
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) looks to limit the negative impact that some regulations and standards may have on free trade, while also allowing members the right to implement legitimate policy objectives including the protection of fauna and flora.
The overarching goal of the aggreement is therefore ensure that ‘unnecessary obstacles to trade’ are avoided. Such obstacles may include:
The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) is an independent financial organisation that invests in projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a voluntary international agreement signed by 175 national governments. It provides a framework for subjecting the international trade of certain specimens to monitoring and control. It is legally binding and signatories must ensure that adequate national measures are undertaken to comply to it.
Species covered by the convention can be categorised into three main types (detailed in Annexes).