• 4
    Biodiversity credits to restore coral reefs
    4 months agoopen1
    Coral restoration projects financed through biodiversity credits. Context: - Corals are the most biodiverse ecosystem. While representing <1% of the ocean floor, they support 25%+ of the marine species. - We have lost over 50% of the corals in the last 30 years due to over-exploitation (e.g. fishing, coastal development), pollution and climate change (ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation). At 2°C warming, we expect to lose all the remaining corals. - The value of goods and services provided by coral reefs is estimated at $3tn, including c.$36bn in coral reef tourism. Problem: - Oceans have received little attention (out of sight, out of mind) and funding. In fact, the dedicated SDG 14 Life Below Water received the least funding of all the goals. - Marginal conservation efforts relying on public and charitable funding which is both sporadic and insufficient. - A business mindset, long term planning, and tremendous private funding is needed. Private funding would require higher quality conservation efforts. Market opportunity: The market for voluntary biodiversity credits is only at its infancy, estimated at $8m today. It is expected to reach $2bn by 2030 and $69bn by 2050 (base case) with a potential to reach up to $180bn by 2050 (upside case) - per WEF and McKinsey estimates. Solution: A biodiversity credit is a verifiable, quantifiable and tradable financial instrument that rewards positive nature and biodiversity outcomes over a fixed period. Credits would allow to unlock much-needed long-term resources towards coral research, restoration and conservation initiatives globally. The underlying projects are conceived with the principles of scientific integrity, social equity, efficiency and scalability. Dream team: 1. Marine biologist: Owns coral restoration work and optimization + methodology for definiting "biodiversity" on which the desired instrument is based + relationship with people on the ground. 2. Data scientist: Owns the data from collection to presentation. Data collection is automated using sensors (e.g. UUV, acoustics - a lot of positive ML research available). Data integrity is also sealed with own distributed ledger. Data is made available to different parties (verification and auditing organizations, buyers, etc.) as well as a subset to the broader public for awareness and education. Data could be sold as a product line. 3. Commercial (myself): Structuring the instrument (credit? token? etc.) and driving sales + fundraising. 4. [later] Lawyer/ public policy expert: Monitoring the evolving regulatory landscape to maximise the market opportunity (e.g. what countries are offering new regulatory opportunities to pursue, how to comply with different 3d party certification frameworks to unlock further demand, etc.)