The announcement follows increasing support, including from Greening Australia, for an Australian biodiversity credits market that better recognises the value of nature.
Brendan Foran, CEO of Greening Australia, said the announcement is an encouraging step in the right direction towards incentivising market-based solutions that can deliver positive outcomes for people, nature and the economy.
“The recent State of the Environment Report has demonstrated the need for urgent action to address the twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. We need strategic and catalytic leadership that sees biodiversity protection and restoration as an impact investment. Developing a high-integrity national biodiversity market is an important step towards stimulating investment into conserving our unique and special species and reversing the biodiversity crisis.
“Supporting the restoration and conservation of local habitat through biodiversity certificates based on a transparent and robust standard has the potential to generate increased investment in the conservation sector, unlock more jobs, empower regional communities, and contribute to healthier and more productive landscapes across Australia,” said Mr Foran.
The Prime Minister said in his announcement: “As we move toward net zero, we are creating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – not just to protect Australia’s natural environment but to kickstart a nationwide restoration.”
Brendan Foran noted: “Greening Australia has been restoring Australia’s unique landscapes in partnership with governments, landholders, First Nations Australians and businesses for over 40 years. We know from decades of experience that there are enormous environmental, economic and social opportunities in supporting farmers and other landholders to deliver effective nature-based solutions, such as high quality biodiversity products, which complement existing land uses.
“Many landholders are already taking action on the ground to improve the health of their land but are often not properly rewarded or incentivised for the ecosystem services, such as clean air, water and healthy soil, their actions contribute to.
“A well-designed biodiversity market that complements the carbon market, coupled with growing private sector engagement on environmental issues, has the potential to strengthen opportunities for landholders to participate in these markets and be financially supported to do so.”
Greening Australia looks forward to future opportunities to consult with the Australian Government to support the development and implementation of an effective and high integrity biodiversity credits scheme.