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New Report Focuses On Opportunities And Challenges For Developing High-quality Nature-based Solutions Projects

+ New Zealand-based natural resource sector advisor and impact investment project developer has partnered with Singapore-based Mana Impact to co-author a new report that gives a sense of the vast potential we have to harness nature to address global environmental and biodiversity challenges.

+ The new report looked into over 500 Nature-based Solutions (NbS) projects from APAC and around the world ranging from forests in Indonesia, to seagrass beds in the UK.

+ Combining EnviroStrat and Mana Impact insights together with over 30 experts, the report highlights how to evaluate and distinguish high quality projects.

+ Focusing on 21 specific projects, the report reveals best practices for designing and executing high quality NbS projects and the metrics used to measure, report and verify their impact.

New Zealand / Singapore / London NOVEMBER 21, 2022 - Nature-based solutions (NbS), a spectrum of ecosystem-related approaches to help conserve, manage, or restore nature, can be better understood and employed to address global environmental and biodiversity challenges, a detailed new report out today confirms.

The report lands between COP27 and the start of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) in December and considers how nature-based solutions can contribute to both climate change solutions and protecting biodiversity.

With a focus on Asia, but taking a panoramic view of highly-effective projects across different environmental systems, ‘Catalysing Nature-based Solutions: Perspectives and Practices for Developing High-Quality Projects,’ also shows how ‘Impact’ in NbS projects can be measured, reported and verified. The report was authored by Singapore-based sustainability-focused impact investment and advisory firm, Mana Impact, alongside EnviroStrat, a New Zealand-based natural resource and sustainability advisor and impact investment project developer, with support from the UBS Optimus Foundation.

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The report reveals that the majority of NbS projects concentrate on terrestrial ecosystems, especially forests, but actually there is a need for greater focus on marine restoration and protection projects, alongside the development of blue carbon standards and protocols that incorporate climate adaptation and resilience, and biodiversity outcomes.

The report also highlights the importance of projects that integrate work across multiple ecosystems, and calls for more investment in NbS projects that go beyond carbon sequestration to focus on climate adaptation, biodiversity, and improving social outcomes. The report cautions, however, that there is a great need for building the knowledge and capacity of organisations and communities that are developing and implementing projects, alongside grant funding to assist with early stage project development; without these elements we will be limited in our ability to develop and implement high-quality NbS projects. The report also recommends more funding for the long-term monitoring and evaluation of project outcomes.

In the report, 560 NbS projects were screened, 21 of which were studied in greater depth to understand the factors contributing to their success, and how this was measured. These 21 projects, profiled in case studies in the report, are largely based in the Asia Pacific region. The report also draws on the insights of more than 30 technical experts and practitioners interviewed during the research process.

Dr. Nigel Bradly, EnviroStrat CEO, says research like this is incredibly important in helping grow the emerging body of knowledge and ultimately in supporting robust, repeatable and scalable nature-based solutions in our oceans and on land. “Nature-based solutions are not simple,” he adds, “they require a blend of technical, commercial and stakeholder engagement expertise, alongside the willingness to invest from public, private and philanthropic investors. The value of nature-based solutions is highest when projects combine carbon sequestration with climate adaptation and resilience, biodiversity, water quality and social benefits.”

Patti Chu, Managing Partner of Mana Impact, says, “The insights of this report will be very useful for organizations interested in supporting nature-based solutions to better understand how to evaluate and distinguish high quality projects, while also providing them with insights on the challenges and opportunities, as well as the metrics to measure, report and verify the outcomes of these solutions.”

In addition, Maya Ziswiler, CEO of UBS Optimus Foundation states, “By expanding our view of what Nature-based Solutions can deliver in terms of outcomes, specifically how it can benefit local communities and biodiversity, and by putting in place robust measurement tools, we believe it will enable more philanthropic and investment capital to be channeled into this area to meet the SDGs and other climate goals.”

A copy of the report is available on EnviroStrat's website www.envirostrat.co.nz/our-footprint/

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