Vison: A world where nature is valued, local communities thrive & planetary health is ensured.
Having developed scientifically robust biodiversity metric and measurement standards; enlisting best practice, technologically driven, cost effective survey methodologies; and partnering with credible local wilderness custodians and conservation managers,ValueNature’s Mission is to become the first fully transparent and trusted Biodiversity Credit issuer, ensuring investments deliver exceptional biodiversity and social returns that are measurable, verifiable and reportable. ValueNature offers businesses the chance to engage meaningfully with biodiversity preservation by ensuring their investments reaches the stakeholder in the nature-based commodity chain that matters – the biodiversity custodians on the ground.
Biodiversity and Carbon
The carbon credit market is wholly inadequate to meet the G7 and UN endorsed target to protect 30% of the planet by 2030, especially if we consider the critical need to conserve Key Biodiversity Areas. ValueNature is disrupting the nature-based commodity processes in order to accelerate the protection of nature beyond carbon additionalities.Unfortunately, many people have disassociated the fact that the carbon stocks in these regions are represented and maintained by Biodiversity. Plants above and below ground biomass is the carbon we are trying to keep stored, while healthy wildlife communities maintain and promote plant and soil carbon sequestration and storage. We must start valuing nature as a whole and realise it is all connected.
Nature is drastically under-valued, yet underpins more than 50% of global GDP. Although Africa is home to 25% of global biodiversity and critical carbon stocks, the natural capital in and around Africa’s conservation lands are being lost at unprecedented rates. This is largely because we are unable to value it fast enough.
30% of Africa’s total population and 28% of its croplands are inside or within 10 km of a conservation area. Africa loses 2 – 3% of conservation land a year to agriculture alone, and 25% of national parks show signs of continual habitat degradation. There is an urgent need to incentivise developing nation governments and local communities not to convert conservation lands.
The world’s first biodiversity credit for the voluntary ecological market
In order to launch the ValueNature Biodiversity Credit (VNBC) we have identified scientifically robust and trusted biodiversity survey methodologies, and created a metric to assess the status of biodiversity and its conservation value. As a result we can generate incentivised revenue streams to biodiversity custodians to better preserve biodiversity in their custodianship. We have partnered with the worlds’ most energy efficient DLT platform to verify results, and issue credits in the form of digital certificates. This is all achieved seamlessly, using technology and scientifically proved and tested field techniques to create efficiency and transparency, and local capacity to create impact on the ground.Each ValueNature Biodiversity Credit (VNBC) is unique and represents 1 hectare of land protected for 10 years for a specific project site. Each VNBC is rated with a Value Nature Score (VNS) representing the protected biodiversity value of the project during a specific year.
The VNS for a project site is calculated, using advanced technologies, to determine the intactness and status of fauna (from insects to frogs and mammals to birds) and flora in comparison to a reference site. The reference site would be the nearest example of similar habitat in good condition with the same climatic conditions locally. The VNS score is then weighted against the conservation value of the land using the IUCN STAR metric for threatened and endangered species and the above and below ground carbon stocks present.
We are disrupting the nature-based commodity processes to accelerate the protection and value recognition of nature beyond carbon additionalities.We will ensure that 80 % of revenue generated from our Biodiversity Credits are passed on to the custodians responsible for protecting and growing these assetts – this being the local communities who have always lived there, current land managers and the government responsible.
Our survey methodology implements scientifically proven biodiversity survey methods. By training local custodians to deploy and retrieve biosensors to collect faunal data at site level we eliminate the need for costly intermediaries and empower, involve and remunerate communities.Remote Sensing and GIS data is used to establish baseline carbon stock levels (calculated from the above ground plant biomass) and plant diversity status, thereafter tracking gains over time. Ground truthing is used to determine plant species diversity in data poor regions. The data streams from deployed devices and satellites are appraised against our metrics.
Our platform supports the methodology by integrating data sources and automating processing to ensure our VNS can be traced from verified data to a specific ESG asset. It also reduces the cost of token issuance ensuring more value goes to stakeholders. ValueNature is the first biodiversity credit to stem from the newly launched Hedera Guardian network and implements the InterWork Alliance metadata structures, which ensures that our tokens form part of a comparable marketplace. ValueNature tokens will be easily auditable and discoverable on a public ledger allowing for traceability and complete transparency.
We have identified and formed partnerships with local wilderness custodians, who have secured long term management and tenure of wilderness areas in Key Biodiversity Areas in Africa where biodiversity and carbon stocks are under threat. By partnering with these in situ conservation management experts we ensure that local communities are engaged with appropriate governance processes and forums implemented. Value from nature is returned to its custodians, transforming livelihoods through job creation, skills development and community projects.Our initial land manager partner is Conserve Global, who have identified 170 million hectares of African conservation land outside nationally managed parks, with two-thirds of these concessions currently left unmanaged and economically fallow. Conserve Global has already earmarked 6 million hectares for management within the next 5 years, but needs to unlock the revenue stream to do so. This represents a significant amount of natural carbon stock and biodiversity that can be valued, secured and managed effectively within a short period of time.
Winners of the ‘BEYOND TOURISM IN AFRICA’INNOVATION CHALLENGE
Diversifying community livelihoods from wildlife
The Luc Hoffmann Institute, the African Leadership University’s School of Wildlife Conservation and the WWF Regional Office for Africa launched a global innovation challenge, seeking entrepreneurs to discover and incubate new revenue models that go “Beyond Tourism” and reimagine protected area finance. The solutions needed to enable local communities within African countries to obtain their livelihoods from wildlife, manage their natural resources sustainably, and improve their collective wellbeing.
500+ innovators from across the globe responded to that challenge 15 teams were selected to go through the incubator programme 12 made it to the first round of pitches 4 teams pitched to investors in front of a crowd of hundreds 1 team took the top prize – ValueNature
“Warm congratulations to Gavin Erasmus, Mark Gerrard, and Simon Morgan who came out first with Value Nature! Nature conservation needs more entrepreneurs, more venture-building, more incubation, and more risky investments.”– Adrian Dellecker, Head of Strategy and Development at Luc Hoffmann Institute –
We bring together unique international experience across Wildlife, Community Custodians, Tech and Finance
Co-founder & CEO
Simon has a PhD in conservation ecology with a focus on threatened species. He has been working to bridge the gap between research and conservation management for over 15 years and for Stanford University for the last 3 years.
Co-founder & CTO
Gavin is an experienced entrepreneur and was CTO & co-founder of Sheep Inc – the world’s first carbon negative fashion brand. He has worked on numerous Biodiversity Finance initiatives and is a FinTech and Blockchain expert.
Co-founder & COO
Jo has a Master’s degree in development finance. A social entrepreneur at heart, he has co-founded and led businesses and organisations addressing challenges in fields ranging from species conservation, biotech and sustainable tourism.
Co-founder & CFO
Mark has an MBA and is a conservationist with interest in rural development and the convergence of business and conservation. He is the Chair of the IUCN Committee in South Africa and the MD of Wildlife ACT, a conservation Non-Profit.
Please get in touch if you would like to learn more.