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Ekos As A Biodiversity Market Enabler

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Ekos has developed a biodiversity credit financing
instrument called the ‘Sustainable Development Units
Programme’. Ekos CEO Dr Sean Weaver said the SDU Programme
is a market based mechanism to support any of the UN
Sustainable Development Goals, including, but not restricted
to, biodiversity.

“We developed a biodiversity
market demonstration activity and transacted (and
publicised) our first biodiversity credits under this system
in mid 2022. We are now using lessons learned from that
first project to refine the programme for general launch,”
he said.

“We actually transacted our first
biodiversity credits back in 2014, but have only got round
to developing a full system more recently,” Weaver
said.

“Our biodiversity credits are not offsets of
any kind. They are a nature-positive initiative for people
and organisations who want to cause good with their purchase
of biodiversity credits,” he said.

“The target
market includes corporate social responsibility buyers,
financial institutions, philanthropists, and those who want
to sell biodiversity-enriched value chains. Imagine a future
when every product or service in the economy is biodiversity
enriched by embedding a slice of biodiversity conservation
into each,” he said.

Biodiversity credits are being
promoted by the government as one option for financing
much-needed biodiversity conservation in its recent release
of the National Policy Statement on Indigenous
Biodiversity.

The key to consumer trust in
biodiversity credits is the transparency and integrity in
the system that produces the credits. The Ekos Sustainable
Development Units Programme is based on a standard, an
activity methodology, a financial integrity methodology, a
unit registry, and an independent validation and
verification protocol.

“We built a unit registry
using blockchain technology with tech partners in Denmark,
and this registry forms the foundation of integrity for our
programme,” Weaver said.

Dr Weaver is a founding
member of the international Biodiversity Credits Alliance
and is helping to define the integrity safeguard foundations
for biodiversity markets globally.

“Integrity
safeguards will need to form the bedrock of the emerging
biodiversity market if it is going to succeed at any
realistic scale. Without this, buyers, investors, and the
wider community will not trust it,” Weaver
said.

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