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Towards a co‐crediting system for carbon and biodiversity

Tedersoo, Leho, Sepping, Jaan, Morgunov, Alexey S., Kiik, Martin, Esop, Kristiina, Rosenvald, Raul, Hardwick, Kate, Breman, Elinor, Purdon, Rachel, Groom, Ben ORCID: 0000-0003-0729-143X, Venmans, Frank ORCID: 0000-0002-4264-6606, Kiers, E. Toby and Antonelli, Alexandre (2024) Towards a co‐crediting system for carbon and biodiversity. PLANTS, PEOPLE, PLANET, 6 (1). 18 - 28. ISSN 2572-2611

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Identification Number: 10.1002/ppp3.10405


Societal Impact Statement Humankind is facing both climate and biodiversity crises. This article proposes the foundations of a scheme that offers tradable credits for combined aboveground and soil carbon and biodiversity. Multidiversity—as estimated based on high-throughput molecular identification of soil meiofauna, fungi, bacteria, protists, plants and other organisms shedding DNA into soil, complemented by acoustic and video analyses of aboveground macrobiota—offers a cost-effective method that captures much of the terrestrial biodiversity. Such a voluntary crediting system would increase the quality of carbon projects and contribute funding for delivering the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Summary Carbon crediting and land offsets for biodiversity protection have been developed to tackle the challenges of increasing greenhouse gas emissions and the loss of global biodiversity. Unfortunately, these two mechanisms are not optimal when considered separately. Focusing solely on carbon capture—the primary goal of most carbon-focused crediting and offsetting commitments—often results in the establishment of non-native, fast-growing monocultures that negatively affect biodiversity and soil-related ecosystem services. Soil contributes a vast proportion of global biodiversity and contains traces of aboveground organisms. Here, we outline a carbon and biodiversity co-crediting scheme based on the multi-kingdom molecular and carbon analyses of soil samples, along with remote sensing estimation of aboveground carbon as well as video and acoustic analyses-based monitoring of aboveground macroorganisms. Combined, such a co-crediting scheme could help halt biodiversity loss by incentivising industry and governments to account for biodiversity in carbon sequestration projects more rigorously, explicitly and equitably than they currently do. In most cases, this would help prioritise protection before restoration and help promote more socially and environmentally sustainable land stewardship towards a ‘nature positive’ future.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2023 14:27
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024 05:57

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