Nature markets

Nature markets

“DEFRA released the Nature Market Framework earlier this year. This document outlines how private investment in nature recovery can be combined with funding for ecosystem services. We talked about this concept of stacking in our May 2023 article”, says Henry Buckpitt of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.

“Currently nature market opportunities are limited by factors including the number of markets that exist, availability of suitable methodologies to create units for a range of ecosystem services, demand, and considerations around additionality. Regardless of whether units of environmental benefit are issued on their own, stacked or bundled they need to be robustly quantified and will be subject to the stated standards”, explains Buckpitt.

“The document states that the government aims to ensure any participant in environmental land management schemes can benefit from public and private sectors so long as they are compatible, pay for different or additional outcomes and do not pay for the same action twice. Currently, Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) applicants may enter the same area of land into a SFI agreement and a private sector scheme subject to any eligibility rules or additionality tests applied by the private sector scheme in question. The intention is that Countryside Stewardship will also dovetail with private markets for high-quality, accredited environmental outcomes, ensuring that private funding is available to all. It is also anticipated that Landscape Recovery projects will be well placed to secure private investment to compliment public funding”, continues Buckpitt.

“Any supplementary credits must be based on new environmental improvements, verified against an appropriate baseline. This will ensure legal additionality is upheld and schemes do not issue credits where the activity providing ecosystem services is being carried out to meet an existing regulatory obligation. It is intended that, as nature markets mature, further stacking of public and private payments will be enabled. The government says that it will adapt policy design, and adjust payment rates before the full suite of farming offers are available in 2024”, adds Buckpitt.

For further information please contact Acorn Rural Property Consultants on 01884 212380.

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