Nature-Based Solutions Tool For Southeast Asia Launched at COP28

The Southeast Asia Climate and Nature-based Solutions Coalition (SCeNe) launched its web-based Nature-based Solutions (NbS) Tool at COP28 in Dubai. The alliance said the Tool will support the development of high-quality triple-benefit NbS projects for frontline organisations (FOs) and investors in Southeast Asia

The NbS Tool aims to enable FOs, such as local NGOs and community groups, to access data, develop project documentation, enhance their capacity and capability to participate in NbS projects that can channel climate and carbon finance that ensures climate-positive impact, biodiversity protection, and support communities to build resilience and sustainable livelihoods.

The Tool also plays a comprehensive role in directing carbon investor funds toward FOs in Southeast Asia.

Simultaneously, it is committed to raising industry standards by enhancing approaches for estimating, measuring, and documenting the diverse impacts of NbS projects, emphasising not only environmental but also community and biodiversity outcomes.

Launching the NbS Tool at a panel session titled The Power of Technology: Leveraging technology to accelerate nature-based solutions at the Singapore Pavilion, Dewi R. Sari, NbS Tool Lead of the SCeNe Coalition and NbS Financing Senior Program Lead of WRI Indonesia, who led the development of the Tool funded by Google.org and supported by Google.com, said: “The NbS Tool is specifically designed for FOs and investors, and brings an added layer of innovation and accessibility, ensuring that organizations, regardless of size or financial capacity, can benefit from the Tool’s features. It is fully free-to-use, making it a valuable resource for a broad spectrum of users.”

In Version 1 of the NbS Tool launched at COP28, two main features will be available:

  • Interactive map: provides analysis of Current Conditions and Triple-Benefit Data for users. This function helps FOs and investors evaluate project baseline data by specifying the project location and leveraging spatial analysis capabilities. It empowers users to make informed decisions based on 46 data layers on nature, people, and climate.
  • Project Management: allows users to generate project documents. This function simplifies the creation of project documents after analyzing baseline data, saving time, and enabling data-driven project proposals. Two types of documents users can generate are General Project Documentation which contains site information, data on biodiversity, carbon, and people with potential triple benefit outcomes. Another type of document is a specific Standard and Certification for Carbon Project development.

In its next iteration, the NbS Tool will add more data layers including species-specific distribution and country-specific layers. The tool will also add a new feature, the NbS Portfolio, a feature designed to showcase a set of criteria on biodiversity and social outcomes for high-quality projects. The NbS Portfolio will also showcase high-integrity triple-benefit NbS projects, which will inform market participants about NbS best practices.

The Tool represents the first step in the NbS project assessment stage and project-specific data and information from the Tool will support further technical assistance to FOs via the Coalition’s NbS Incubator program, which aims to ensure the delivery of scientific, regulatory, technical, technological, financial, and business development support to FOs at various stages of project development, from pre-feasibility through to carbon sales. Seven pilot projects have been identified by the Coalition for support from the NbS Incubator and includes projects in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

The members of the SCeNe Coalition are Conservation International (CI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), IDH-the Sustainable Trade Initiative, Birdlife International, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Mandai Nature, World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia, and WWF-Singapore (World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore), with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) providing strategic advice to SCeNe and its initiatives.

Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, provided US$1 million in foundational support to Mandai Nature to partner with the members of the SCeNE Coalition to develop the NbS Tool.