New Zealand Government Eyes Biodiversity Credit System, Green Lights Protection Package

The Government of New Zeeland revealed a suite of measures to protect native wildlife and at-risk habitats, to help halt the decline of nature due to human activity, Associate Minister for the Environment James Shaw has announced.

The package includes a consultation on new ways to fund long-term conservation via a biodiversity credit system, a clearer set of requirements for councils to protect areas of significant biodiversity, innovation pilots, regional biodiversity coordinators, and the development of a digital information platform.  

“Sixty-three percent of our native ecosystems are now threatened, and a third of our native species are threatened or at risk of extinction. It’s time we find new ways to incentivise conservation, protect our precious wildlife, and provide clearer guidance on how to identify, manage and protect biodiversity,” said Shaw.

Biodiversity Credits

A statement from the New Zealand Government said a biodiversity credit system could help to protect important habitats and species by providing financial incentives to manage land in a way that benefits both wildlife and local communities.

By purchasing credits, people and philanthropic organisations can finance and actively support ‘nature-positive’ actions on public and private land, including whenua Māori.

“Landowners, land managers, farmers, and Maōri should be looking at their wild spaces as a taonga, but also as a valuable source of supplementary income. This can then be used to support on-the-ground conservation, like reforestation, wetland restoration, or planting native vegetation, “ Shaw said.

A discussion document for public consultation has now been released asking how a biodiversity credit system could be set up and what role the Government should play in it.

“It’s time we make it simpler and more cost-effective for landowners Threats to our native species include habitat loss, exotic pests, splintered conservation protection efforts, and a changing climate.”

“We know biodiversity credit systems are being developed overseas, but it’s important we find a path that is right for New Zealand,” Shaw added.