UK biodiversity market must have ‘clarity and governance’

More than 400 delegates and 13 exhibitors attended the 2023 Nature Finance UK Conference at London’s Guildhall, and made several recommendations to central and regional governments. 

hoverfly perching on yellow-petaled flower in close-up photography

At the event, private landowners and professional from the finance and corporate worlds had the opportunity to engage in discussions about the role investment needs to play in directing land and water stewardship, while a new UK Nature Accelerator fund was announced. 

The Accelerator aims to ‘create a step change in the growth of a high impact and high-integrity market for nature-based solutions in the UK’ and ‘provide matched funding from DEFRA, and a dedicated team to prepare nature-based solutions for investment at scale in nature recovery.’ 

Speakers at the Nature Finance UK event included Dr Geoff Hilton, Chief Scientist and Head of Research at Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, who presented on the plight of Britain’s saltmarsh, seagrass and oyster beds. Caroline Price, Senior Development Manager for The Crown Estate, was also in attendance. Topics ranged from the need to establish centralised governance of nature recovery to avoid an industry ‘marking its own homework’, and better cooperation between policymakers and enforcers, communities and landowners.

‘Land managers can and must be at the forefront of practical responses to the climate and biodiversity crises. The potential to ensure we all benefit from a vibrant rural economy driven by natural capital markets is huge,’ said James Farrell, Head of Rural at Knight Frank. ‘We are, therefore, all missing a golden opportunity if we don’t enable land owners and farmers to deliver environmental enhancement in its many forms.’

Naomi Conway, Director of National Parks Partnerships, added: ‘The UK’s National Parks have been at the fore of catalysing new finance for the restoration of nature through Revere, our partnership with Palladium. The Nature Finance UK Conference was a key opportunity for us to drive positive conversations between land managers, corporates and financial services to find ethical and scalable solutions.’

More on biodiversity and finance: 

Plant extinction is major threat to healthcare and biodiversity

How local government pensions are fuelling regional green investment

Largest study of nature-friendly farming in England begins

Images: Juanma Clemente-Alloza


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