Environmental groups have called on the Albanian government to continue strengthening environmental protection in the country after it announced a plan to create a nature restoration market.
Prime Minister, Anthony AlbaneseThe new scheme, he said, will recognize private land owners who have restored and manage the habitat by awarding them biodiversity certificates that can then be sold to other parties.
The biodiversity market will be backed by legislation and will operate in a similar way to the carbon credit market, with the clean energy regulator responsible for overseeing both schemes.
The previous government had developed legislation for a similar land stewardship plan, but an Albanian government spokesperson said that its scheme does not focus only on farmers, but on all land owners, including First Nations people and conservation groups.
The announcement has been greeted with caution by some environmental groups, with WWF Australia stating that it will help “recognize and measure the immense economic value of nature”.
Conservation Australia said the government must be careful to ensure that the scheme really benefits from nature and does not run into integrity issues that Plagued by the carbon credit system.
“A well-designed biodiversity certification scheme can be beneficial to nature, but a poorly designed scheme can facilitate the destruction of the most valuable wildlife habitat,” said Pasha Stasak, ACF nature activist.
Private investment in nature is welcome, Stasak said, but there is an urgent need for significant public investment as well as reform of national environmental laws.
But the Wildlife Society was scathing, saying the announcement was an “inexplicable” response to the crisis recently described. state of the environment report and the Graeme Samuel Review of environmental laws.
“This is further evidence that the current environmental agenda of the Albanian government appears alarmingly similar to the environmental agenda of the Morrison government,” said Amelia Young, Director of National Campaigns.
This bill andregional plan“Both approaches were at the top of the Morrison government’s to-do list – yet they were and still are near the top of the to-do list for truly protecting and restoring nature.”
The government has yet to determine the main details of how the new market will operate.
For example, it did not clarify whether it would rule out the purchase of biodiversity certificates as compensation for habitat destruction due to development elsewhere.
A government spokesperson said the protocols for the new market would be developed after a consultation process and expert review.
Andrew Macintosh, Australian National University professor who Blow the whistle on the shortcomings of the carbon offset marketHe said the national scheme to stimulate stewardship of biodiversity is overdue.
“It is important to stress that, to our knowledge, this scheme is not intended to generate biodiversity offset credits that could be used to offset biodiversity losses associated with development proposals,” he said.
He also cautioned that there is a belief in some quarters that the private sector is willing to fund large-scale nature restoration and will be the main purchaser of certificates, but that “we see very little evidence to support that.”
Megan Evans, a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales in Canberra, said the proposal was similar to a plan put forward by the Morrison government and moves to support private landowners were positive.
“But we still need strong improvements in environmental protection and Biodiversity I don’t think and I don’t think this market is going to be a panacea for all of these problems.”
Albanese said Friday that the government is creating a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – not just to protect Australia’s natural environment but to start a nationwide process of restoration”.
The opposition agriculture minister, David Littleproud, said it could not be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because the previous government had already made it.
“The concept, the experiments with farmers, the trading platform was funded and delivered by citizens in the government,” he said.
The government said it plans to respond to a review of national environmental laws by the end of the year.