Implementing biocredits: making the market work for nature and people

Date: Tuesday, 5 July 2022
Time: 2-3pm BST
Where: Online, via Zoom
A mountain gorilla crouches in the undergrowth.

Economic and social incentives have supported conservation efforts for Rwanda's mountain gorillas population (Photo: Joseph Foltz/USAID, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Join this online event to discuss how we can use economic incentives to protect biodiversity and reduce poverty.

The rich diversity of life in all its forms is declining faster than at any time in human history, pushing us towards an ecological and economic tipping point. To mitigate this threat, there is growing support for using market incentives as a conservation tool to protect nature and reduce poverty.

This IIED Debates event will explore the new concept of biodiversity credits and its potential role to increase biodiversity while also making sure some of the world’s poorest people who live in biodiversity hotspots benefit.

Tackling biodiversity loss is a growing priority for human survival. Despite extensive efforts to protect earth’s living species, perverse incentives continue to drive the degradation of ecosystems, and their living inhabitants.

Too often governments and the private sector view biodiversity as lacking in value unless it is sold for profit or industrial development. This causes destruction, such as forests being replaced with palm oil and pulp and paper plantations, soils and waterways polluted by chemical dumping and oceans overfished.

By making biodiversity management more financially attractive and creating market incentives for positive action, we can bring conservation and development work together. 

An emerging concept, biodiversity credits – ‘biocredits’ – uses economic incentives to help save biodiversity and raise funds for conservation, while making sure that the women, children and men living in and around these areas also benefit. As carbon credits work to control greenhouse gas emissions, biocredits offer a way to finance biodiversity improvements. 

Join this IIED Debates event on Tuesday, 5 July, hosted in partnership with UNDP, to explore the role of biocredits in mitigating biodiversity loss. You will hear leading researchers and practitioners discuss how economic incentives can be implemented and how they can provide finance to those living in remote rural areas.

Through the examination of bio-credit case studies, our speakers will explore different ways to measure and implement them, debate the opportunities and the challenges, and evaluate what stakeholders, mechanisms and infrastructure is required for effective biocredits.


Juliette Tunstall (, IIED's internal engagement and external events office