Biocredits: incentives for inclusive biodiversity conservation

Tackling biodiversity loss is a growing priority for human survival. Introducing incentives for positive actions could play a key role in helping to reverse this loss. This paper explores the potential of using a novel approach to promote biodiversity conservation. Biodiversity credits or ‘biocredits’ are coherent units of measurement that track conservation actions and outcomes and can help improve tracking and transparency. Well-designed, they can make investments in biodiversity management more financially attractive, for example, by attracting private-sector finance. They can be used by governments to monitor their actions and report on biodiversity commitments. And as much of the world’s biodiversity and its richest biodiversity spots are often found in remote and poor tropical regions, we also argue that biocredits need to be inclusive, and founded on fair benefit-sharing principles.