New Ecosulis project could unlock transformative funding for rewilding

Posted by Daniel Allen on 6/11/2020

 

The CreditNATURE project, which will see Ecosulis and partners work together with the Bunloit Estate in the Scottish Highlands, could unlock new revenue streams for rewilding initiatives by allowing them to issue carbon, biodiversity and rewilding credits. The project has been funded through Innovate UK's Sustainable Innovation Fund.

 

Transformative funding

Ecosulis is pleased to announce the launch of a potentially game-changing new project that could enable landowners to map carbon and biodiversity on their land. Titled "CreditNATURE", the three-month feasibility study has been funded through Innovate UK's Sustainable Innovation Fund. By enabling those overseeing restoration and rewilding initiatives to generate carbon, biodiversity and rewilding (ecosystem restoration) credits, it could open up new revenue streams for nature recovery and create new jobs.

 

Cutting edge technologies

CreditNATURE will integrate a range of cutting edge technologies to create a platform underpinned by real world data. The platform will enable landowners to baseline the carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem recovery of their land, plan investment and future revenue returns, and generate carbon, biodiversity and rewilding (ecosystem recovery) credits.

 

"The key innovation we are seeking is a framework that links carbon and nature recovery credits," says Ecosulis Nature Recovery Lead Dr. Paul Jepson, who conceived the CreditNATURE system. "This would deploy technology and rewilding principles to reduce the cost of verifying and delivering measurable improvements in ecosystems, including those related to carbon sequestration and biodiversity."

 

Innovative teamwork

Led by Ecosulis, CreditNATURE brings together the ambition, insight and expertise of a group of enterprises at the forefront of their respective fields. These are:

 

This innovative science-based UK start-up is providing commercial eDNA sampling kits to monitor soil and water biodiversity via DNA.

 

A high-tech Dutch reforestation company with a mission is to reforest the world's degraded land at scale. They are supplying carbon baselining data using a combination of drone, field and satellite surveys.

 

A Romanian software outsourcing company with a wealth of experience in the IT&C market. They have developed numerous tailored solutions for EU and national funded projects and are taking the lead in online platform development.

 

A chartered energy manager and carbon reduction specialist with 12 years of experience in the carbon reduction field, including the development and management of EU and national funded projects. Ben is providing project management support and carbon modelling knowledge.

 

Enhancing rewilding outcomes

The CreditNATURE team is united in the view that innovations at the intersection of nature recovery, technology and finance need to involve progressive land-based enterprises. A strength of the project is the active involvement of the Bunloit Wildland Project, an exciting example of a potential future client for the CreditNATURE system.

 

The 511-hectare Bunloit Estate, which overlooks Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands, was purchased by Jeremy Leggett, a clean energy pioneer and former scientific director of Greenpeace, in 2020. The Bunloit Wildland Project aims to be a leading open-air research laboratory for the scientific understanding of how rewilding and other land management approaches can enhance carbon sequestration and biodiversity.

 

"I'm really excited to be involved with CreditNATURE and eagerly await developments," says Leggett. "This project aligns perfectly with a critical need for Bunloit - a commercially viable solution for the baselining, modelling and continuous monitoring of carbon and biodiversity fluxes on the estate. This, in turn, has the potential to enhance natural capital solutions by unlocking funding."

 

The Bunloit Estate in the Scottish Highlands - a partner in the CreditNATURE project and an exciting potential future client.

 

Building back better

Over the coming months the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to become increasingly pervasive, with economic recession resulting in the loss of millions of jobs. To address this challenge - and the ongoing climate and ecological emergency (CEE) - the UK government has recognised the need to "build back better", implementing policies which support a clean, growth-led recovery and the UK's transition to a net-zero carbon economy.

 

"CreditNATURE captures the ambition to accelerate nature recovery in the UK and beyond," says Ecosulis Managing Director Cain Blythe. "This aligns with directions in policy and the desire of many citizens for wilder nature and a more hopeful environmental narrative."

 

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is investing up to £191 million to fund research and development projects such as CreditNATURE  over the next two years. The aim is to help all sectors of the UK rebuild following the impact of Covid-19.   

 

"By giving those restoring, managing and enhancing natural land assets access to new sources of revenue, the CreditNATURE project can help the UK to build back better," says Ben Hart. "This would see jobs lost as a result of Covid-19 replaced with valuable work that supports nature recovery and contributes to the creation of a net-zero carbon economy across the UK landscape."

 

"In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation," says Innovate UK Executive Chair Dr Ian Campbell. "The pandemic is not just a health emergency, but one that impacts society and the economy. CreditNATURE, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through the Sustainable Innovation Fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development and realising the ambitions of hardworking people."

 

Want to know more?

For more information about CreditNATURE, please contact Dr. Paul Jepson, Ecosulis Nature Recovery Lead (paul.jepson@ecosulis.co.uk /+44 (0)7741669822).