What is the issue? Significant finance is required to protect biodiversity and restore degraded ecosystems; a lack of financial incentive to conserve land makes it difficult to compete with other land uses that generate a financial return.

Biobanking confers value to the land that allows it to compete with alternative land uses. The example of Malua BioBank has shown that there is a willingness to pay for biodiversity conservation services in the HoB.

Who is the seller? The owner of the land (private or government) or the company/government/ individual who has biodiversity rights over the area

Who is the buyer?Private individuals /companies /organizations

Steps towards
successful business model
  • Identify and characterize target market, i.e. a geographic area or industry in which there are market constraints on conservation that could be diverted to dedicated management areas;
  • Establish a long-term legal agreement to conserve the area and commercialize the rights to the environmental attributes;
  • Raise capital to invest in conservation works;
  • Estimate costs of land conservation and calculate/position the price of the product;
  • Establish conservation management plan and conduct protection or enhancement activities;
  • Quantify environmental attributes and, if applicable, submit for third-party approval certification;
  • Market environmental credits according to sales strategy;
  • Establish a perpetual charitable trust from funds generated from sales to fund ongoing management of the area or to endow long-term conservation management organization.
What can banks do? Generate and sell credits representing the rights to the conservation or enhancement of environmental attributes.

What can the private sector do?
  • Buy credits to improve environmental footprint of direct operations and across supply chains;
  • Buy credits to offset quantified reliably and independently verified environmental impacts;
  • Invest in biobanks.
What can the Government do?
  • Businesses can explore market and exploit the opportunity;
  • Businesses can approach local communities who manage their forest sustainably to jointly develop a restoration plan and subcontract their services in its implementation;
  • Communities can form a business that provides ecosystem restoration services professionally.
  • National:
    • Integrate biobanking into national conservation strategy. Establish a market-based system for biodiversity offsets based on a legal requirement to compensate for environmental impacts from development.
    • Enable non-traditional organizations, such as financial institutions, to hold and manage ‘conservation concessions’
Contribution to…
  • Securing natural capital: Highly replicable and scalable model designed to raise capital to protect and restore the most valuable and threatened natural capital over the long term;
  • Poverty reduction: Biobanks are a potential source of financing for community forest management whereby biobank managers enter into a joint venture with impoverished and/ or disadvantaged landowners ensuring that revenues are shared and/or landowners are paid to protect and manage their land for its environmental attributes. The funding channeled towards conservation provides income and livelihoods for members of the community doing restoration work, patrolling, management, etc.;
  • Economic growth: Biobanks work by assigning a commercial value to the restoration or protection of environmental attributes and attracting private capital to fund these outcomes. A new biobanking industry would add to GDP while ensuring that conservation of environmental attributes becomes fully integrated into sustainable development;
  • Climate change mitigation / adaptation: Carbon stocks are just one of a range of environmental attributes that biobanks could protect and enhance, thereby contributing directly to climate change mitigation. Bio banks focusing on biodiversity protection will also assist with climate change adaptation.