The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has backed the creation of a global nature-related public data facility to support efforts to stem the loss of nature.

As part of a recently published high-level scoping study, the TNFD and partner organisations found that “high quality, nature-related data is a global public good increasingly demanded by a wide array of public, private and civil society stakeholders everywhere”.

They added: “Where possible, baseline nature-related data should be accessible to a broad range of stakeholders and not kept behind paywalls or in proprietary systems.”

The organisations behind the study are now looking for a blueprint for a governance, funding and operating model for such a public data facility.

Their plans come as a similar platform is in the pipeline for climate data and EU bodies work on the European Single Access Data Point, although the latter is not dedicated to ESG information. The TNFD and its partner organisations said their work on a nature-related data pool would ensure synergies with the Net Zero Public Data Utility (NZPDU) and other climate data initiatives.

The idea of a shared and open nature-related data resource is to connect and expand existing data platforms at a national and sub-national level, and to incorporate the growing number of private sector data sources.

Simon Zadek, chair of Nature Finance and senior adviser to the TNFD. said: ”Underpinned by the right scope, governance, financing and incentive structures, and enabled by globally consistent methods and standards for nature-related data, a global nature-related public data facility would be a game-changer for better risk management and enabling new nature markets to emerge.”

Raviv Turner, founding member of the monitoring and verification industry coalition MRV Collective, described a global nature-related public data facility as ”a mission-critical piece in closing the nature data gap”.

“We need a high integrity, high scalability, private and secured data utility that can link remotely to ground sensing nature data for countries, sectors, corporations and IPLCs and give us an up-to-date status on nature,” he said. 

In the UK the government has committed to working with the TNFD to develop metrics for companies and financial institutions to embed into their investment decision-making. The Environmental Audit Committee has recently launched an inquiry to understand “whether the frameworks that have been put in place and the measures being encouraged by ministers are sufficient to promote investment in nature recovery while establishing the UK as a leading financial centre for nature-positive investment”.

The TNFD’s data initiative also comes as the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries has urged the financial sector to be ready for changes because of the economic and financial risks posed by biodiversity loss.

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