We are creating a new nature repair market to reward landholders for restoring and protecting nature. The market will also provide options for businesses to invest in nature repair.
Reversing Australia’s environmental decline
The 2021 State of the Environment Report found a significant investment in conservation and restoration is needed to reverse the decline in Australia’s natural environment. The scale of the task to reverse this decline is beyond government and individual landholders. Voluntary private sector investment can make a significant contribution.
In response to the report, the Australian Government is committed to delivering better environmental protection and reforms as part of the Nature Positive Plan. One of these reforms is creating the Nature Repair Market. By encouraging voluntary private sector investment, the market will make a significant contribution to restoring Australia’s natural environment.
Growing demand for nature investment
The market will make it easier for companies and other businesses to invest in and drive nature repair across Australia. Businesses and investors are looking to do more, and this will grow over time.
A recent independently developed PriceWaterhouseCoopers Report found an Australian biodiversity market could unlock $137 billion in financial flows to advance biodiversity outcomes by 2050. More than half of this activity ($78 billion) is forecast to be driven by biodiversity, conservation and natural capital-themed bonds, loans, debt, and equity.
Demand for the market is expected to come from several sources, including:
- carbon market participants seeking projects which also benefit nature
- philanthropic and Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) motivated investment, driven by reporting and disclosure requirements such as the Taskforce for Nature Related Financial Disclosures.
In future, the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act could also drive demand for nature repair projects. The Government is reforming Commonwealth environmental laws, including offset requirements. It will legislate a new National Environmental Standard to ensure offsets are a last resort and, if required, will more than compensate for the impacts of development. The new national standard for environmental offsets will determine which types of projects could compensate for development impacts. The new standard is currently under development and will be released for public consultation later in 2023.
How the proposed market will operate
A well-designed nature repair market will encourage and support projects to restore and protect nature.
Landholders who can participate
All landholders, including First Nations people, conservation groups, governments and farmers, will be able to participate in the market.
Landholders can undertake projects to enhance or protect existing habitat, or to establish or restore habitat. The Australian Government is committed to working with First Nations people to identify barriers and opportunities for them to participate in, and earn income from, the nature repair market.
Types of projects
Projects can be on land, inland waterways (lakes and rivers), or in marine and coastal environments (within 12 nautical miles of the low water mark), on the Australian mainland or the external territories.
Projects may include:
- improving or restoring native vegetation through activities such as fencing or weeding
- planting a mix of local native species
- protecting rare grasslands that provide habitat for an endangered species.
Attracting investment to nature
A single tradable certificate will be issued for each project, which can be sold to buyers under commercial contracts.
Certificates will provide standardised information to enable the market to confidently compare and value projects. Regular project reports will describe and verify the environmental outcomes achieved by the project.
Transparency of current owners
Certificates, their status and ownership will be tracked via a public register. This will help certificate owners show their shareholders, customers, and employees how they are supporting nature repair.
Aligning carbon and biodiversity markets
The market will operate in parallel with the carbon markets, so landholders can get certificates from carbon projects that create biodiversity. The Clean Energy Regulator will regulate the market to help align carbon and biodiversity markets and make participation in both schemes easier for landholders.
Innovative biodiversity monitoring grants
The Innovative Biodiversity Monitoring Grants Program encourages innovative and cost effective solutions for biodiversity monitoring. This will support the delivery of environmental outcomes from the Nature Repair Market.
This grant opportunity will fund the development of biodiversity monitoring approaches for Nature Repair Market projects.
Read more about the Innovative Biodiversity Monitoring Program.
Nature Repair Market regulation
Underpinning the market is the Nature Repair Market Bill 2023. This legislation establishes a transparent framework to issue Australian landholders with tradeable biodiversity certificates for projects to protect and restore nature.
The Bill will provide the rules to ensure integrity, enforcement, and genuine environmental benefit.
The Bill establishes an expert technical committee – the Nature Repair Market Committee – to review proposed methodologies that set the rules for projects and advise the Minister whether they comply with biodiversity integrity standards defined in the Bill.
These standards will ensure projects deliver genuine improvements in nature and information about those improvements can be relied upon by those purchasing biodiversity certificates.
We will work with the ACCC and ASIC to ensure claims made about certificates are accurate and do not result in misleading claims.
Further information about the Nature Repair Market Bill 2023 is available on the Nature Repair Market Bill factsheet.
Nature Repair Market Bill factsheet (PDF 657 KB)
Nature Repair Market Bill factsheet (DOCX 192 KB)
The Nature Repair Market Bill and Nature Repair Market (Consequential Amendments) Bill is available on the Federal Register of Legislation.
Consultation and engagement
The legislation is informed by two rounds of consultation, starting from September 2022.
Further consultation will occur in 2023 as the government develops details of the market required to open for trading in the second half of 2024, including methodology and rules.
We are working cooperatively with state and territory governments on the design and implementation of the market.
Engagement with First Nations people
The development of the draft Nature Repair Market Bill has considered feedback from First Nations people, including how it could enable communities to use their cultural and social knowledge and their environmental, and economic assets.
Previous consultation stages
Our first stage of consultation, a public consultation process, closed on 16 September 2022. Feedback received informed the development of the market framework and legislation.
Our second stage of public consultation, on the Nature Repair Market Bill exposure draft, closed on 3 March 2023. The consultation included workshops, information sessions, and targeted meetings with stakeholders. This included First Nations, environmental and agricultural organisations, businesses and state and territory governments. Feedback and submissions received informed drafting of the Nature Repair Market Bill. A summary of consultation outcomes is available.
Contact us for more information
If you would like to request more information, contact naturerepairmarket@DCCEEW.gov.au