What Are Biodiversity Credits? Eco-Hero, Mallayka Eeanna Oddenyo, Deep Sea Conservation Coalition

by | Dec 30, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

What are biodiversity credits? Eco-Hero, Mallayka Eeanna Oddenyo, and the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition



COP15 exposed to us at The Climate Daily the concept of Biodiversity Credits. But what exactly are they and why do they matter to us? According to the World Economic Forum: A ‘biodiversity credit’ is an economic instrument used to finance activities that deliver net positive biodiversity gains. Unlike carbon or biodiversity offsets, which are payments made by a business to compensate for its damaging impacts on location-specific ecosystems, biodiversity credits allow companies to support nature-positive action, funding long-term conservation and restoration of nature, a higher order contribution than simply offsetting negative impact.  

Another way to look at them is Biodiversity credits are the common unit of measure for offsets and are used to measure both: the unavoidable impacts on biodiversity from development and clearing at a development site. There’s a big push for Voluntary Biodiversity Credits, based upon the concept that can help the private and public sectors achieve a nature-positive economic system, but only if there is transparent governance. For example, the indigenous people and local communities who safeguard natural ecosystems must be included in respectful and active engagement. Clarity of additionality, robust measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) and solutions to address double counting, permanence and unintended outcomes leaked to nearby geographies must all be considered to ensure success.  

The big issue is governance. The VBC market is hoping to base its governance on best-in-class efforts from the carbon market and from conservation and restoration initiatives already happening on the ground. That remains to be seen as carbon markets are still not yet stable, verifiable or reliable. But keep hope alive. With players like the Cusco Cloud Forest National Park credits in Honduras, the Wilderlands program in Australia and the Boreal Forest Ecosystem Biodiversity Credits in Sweden, the voluntary biodiversity market provides important growth opportunities to protect our natural resources, mitigate risk and adapt to the impacts of climate change. 




13-year old Mallayka Ianna Oddenyo cares deeply about the environment and saving animals. After a disturbing experience made her aware of the plastic pollution crisis, She started collecting plastic waste at the age of eight. One day, as she and her mother took a boat ride on Lake Victoria, near their home in Kisumu, Kenya, Mallayka saw a dead fish floating in the water with its head stuck inside a plastic bottle. 

She was shocked and heartbroken to see the animal killed by trash, and her eyes were opened to the pollution in the lake and all of the plastics filling the nearby landfill. In addition, she knew that poor communities around the lake had no transportation and were forced to rely on the deteriorated population of fish from the polluted lake for food. That inspired young Mallayka to begin collecting plastic waste in local communities around Lake Victoria, and at her school M.A. Junior Academy Kisumu.

She convinced others in the community to educate her classmates about the importance of reducing plastic waste. She also began upcycling collected plastic into flower vases, picture frames, table mats, face masks, handbags, bangles and pencil holders. Mallayka now mobilizes other youth to collect plastic waste every Saturday at Kisumu Impala Park and other various locations, upcycling what they collect into useful items, thus preventing it from making its way back to the oceans, lakes and waterways..

Why does Mallayka Ianna Oddenyo matter to us? Because she’s a winner: Winner of a 2020 Global Youth Award, Kidpreneur Award 2020, Green Kid Award, and Little Environmental Ambassador Kisumu. She is also current Little Princess Africa and former Pre-Teen Kenya. And she is a 2021 Eco-Hero.

DEEPER DIVE: YouTube, Ianna Mallayka Environmental Organization



Here’s an important organization doing great work It’s called the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC). It was founded in 2004 in response to international concerns over the harmful impacts of deep-sea bottom trawling. Bottom trawling is when commercial fishing boats drag a large weighted net across the ocean floor. A bottom trawl consists of a large tapered net with a wide mouth and a small enclosed end. The mouth of a trawl net has two weighted doors that serve not only to keep the net open, but also to keep the net on the ocean floor. These doors can weigh several tons. In addition to the heavy doors, the bottom of the net is a thick metal cable (footrope) studded with heavy steel balls or rubber bobbins that effectively crush everything in their path. As the net drags along the seafloor, living habitat in its path is crushed, ripped up, or smothered as the seabed is turned over.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, bottom trawling reduces the complexity, productivity, and biodiversity of benthic habitats–damage is most severe in areas with corals and sponges. When disturbed by bottom trawling, as much as 90 percent of a coral colony perishes, and up to two-thirds of sponges are damaged. Today over 100 non-government organizations, fishers organizations and law and policy institutes worldwide are working together under the umbrella of the DSCC to protect vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems. We have two main goals:

  • To substantially reduce the greatest threats to life in the deep sea; 
  • To safeguard the long-term health, integrity and resilience of deep-sea ecosystems.

Working with scientists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental organizations and governments, it targets the United Nations and other bodies to call for action to end bottom trawling. And that’s why the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition matters to us.