Terms of Reference for Taskforce Membership

1. Nature Finance Credit Alliance (NFCA) - background

The NFCA was formed as an informal working group in late 2022. It was then incubated as a sub-network of the Scottish Nature Finance Pioneers (SNFP). As a sub-network, the NFCA undertook an exploratory stage in this first half of 2023.

The organisation is now independently governed outside of the SNFP, while benefiting from on-going association with this community of practice.

The secretariat for the NFCA is provided by a co-chairing arrangement between Iconic Blockchain and Fife Coast & Countryside Trust.

2. Mandate for the Nature Finance Certification Alliance (NFCA)

This network needs to work with other international efforts to directly address the potential for a Governance vacuum over 2023, that could push the VBC market in a damaging direction, such as the direction that the Voluntary Carbon markets have taken Internationally.

One key paradigm to win over this time, is that we want to see VBCs (Voluntary Biodiversity Credits) developed as a Public Goods Market.

The view is that at an international level, it will be very difficult to get agreement to a single global regulator, so the more likely, 2023 achievable, construct is an Alliance, membership-based model, of organisations signing up to a shared governance framework.

An alliance approach, seed-funded at a Scottish level could then scale up to UK and then connect with relevant international bodies and working groups.

There is an opportunity for VBCs to provide a holistic blended finance mechanism. VBCs will need to integrate with local land policies and the UK Carbon Codes, with a Scottish focused Alliance enabling the development of a firmer regulatory framework, that links to the National Planning Frameworks, while interfacing with the emerging international frameworks on Nature Finance.

The NFCA could also act as a powerful tool for developing a ‘Coalition of the Willing’ and pulling together the first example of a high-integrity VBC trade in Scotland.

3. NFCA membership & Eligibility to join the NFCA

Membership will be determined based upon commitment of resources and developing existing practices within their own companies/organisations, towards a common governance framework for projects funded by blended finance – with focus on enabling Voluntary Nature Positive Investments from the Corporate, Philanthropic and Public sectors.

Eligibility to join the NFCA is currently also set to the organisation being prepared to field representatives of their organisation to contribute to NFCA working groups, and to be publicly associated with the organisation.

4. NFCA activities and expectations for participation by NFCA Taskforce members
NFCA Taskforce members will have:

  • Access to regular information updates provided by the Secretariat regarding the work of NFCA - including access to restricted content on this website.
  • Opportunities to support the research and technical work of NFCA Working Groups
  • Benefits from peer 2 peer learning and knowledge sharing

5. Modalities for participation in NFCA

Each participating institution is expected to provide a principal representative (Point of Contact) to liaise, as and when needed, with NFCA. NFCA participants may register additional representatives from relevant parts of their institution in order to access information updates from NFCA in a timely manner. Additional representatives should be those who are in a position to provide or connect to technical expertise within their institution.

6. Membership terms
Any NFCA participating institution can opt-out voluntarily at any time by sending a letter to the NFCA Secretariat. The letter should be signed by the Point of Contact. On receipt the institution’s name will be removed from the NFCA participant database and any public references such as on this website.

The NFCA reserves the right to end an institution’s participation in the Forum based on a serious failure to respect NFCA mission and/or if the Forum member is seen to have impaired the reputation of the NFCA and/or a conflict of interest arises in future.

7. Working Groups

  • Sellers Charter / data-sharing and pooling of resources for due diligence work
  • Holistic investment data-points for projects:
  • Community Benefits Standard for UK
  • Sounding Board to Civtech 8.6 Innovate on Nature Challenge programme - Designing a Voluntary Biodiversity Credit for Scotland
  • Sounding board to British Standards Institute (BSI) Nature Investment Standards programme.