TNFD calls for open source nature data

Recommends creating a ‘global nature-related public data facility’

Nature data should not be kept behind paywalls or in proprietary systems, a study coordinated by the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has said.

Twelve organisations, including CDP, the Global Reporting Initiative and the Science Based Targets Network, participated in a scoping study coordinated by the TNFD, which looked at three options for scaling and funding nature-related data and recommended creating a ‘global nature-related public data facility’ that would be an open source for nature data.

“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,” said Simon Zadek, chair of Nature Finance.

The TNFD undertook another study in March last year and found that a lot of nature data already exists, but it is things like access and comparability that present the main challenges.

“We are drowning in nature data but starved of insights,” said Raviv Turner, founding member of the MRV Collective, one of the organisations in the scoping study.

“If we want to truly understand the state of nature, we need to close the nature data gap for the public and private sector to be able to report on nature and mobilise funds and resources to nature-based climate solutions.”

The organisations behind the scoping study are now beginning the next phase of exploratory work, involving consultations with a wide range of stakeholders with a view to blueprinting a preferred governance, funding and operating model for the proposed public data facility working out how this can work with other data initiatives.