That which is measured improves
Many human activities - from farming to mining to construction - impact the environment and have the potential to contribute to biodiversity loss. The challenge is to minimise this impact and to protect and restore natural biological communities to the best of our abilities, with many projects now aiming for no net loss or even net gain of biodiversity. However it is difficult to quantify impacts and track mitigation efforts when biodiversity data acquisition is so difficult and labour intensive.
At NatureMetrics we are developing new biodiversity footprint and impact assessment tools based primarily on invertebrate communities. These can be used to characterise species diversity, establish baselines, and indicate how diversity changes as a result of activities or management decisions.
A farming company may want to understand and demonstrate the effect of new nature friendly farming practices on pollinators, or a water company may need to know the impact of a pollution event on the biological community in a river. Multiple taxa give strong signals of ecosystem health and viability. A mining or drilling project might need ongoing feedback on biodiversity to support a policy of being 'net positive' for biodiversity.
Having conducted several pilot projects, we’re now seeking scale-up partners to take the next step and to integrate these innovative biodiversity and natural capital monitoring techniques in their operations. The more work we do and the more data we gather, the better our management feedback will be. Will you join us for on our mission to help inform the management and growth of our natural capital through cutting edge independent monitoring? In return we promise honest, insightful, and timely feedback to benefit your business and biodiversity.
For a more detailed overview of how DNA metabarcoding can be used for adaptive management and to monitor the progress of ecological restoration, you can read our CEO's article on the topic.
Bruce, K. (2018). DNA metabarcoding of invertebrates to evaluate outcomes of ecological restoration. In Practice, 99:13-17. Reproduced with permission from CIEEM.