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Technology & Data

Bioacoustics Helps Investors Measure Biodiversity Impact

A new bioacoustics study, sponsored by investment managers Cardano, Fidelity International and Nomura Asset Management, has outlined its potential use for measuring biodiversity and its impact on investments. The study, conducted by nature-based solution provider Green PRAXIS in collaboration with the University of Toulon and the University of Pavia, focused on using bioacoustics technology to assess biodiversity levels in a palm oil concession in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. The research compared sound recordings from control plots (forested areas outside the concession), conservation plots (resulting from conservation efforts), and production plots (active monoculture palm oil plantations).  Production plots were dominated by monotonous insect activity, indicating the degraded state of agricultural areas, while conservation and control plots were populated by various bird species, frogs, and mammals, including primates. The study’s goal was to establish the foundation for an affordable, rapid, reliable, and non-invasive tool for measuring biodiversity richness and abundance. Greta Fearman, Senior Responsible Investment Officer at Cardano, emphasised the initiative’s significance in redirecting investments towards activities that promote biodiversity. “We acknowledge that there is a need for further studies with larger sample sizes, that are geographically diverse and done at different times of the year to check for seasonality, but the investor group is pleased with the initial set of results and believe they are promising and in-line with previous scientific findings,” Fearman said.

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