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The Grand Experiment To Save Appalachia’s Forests

The Southeastern United States produces 12 percent of the world’s wood, pulp, and paper – fueling an economic engine that’s pulverizing forests faster than it’s restoring them. Here’s how environmental NGOs like the Dogwood Alliance are teaming up with retail giants like Staples to try and prevent that engine from overheating.


It’s Time For The UK To Explore Conservation Finance

Our natural world and climate are experiencing catastrophic change, largely because it’s more profitable to destroy ecosystems than to conserve them. We can begin to redress this imbalance by using conservation finance to support opportunities that protect ecosystems and generate some form of return. Here’s how that can work in the UK.


The Green Economy: A Primer

We talk a lot about the “green economy”, but what exactly does that mean? The Green Economy Coalition defines it as “an economy that provides prosperity for all within the ecological limits of the planet”, and it has provided this handy primer that breaks it into five broad themes.


Now Is ABSOLUTELY The Right Time To Talk About Climate Change

As Florida recovers from Hurricane Irma and wildfires ravage the Pacific Northwest, the number of extreme weather events has topped 400 per year. That’s quadruple the rate of 1970, and scientists overwhelmingly attribute the rise to climate change. US Environmental Protection Administrator Scott Pruitt, however, says now is not the time to discuss such matters. Here’s why he’s wrong, and what we can do to set things right.


Payments For Ecosystem Services Work: Study

Payments for Ecosystem Services have always seemed like a good idea, and evidence is growing that they work. The latest comes from a Northwestern University study involving forest owners in 120 villages in western Uganda. Half were given cash rewards if they kept their forest intact, and half weren’t. Guess which group took better care of their forest?

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Can Europe Tap The Private Sector To Protect Its Environment?

The European Commission has set some of the most ambitions environmental targets on the planet, but states have struggled to achieve them. Fortunately, the Commission and member states have also created an impressive set of mechanisms for getting users and polluters to pay for restoration. Now they just have to teach people to use them.


Leveraging Carbon Finance For Wetland Restoration In California

Ecosystem Marketplace is wrapping up data collection for its State of Biodiversity Markets report with a final flash poll offering anyone who’s interested a chance to weigh in on the future of biodiversity offsets. In other news, carbon market practitioners eye wetland restoration and rewilding initiatives in Europe get a loan.


$25 Billion Ecological Restoration Industry Gathers In Sacramento To Talk Business

As the ecological restoration industry convenes for its flagship meeting this week, two restoration players highlight the sector’s role as a big economic driver. They also stress the need for consistent standards and strong policy in order to craft truly efficient and effective projects that benefit biodiversity and people.

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When Your Day Job Is Restoring Streams And Saving Species

More than 220,000 Americans work in the $25 billion Restoration Economy, but few outside the sector understand how it works. Here’s how one Texas rancher tapped environmental finance to pay off debt from the expansion of his ranch and revive a degraded river that runs through it.


Environmental Rollback Could Kill 220,000 Jobs And Eradicate Dozens of Species

President Donald Trump and many Congressional Republicans say they’ll create jobs by rolling back environmental regulation, but their current trajectory could have the opposite effect: killing more than 220,000 jobs while eradicating endangered species, poisoning water, and accelerating climate change. There is, however, a proven way to reduce regulations without hurting jobs or the environment.


Endangered Species: How Environmental Rollback Could Hit Forest Owners Hard

President Donald Trump plans to revive the rural economy by rolling back environmental regulations, but his policies could cost farmers and forest owners dearly. Here’s a look at some of the farmer-friendly environmental initiatives that could end up on the endangered list – if they aren’t there already.


2016: The Year Biodiversity Got Back On The Climate Map

In 2016, proponents of mainstreaming biodiversity pushed for further integration during international talks and elsewhere while new research found serious declines in global biodiversity. But user-friendly maps, also published this year, revealed that markets dealing in wetlands and endangered animals are growing and have been growing for some time signaling their potential to help reverse the dismal trends on wildlife loss.


In Pruitt EPA Pick, Some Fear Short Shrift For Restoration Economy

Environmentalists across the political spectrum have exhibited everything from anger to puzzlement over US President-Elect Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Scott Pruitt to head up the Environmental Protection Agency. Some in the restoration economy, like those in renewable energies, say the move could hobble a vibrant part of the US economy.


A New California Case Study Finds Eco-Assets Boost Property Sale Price

Assessing property for the endangered species it saves or wetlands it preserves could pay off for some landowners, says a California-based firm researching ecosystem markets. According to the firm’s latest case study, sale price tripled for a property in San Benito County, California once it considered eco-asset market values.


Peru’s New President Gets Arsenal Of New Environmental Tools

Peru has long been among the more innovative countries in dealing with the consequences of climate change, and last week policymakers there approved critical tools that can open the door for public and private investment in forests, water and biodiversity conservation.


Saving Biodiversity By Integrating It Into All Spheres Of Society

Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into larger, political and high level processes appears set to dominate week two of biodiversity talks in Montreal, which will focus on action, the implementation of national strategies meant to stem the global loss of wildlife.


Ecosystem Services in the New York City Watershed

Nine years ago, New York City launched a revolutionary project to protect its drinking water by protecting the ecosystem services of its watershed. Ecosystem Marketplace checks up on the most famous ecosystem services project in the world.


Obama’s Biodiversity-Friendly Move Spurs $2 Billion In Commitments To Conservation

Biodiversity conservation in the United States is getting revamped as federal agencies are accelerating their conservation commitments and drawing billions of private-sector dollars – largely because President Barack Obama is streamlining mitigation policies. The Fish and Wildlife Service, for instance, released a revised umbrella policy earlier this month.

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Biodiversity Offsetting In The UK: Cast Into The Wilderness?

While the UK government recently released the long-awaited conclusions from its consultation of biodiversity offsetting, analysts like the British Ecological Society are uncertain if the findings will lead to the mechanism’s use as pilot projects were inconclusive and the research questions offsetting’s ability to deliver anything more than marginal benefits.


US Feds To Launch Special Category Of Mitigation Credits For Farmers

Cash-strapped farmers and ranchers say they can’t compete with industry for mitigation credits, and the US Department of Agriculture seems to agree. As part of its new Wetland Mitigation Banking Program, the USDA is distributing $9 million to state governments, NGOs, private firms and other parties interested in developing banks and banking systems specifically for agricultural producers.

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Disrupting Biodiversity Markets At The Request Of President Obama?

US President Barack Obama’s presidential memorandum on mitigation emphasized the private sector role in delivering a net benefit to the environment at a landscape level. But achieving landscape-scale benefits for species means more than increasing total habitat area, says ecological economist Douglas J. Bruggeman. Here, he discusses ways in which the memo may alter species markets.

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2015: Biodiversity’s Year Of Integration

Biodiversity and endangered habitat have always been difficult to finance, because their economic value isn’t as readily-apparent as that of water, air, and food. In 2015, proponents managed to embed biodiversity protection in major climate-change and development packages, but there’s still a long way to go.


Opinion Nine Steps Towards Doubling The Value Of US Mitigation Markets

There is significant movement in the ecosystem market space as a new presidential memorandum seeks to ramp up private investment in conservation and a recent analysis values the marketplace at $100 billion. To help capitalize on this movement a market analyst offers a brief list of recommendations for the rule makers – by William Coleman


Fine Cacao is Booming. Fine Cacao is Vanishing.

There’s a cacao planting boom throughout the Amazon basin countries, which is usually good news for farmers and for governments, but farmers sometimes clear priceless native forest to establish new cacao plantations. Jacob Olander of Canopy Bridge examines the consequences, and takes stock of solutions.


Obama Move Seen Boosting Private Investment In Conservation

Compensatory mitigation markets may be expanding in the US as high level policy guidance from the Department of Interior and the White House, released this month, directs land managing agencies to follow the mitigation hierarchy and scale up private investment in conservation.


Opinion: The Road To Hell Is Paved In Abundance: Root Reasons Why Indonesia Is On Fire

Indonesian President Joko Widodo today cut short his US visit because his country’s forests are burning after decades of degradation driven by our own insatiable appetite for palm oil, soy and beef. It’s a mess we can fix with just a 1% increase in the cost of our food products, says InfiniteEarth founder Todd Lemons, who argues that it’s time for a global environmental Super Fund.


Opinion: Illusions Of Prosperity, Or What GDP Misses And How To Fix It

For decades, economists and policy-makers have used Gross Domestic Product to measure productivity and wealth; but GDP is notoriously bad at measuring well-being. Most alternatives have proven too soft for mainstream economists, but natural capital accounting is taking hold around the world. What’s needed is more cooperation between ecological and economic sciences, argues Alex Spring.

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Stakeholders In At-Risk Species Conservation Discuss What’s Best For The Birds

Endangered species conservation is a complex realm with several stakeholders and a suite of approaches. Recently, a few of those parties came together for a spirited conversation about best practices for the lesser prairie chicken and greater sage-grouse, two high profile cases that have deep ramifications for species conservation.

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Voluntary Conservation To Be Tested As US Chooses Not To List The Greater Sage-Grouse

Today, the US Fish and Wildlife Service determined the greater sage-grouse does not warrant a listing status under the Endangered Species Act. But the efforts to conserve the bird’s habitat aren’t slowing down and the federal agency listed mitigation as a key part of its plans to balance quality sagebrush habitat with the demands of a growing western economy.

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This Week In Biodiversity: Hurry Up And Wait

The world of wetlands and wildlife is currently in a waiting period as a federal judge halted the US Clean Water Rule in 13 states and stakeholders in greater sage-grouse conservation wait for the US Fish and Wildlife Service to determine if the bird warrants federal protection. And the IUCN is still in the process of establishing new biodiversity offset policy.


Gastronomic Tourism: An Emerging Method To Save World’s Remaining Forests?

In the past half-century, mankind has destroyed half our planet’s tropical rainforests to harvest timber and make way for cattle, palm, and soybean farms. But forests yield an incredible array of fruits and fibers not found anyplace else, and we don’t have to destroy the forest to harvest them. In fact, “gastronomic tourism” is emerging as a new way to save the forests – and it has a surprising pedigree.

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This Week In Biodiversity: Offsets Debate Heats Up With Global Draft Policy

Actors in the biodiversity space are warning against potential pitfalls of a draft offsetting policy the International Union for Conservation of Nature released this month. The IUCN is accepting comments on the document now which intends to provide guidance on implementing effective offsets. Meanwhile, the National Mitigation Banking Association released its Universal Principles of Compensatory Mitigation.


US Wildlife Agency Contemplates Permitting System For Migratory Birds

The US Fish and Wildlife Agency is in the early stages of crafting a permitting system that has the potential to motivate development industries to implement bird protection measures and reduce bird deaths. The agency is mulling over several program approaches that all have at least one similar component: each follows the mitigation hierarchy.


This Week In Biodiversity: Choose Your Own Adventure

The argument over voluntary approaches to conserve at risk-species like the greater sage-grouse isn’t waning. Meanwhile, new research applying the mitigation hierarchy to the agriculture and forestry sectors finds net positive impacts for biodiversity are possible and a separate report finds commodity subsidies driving deforestation vastly outweigh conservation finance to protect forests.


This Week In Biodiversity: Offsets Have A Little Image Problem

Between a former government employee in Australia claiming a very flawed offsetting system that favors mining interests and a former UK environment minister suggesting offsetting could counter the clearing of ancient irreplaceable woodlands, the market mechanism has had a rough month. Meanwhile, Massachusetts struggles with a strict NNL policy that delivers subpar results.


Study Sees $1.6 Billion For Blue Carbon In Louisiana Wetlands

As Louisiana’s wetlands and mangroves retreat, the low-lying state becomes more and more susceptible to hurricanes and other coastal disruptions. Fortunately, mangrove forests also pull massive amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and store it in the ocean floor. A new study says that carbon finance could provide up to $1.6 billion for wetland restoration in that state.


This Week In Biodiversity: Offsets Have A Little Image Problem

Between a former government employee in Australia claiming a very flawed offsetting system that favors mining interests and a former UK environment minister suggesting offsetting could counter the clearing of ancient irreplaceable woodlands, the market mechanism has had a rough month. Meanwhile, Massachusetts struggles with a strict NNL policy that delivers subpar results.


This Week In V-Carbon: Punxsutawney Phil Predicts EM’s Survey Launch

Ecosystem Marketplace’s annual carbon markets survey launched this week and will be available through March 4, which is also the groundhog’s timeline for cold winter weather. That’s a shorter timeframe than in previous years but in order to provide a greater range of reports throughout the year, the carbon team has condensed data collection periods.


Ontario Inches Towards Carbon Pricing, Explores Ag And Forestry Offsets

The Canadian province of Ontario looks poised to follow the lead of other jurisdictions in Canada and in the United States by implementing a carbon pricing program, with provincial regulators asking for opinions on what type of program should be implemented. Also on the list is a possible role for the agriculture and forestry sectors, as regulators seek advice for their potential inclusion as carbon offsets.


Stand For Trees: Forest Carbon For The Masses?

High-profile corporates like Disney and Microsoft have traditionally been among the leading buyers of carbon offsets that save endangered rainforest, but a new initiative is betting that these offsets – with their unique, compelling stories – will resonate with individuals as well.


Wetland Mitigation Banking Arrives In The Big Apple

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, New York City decided to build up its resiliency devoting funds to green infrastructure projects and coastal restoration activities. One of these initiatives is the Saw Mill Creek Mitigation Bank, which, if all goes as planned, will become New York City’s first wetland bank. To celebrate World Wetlands Day, Ecosystem Marketplace lays out the potential worth of such a project.


2015: The Year Biodiversity And Sustainable Development Finally Tie The Knot?

Decision-makers in the biodiversity space are positioning conservation to take center stage during the upcoming negotiations on the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Late last year, they presented the UN Secretary with key decisions regarding integrating biodiversity into sustainable development that were made during the most recent biodiversity talks.


Study Shows Brazil’s Soy Moratorium Still Needed To Preserve Amazon

After eight years of supporting Brazil’s Soy Moratorium, a private agreement among big companies to stop using soy grown on cleared forestland, proponents have evidence that the Moratorium is crucial to reducing deforestation rates in the Amazon. A study published this week reports that only about 1 percent of new soy expansion came at the expense of forest.


This Week In Biodiversity: Conservation Eyes The Post-2015 Agenda

Confirming biodiversity goals are integrated into the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals will likely be a key issue this year as talks unfold this month. Meanwhile, New York City is on its way to creating its first wetland mitigation bank, located on Staten Island, and Australia looks to alter its biodiversity policy.


2015: The Year Biodiversity And Sustainable Development Finally Tie The Knot?

Decision-makers in the biodiversity space are positioning conservation to take center stage during the upcoming negotiations on the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Late last year, they presented the UN Secretary with key decisions regarding integrating biodiversity into sustainable development that were made during the most recent biodiversity talks.


Colorado Shrinks The Risk Of Wildfire With Investments In Watershed Services

The severity and frequency of wildfires has regions like the US West scrambling for solutions. New research presented during a webinar shows Colorado is taking advantage of the watershed investment approach as more water providers in the state adopt Denver’s celebrated investments in watershed services project that simultaneously protects the city’s water supply and reduces wildfire risk.