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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.

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This Week In Biodiversity: Congress Enters The Sage-Grouse Battle

Congress became an official participant in the greater sage-grouse debate when its latest spending bill blocked funding for an Endangered Species Act listing for the bird. Reaction to the decision has been mixed with conservationists and agency officials indicating the voluntary incentives and the state level conservation plans as solid means to protect the grouse without a federal listing status.

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Washington State To Pursue Cap-and-Trade Program

Washington state’s governor proposed a new cap-and-trade program that will look remarkably familiar to those involved in California’s program and could pave the way for further collaboration between the Evergreen and Golden states.

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Virginia’s Nutrient Trading Program Aims To Clean Up The Chesapeake Bay

Today, multiple federal agencies recognized Virginia’s nutrient trading program as a natural, cost-efficient and effective approach to improving water quality in the heavily polluted Chesapeake Bay watershed. Federal recognition of the program also indicates potential for more involvement in environmental markets at the national level.

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Green Climate Fund Passes $10 Billion Threshold

Today, Belgium helped the Green Climate Fund reach its $10 billion goal with a $60 million contribution. Because far more funds are needed to address the enormous challenge that is climate change, reaching the $10 billion mark is as much a symbolic achievement as it is financial, analysts say.

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When COPs Converge: The Biodiversity And Climate Link

Biodiversity and climate are intertwined in the physical realm though separate in the policy world. But during the ongoing climate COP in Lima, a diverse group of scientists and policymakers presented a declaration assessing current knowledge on connections between biodiversity vulnerabilities and climate change with the objective of increased integrated activity on the inter-linked issues.

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Developing Nations Issue Challenge To Deliver On Pledge To Save Forests

Building on the New York Declaration on Forests, more than a dozen developing countries have thrown down the gauntlet for developed countries to support their efforts to increase the ambitions of their climate plans, paying particular attention to financing and scaling up efforts to reduce deforestation. Several developed countries say they stand ready to meet the challenge.

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Opinion Why Locals Shouldn’t Be Upset Over A Mitigation Bank Moving In

Owners of a California golf course are contemplating turning part of it into a wetland bank much to the dismay of some local residents. They claim the banks hold no real economic worth and could diminish property value. However a consultant to the mitigation banking industry says that isn’t true arguing banks can lead to strong earnings and hold recreational value.

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2014: The Year In Biodiversity

Voluntary initiatives and integration were big topics of the biodiversity space in 2014. In the US, regulators and landowners grappled with new methods to protect dwindling species population in the face of encroaching development. Meanwhile, the international world continued to push for meaningful biodiversity conservation through a merging of agendas.

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2014: The Year For Nature-Based Solutions?

29 December 2014 | In 2014, concepts like water stewardship and the water-energy-food nexus gained momentum. Combining that growth with the ramifications of weather extremes like the Rim Fire and the California drought that also happened in 2014 makes the year an eventful one for the water sector to say the least. Studies, initiatives and events aimed at improving global water health marked the past […]

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This Week In Biodiversity: Congress Enters The Sage-Grouse Battle

Congress became an official participant in the greater sage-grouse debate when its latest spending bill blocked funding for an Endangered Species Act listing for the bird. Reaction to the decision has been mixed with conservationists and agency officials indicating the voluntary incentives and the state level conservation plans as solid means to protect the grouse without a federal listing status.

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This Week in Biodiversity: Impact Investors Still Kicking the Tires for Mit Banks

Locating finance for conservation is a challenge inspiring some creative approaches. A recent report released hard figures on the emerging conservation impact investment market finding significant potential particularly from the private sector. And an ongoing initiative attempts to scale up biodiversity funding with market mechanisms.

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Carbon Conservation: From Giant Pandas to Swiss Grocer

The giant panda featured in the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) logo gives the organization enduring brand recognition. But these animals are struggling to exist, with only 1,600 currently living in the wild in China, in increasingly smaller swathes of territory thanks to encroaching human activity.

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Filling In The Information Gap On Market Based Instruments For Biodiversity Conservation

Market based tools like economic incentives and offsets may be a key way to finance biodiversity conservation but the little clarity and certainty surrounding their success rates causes policymakers to overlook them. The INVALUABLE project says it can change that by providing the necessary data. Project researchers presented their latest findings at a COP 12 side event.

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Study Sees Sustainable Ag Driving Surge In Ecosystem Investing

More than 23 billion profit-seeking dollars flowed into ecosystem-friendly investments over the past five years, but less than $2 billion of that came from the private sector. Most of that $2 billion, however, went into sustainable food and fiber a sector that’s been growing at 26% a year and looks set to surge by at least $5.5 billion through 2018. In fact, $1.5 billion has already been raised, a new survey finds.

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Food Without Forests? Don’t Count On It

Deforestation has recently been the talk of the United Nations climate change negotiations because of its potential to release huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. But a recent study shows that even without this effect, clearing tropical forests will have important implications for temperature and rainfall and how deforestation occurs (or doesn’t) matters a lot for the future of agriculture on this planet.

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COP 12 Indicates More Funds, Capacity Building Needed For Biodiversity

Resource mobilization was a key issue in last week’s biodiversity talks as the Convention on Biological Diversity estimated much more finance needs to flow to biodiversity conservation in order to achieve the Aichi Targets. Here, Maggie Comstock of Conservation International provides an analysis and overview of COP 12.

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Food Without Forests? Don’t Count On It

Deforestation has recently been the talk of the United Nations climate change negotiations because of its potential to release huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. But a recent study shows that even without this effect, clearing tropical forests will have important implications for temperature and rainfall – and how deforestation occurs (or doesn’t) matters a lot for the future of agriculture on this planet.

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Governments Vow To Double Biodiversity Finance And Expand Protection Of Oceans

lobal biodiversity talks have wrapped up in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with a pledge to double financial flows to biodiversity protection by 2015 and to expand coverage of the world’s oceans. Cities and sub-national governments also expressed growing support for global biodiversity protection measures.

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Biodiversity And REDD: How They Fit Together

Never before have we known as much about the synergies between forest carbon and biodiversity as we do now, but that knowledge has been hidden beneath layers of impenetrable gobbledygook. A new sourcebook aims to fix that by scraping away the jargon and connecting dots previously visible only to experts. More importantly, it succeeds.

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We Killed Off Half of Animal Life in Four Decades. Now What?

The future of the proposed rule clarifying jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act is still unclear as its public comment period is once again extended. Meanwhile, a World Wildlife Fund study sadly finds humans are responsible for half of wildlife loss in the last 40 years and the world is far from reaching the Aichi Biodiversity Targets by 2020.

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Virginia’s Nutrient Trading Program Aims To Clean Up The Chesapeake Bay

Today, multiple federal agencies recognized Virginia’s nutrient trading program as a natural, cost-efficient and effective approach to improving water quality in the heavily polluted Chesapeake Bay watershed. Federal recognition of the program also indicates potential for more involvement in environmental markets at the national level.

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Top Negotiators To Lead Webinar Series On Land-Use In Climate Talks

Climate negotiations are sticky, complicated affairs but they’re also critical to the future of the planet. In an attept to foster transparency and understanding, two of the leading UN negotiators on land-use issues will be hosting a series of webinars beginning October 2 and running throughout the month. Here’s how you can participate.

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Successful Green Pledges Hinge On Procurement Agents And Consumers

Executives around the world are trying to woo customers by going green embarking on a trail that companies like paper giant Domtar blazed a decade ago. But it’s consumers whose choices will ripple up the production chain, through procurement to finance. Here’s how that process works and why good intentions will come to naught if consumers don’t step up

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Global Leaders Pledge $1 Billion To End Deforestation By 2030

A coalition of government, business, civil society and indigenous leaders have joined forces for a historic pledge to end deforestation by 2030. But it’s not just an empty promise as the parties have committed a total of $1 billion to get this ambitious effort off the ground.

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Avoided Deforestation Could Land On Green Climate Fund’s Fast Track

The Green Climate Fund gained momentum during the international climate negotiations here in Lima, Peru, surpassing the $10 billion mark and securing landmark financial commitments from both developed and developing countries. Now the race begins to assess and finance the first projects, including possibly REDD+, ahead of the Paris climate talks in December 2015.

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This Week In Biodiversity: Did The Endangered Species Act Just Get Gutted?

In Australia, New South Wales’ biodiversity offset policy receives a mixed bag of feedback. Conservationists in the US are unhappy with an interpretation of a phrase within the US Endangered Species Act and organizers of next year’s annual National Mitigation and Ecosystem Banking Conference are accepting presentation submissions.

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Opinion Biodiversity Offsets As Corporate Responsibility: Opportunity Or Paradox?

Biodiversity offsets has the potential to implement high quality conservation in the face of encroaching development. But, unless it’s under attack, the concept remains almost unheard of among consumers. This is a big problem, according to a researcher on the subject who says growth and regulatory support depends on public opinion.

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This Week In Biodiversity: A Pre-Listed Species Credit Policy Stirs Debate

The debate over voluntary conservation practices arises again as the FWS proposes a draft policy that allows landowners to earn credits for voluntarily conserving at-risk wildlife. On a separate note, a study attempts to build a protocol for natural capital accounting in Canada and a white paper looks at using performance-based approaches in the recently passed US Farm Bill.

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Verified Conservation Areas:
A Real-Estate Market For Biodiversity?

A power company in Germany can use forest-carbon from Brazil to offset emissions because carbon offsets are standardized units, but an American city that damages the habitat of endangered species in Arizona has no such option – in part because habitat is as varied and localized as land itself. Frank Vorhies says VCAs are part of the solution.

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Three Images That Illustrate The Challenge Of Life On A Managed Planet

You can’t separate people from climate change. We caused it, and we will suffer from it. The UK’s weather service, the Met Office, recently tried to summarize the interplay between people and the planet in one wall poster, and the result is a stark reminder of the fact that we now live on a managed planet.

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Biodiversity Backers Continue Push For Convergence In June

New guidance from the Center for Biological Diversity aims to integrate biodiversity safeguards into sustainability standards while a study finds REDD+ isn’t delivering the positive outcome for wildlife as originally thought. Also, Ecosystem Marketplace continues to unfold its series on saving Indonesia’s forests and orangutan habitat from palm oil development.

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Examples, Dialogue And Clearer Policy Needed In Biodiversity Offsetting

Highlights including video footage from last month’s conference on ‘no net loss’ of biodiversity, which brought together a multitude of sectors to discuss avoiding, minimizing, restoring and offsetting biodiversity loss, are now available. The event, held at the London Zoo and hosted by BBOP, was the first of its kind.

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Todd Lemons: Ecosystem Entrepreneur

When Todd Lemons showed up on Birutė Galdikas’s doorstep in 2007, she had no idea who he was or why he’d come all the way to the island of Borneo on a hunch. They ended up forging a partnership that created the Rimba Raya REDD project, saved the Seruyan Forest, and provided a template for others to follow suit.

This Week In Biodiversity: Global Summit On No Net Loss In London

Natural capital accounting is generating a lot of attention lately with a new report warning companies of the perils of ignoring natural capital risk while the World Bank-led WAVES initiative is noting some advancements in the space. And BBOP is back from the London Zoo with feedback on the no net loss of biodiversity summit.

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Peruvian Congress Passes Historic Ecosystem Services Law

Six years in the making, Peru’s new Ecosystem Services Law passed on Thursday, providing a comprehensive legal framework for the sticky issue of payments for ecosystem services (PES). It is one of the most advanced pieces of legislation of its type, but had been stuck in committee for five years. Here is the latest from Lima.

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This Week In Biodiversity: NMEBC Coverage, No Net Loss And New Finance

Ecosystem Marketplace’s coverage of last week’s National Mitigation and Ecosystem Banking conference includes a conversation with the incoming president of the National Mitigation Banking Association and a look at the Department of Interior’s new mitigation strategy. Outside of the conference, The Nature Conservancy and JP Morgan Chase launch an impact investment platform aiming to raise $1 billion for conservation projects. 

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Voices From Denver: Mitigation Bankers Discuss New Measures And Role Of NGOs

Thursday at the National Mitigation and Ecosystem Banking Conference saw a lot of talk on species conservation specifically for the greater sage grouse and the recently listed lesser prairie chicken, with some disagreement over the best approach. Meanwhile, Ecosystem Marketplace chatted with new NMBA president Wayne White on the coming year.

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USFWS May Let State Agencies Take
The Lead on Crediting For Non-Listed Species

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is contemplating the creation of mitigation mechanisms that go beyond Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances and include crediting systems operated by individual state fish & wildlife agencies. Formal commenting won’t open until autumn, but the ideas are already circulating at the National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference in Denver.

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After Turbulent Year, Mitigation Bankers Meet In Denver

The annual National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference begins today in Denver and runs through the end of the week, capping a turbulent year that saw the emergence of controversial voluntary mitigation programs and the deployment of a new mitigation strategy by the Department of the Interior. Here are some of the issues we’ll be following.