News & Articles

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Close To $25 Billion Spent To Secure Green Infrastructure Worldwide In 2015

As the global water crisis mounts, countries, cities and businesses funneled billions of dollars into market-based investments that conserve and restore forests, mangroves, wetlands and grasslands to secure reliable and clean water, says Ecosystem Marketplace’s latest report tracking watershed investments, released today.

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Is this Man’s ‘Nutrient Farm’ the Mitigation Bank of Tomorrow?

Veteran Chicago hydrologist Don Hey has been arguing for decades that his region could slash its water control costs by taking better care of swamps and floodplains. Local politicians are finally listening – and supporting him on a massive market-based wetland restoration effort that could help ratchet up the scale of mitigation banking across the United States.

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As Investors Push Climate Risk Into Limelight, Deforestation Follows

Corporate exposure to “forest risk commodities” like soy and timber is murky and opaque, but new research shows it could top $900 billion per year. Now, as institutional investors push companies in all sectors to come clean on their climate-change liabilities and exposure, their impacts on forests could become clearer as well.

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Register Now: Limited Slots For Thursday Water Webinar

In China, Peru, the United States and elsewhere, nature-based interventions to manage water supplies is on the rise, and governments, companies and water providers are establishing some innovative ways to finance it. Ecosystem Marketplace’s latest State of Watershed Investment report tracks global payments for green infrastructure for water, and report authors will present key findings during a December 15th launch webinar.

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Tillerson For Secretary Of State Adds Another Layer Of Uncertainty To US Role In Climate Talks

Rex Tillerson heads up the world’s largest publicly owned oil and gas company and, as the President-Elect’s choice for secretary of state, may lead the United States in climate change negotiations over the next four years. Tillerson’s record on climate action is a mixed bag, and policy experts say backtracking on the Paris Agreement would have adverse effects on the Trump administration’s international goals.

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Of Milk And Money, Part One: How Agroforestry Is Reshaping The Kenyan Countryside

Consumer-facing companies like Danone and Mars have pledged to slash their greenhouse-gas emissions, in part by purging deforestation from their supply chains – a process that requires helping hundreds of thousands of farmers change the way they grow their crops. In this series, we’ll take a deep dive into the Kenyan milk market, and see how the revival of agroforestry is restoring soils – and may slow climate change.

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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.

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Trump Inheriting Healthy System of Environmental Markets, New Data Shows

US President-Elect Donald Trump is inheriting a healthy system of ecosystem markets, thanks in part to measures implemented by the Obama administration, but the exact growth has been difficult to quantify and understand. A new “Atlas of Ecosystem Markets” aims to change that by distilling data from several sources into a clear, simple, mapping tool for regulators, researchers, and users.

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The Trillion-Dollar Deforestation Time Bomb And How To Defuse It

Two new reports show that global corporations are both victims and perpetrators of deforestation. One report shows they could lose nearly $1 trillion per year if current trends continue. The other shows that nearly 60% of the roughly 250 companies most responsible for deforestation have no viable strategy for fixing the problem.

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Biodiversity Convention Continues To Look To Mainstreaming To Halt Global Decline

For practitioners working in the biodiversity conservation space, the global biodiversity talks getting underway in Mexico will be one of implementation and for figuring out the tools and methods to save the world’s flora and fauna rather than for eye-catching political decisions and commitments. Participants agree that one method to save biodiversity, mainstreaming conservation, will dominate the talks.

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Which US States Are Already Honoring The Paris Climate Agreement?

When Donald Trump won the US presidential election, climate optimists said US cities and states would fill any leadership gaps that opened at the federal level. Now six US states have agreed to track and disclose greenhouse gas emissions under the Global Compact of States and Regions, and to meet the Paris Agreement targets.

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Can “Radical Transparency” Save Forests And Slow Climate Change?

If a Trump presidency neuters the US federal government’s efforts to combat climate change, as many expect, then “non-state” actors like cities and companies – as well as consumers and watchdogs – must fill the gap. A new platform called “Trase” aims to help, by introducing “radical transparency” to global supply chains.

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A Path Forward for Forests And The Planet

Over 100 nations identify forest conservation and restoration as part of their strategy to fight climate change, something Forest Trends’ founding President and CEO Michael Jenkins considers a major milestone. And as 2016 winds down, Jenkins reflects on the 17 year history of Forest Trends, the progress the organization has made and the work that it still intends to do.

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Stay The Course With Environmental Markets Benefitting Business And Rural Landowners

The 30 year old marketplace for ecological assets, recently valued at $100 billion, may be changing the face of real estate in the United States. A long-time market analyst says these changes fit perfectly with streamlined government programs catering to rural America, business and industry – constituencies poised to realize both revenue opportunities and higher property values derived from eco-assets.

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Bridging The Rural-Urban Divide With Collaborative Landscape Management Tools

Real social and economic dislocation led nearly half of US voters to reject the political establishment and elect Donald Trump as the nation’s next president despite racist and xenophobic rhetroic, says EcoAgriculture Partners’ Sara Scherr. Here, she reflects on what the results mean for those working in sustainable agriculture landscapes domestically and abroad.

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Now on Bionic Planet: Voices From Marrakesh

Two weeks after the US presidential election, the US role in the Paris Climate Agreement remains foggy. While few expect the US to continue its leadership role in the fight to slow climate change, many believe a Trump administration will treat the Agreement with benign neglect rather than kick up a storm trying to withdraw from the deal. Here is an audio mosaic distilled from interviews we conducted during the talks.

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Swedish Court Rules Myanmar “Green Book” Inadequate For EU Importers

In a first-of-its-kind case, Swedish Administrative Courts ruled certification through the Myanmar Forest Products Merchans’ Federation did not prove that wood imported into Sweden was harvested legally. The ruling has a host of implications for timber regulation in the European Union, and likely will raise the bar in the United States regarding Due Diligence on imported timber, Forest Trends’ Jade Saunders explains.

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$5.5 Million Investment For The Climate Trust Seeds Carbon Investment Fund

The Climate Trust recently secured a $5.5 million Program-Related Investment to seed its carbon investment fund, which launched earlier this year with funding from a Conservation Innovation Grant. With this funding secured, the group is now ready to invest in US-based carbon offset projects.

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Post-Hurricane Matthew: How Can We Restore Waterways To Better Protect Communities?

The large floodplains and broad vegetated buffers of a stream restoration site near Raleigh, North Carolina significantly reduced flooding when Hurricane Matthew tore through the state. As the frequency of extreme weather events is only expected to rise, developing with nature in mind is increasingly critical, says Environmental Defense Fund’s Paxton Ramsdell.

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Forest Tracking Tools More Important Than Ever

A new online tool charts a commodities’ journey from production to consumption, and can aid companies and practitioners’ efforts to cleanse deforestation from supply chains. The sector is calling for more transparency tools as it faces greater policy uncertainty with the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

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Investors See Rockier Road To Low-Carbon Economy Under Trump, But No Dead End

Climate talks are continuing here in Marrakesh, with world leaders vowing to either reach out to the new US administration or continue without them. Investors, meanwhile say the business case for renewables and sustainable agriculture remains strong, but corporate leadership on climate remains elusive.

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Peru’s Amarakaeri People Learn To Have Their Nuts And Sell Them, Too

The indigenous people of Peru’s Amarakaeri Communal Reserve are conserving 400,000 hectares of forest while also feeding their families – in part by sustainably harvesting Brazil nuts. To do so, however, they’ll have to forge relationships with trusted suppliers outside the territory and also find the sweet spot where they harvest enough to make a living but not so much that they deplete the ecosystem.

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In Marrakesh, Amarakaeri People Say REDD+ And Rights Must Go Together

The indigenous people within the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve live along the border between Brazil and Peru, and they also act as a buffer between uncontacted people of the Amazon and the outside world. At climate talks in Marrakesh, they reiterated their openness to forest carbon projects that support their way of life – but only if that support is assured.

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How To Keep An Eye On Commodity Companies At The Marrakesh Climate Talks

The Paris Climate Agreement created a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in part by funneling money into programs that promote better management of forests, farms and fields. Negotiators will refine that agreement in Marrakesh this week and next, but it won’t mean a thing if businesses are welcomed – or cajoled – into the process, and in a big way.

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The Paris Agreement Takes Flight; What’s Next In Marrakesh?

Just days after the Paris Agreement enters into force, UN climate talks resume in Marrakesh, Morocco, where negotiators will focus on charting a roadmap to fully operationalize the historic global pact. And while there is no official agenda for REDD+ at these talks, Forest Trends’ Gustavo Silva-Chávez says discussions on markets and transparency among other topics will heavily impact its implementation.

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Transforming Agriculture From Threat To Solution For Environmental Challenges

The global narrative on agriculture expanded after Rio+20 to “sustainable intensification” and is now moving towards a vision, laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals, of sustainable agriculture systems and landscapes that secure food, ecosystem services and climate resilience, says Sara Scherr of EcoAgriculture Partners.

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How Latin American Farmers Can Make $1K Per Hectare By Restoring Land

Twenty percent of the forests and farmland of Latin America and the Caribbean have been degraded by over logging, overgrazing, and overplowing, according to the World Resources Institute, which says that restoring just 20 million hectares can generate $23 billion in net benefits over the next 50 years and slow climate change.

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To See Or Not To See: Transparency And The Climate Conundrum

In the lead-up to last year’s Paris Climate Talks, thousands of companies pledged to slash their greenhouse-gas emissions – hundreds of them by reducing their impact on forests. One year on, companies that publish progress reports seem to be keeping their promises – but progress is only reported on half of all commitments.

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The Ripple Effect Of California Cap And Trade

While it isn’t without policy uncertainty, the relative stability of California’s carbon cap and trade scheme has strengthened both compliance and voluntary carbon markets, says The Climate Trust’s Dick Kempka. Here, he explains the program’s positive effect, and pushes for more states and regions in the US to adopt cap and trade in order to meet national climate change goals.

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New Bond Aims To Unlock Private Investment To Protect Forests

While most agree forests have a critical role to play in curbing climate change, forest protection programs continue to struggle to attract capital. But a new investment mechanism could help bridge the finance gap through a unique component that gives investors the option of receiving interest payments in the form of environmental impact. Called the Forests Bond, it supports a REDD project in Kenya’s Kasigau Corridor.

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Fixing Water By Fixing Forests: Building Successful Watershed Investment Programs In The US

Watershed investment programs can reduce the costs of managing water while delivering community benefits but they’re underused because mobilizing support is difficult and funding can be hard to come by. The World Resources Institute is attempting to ease the burden with a new one-stop resource that offers detailed guidance on what it takes to create a successful watershed investment program.

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Yawanawa Indigenous Leaders Tell Their Comeback Story At TEDWomen 2016

The Yawanawa tribe of the Amazon rainforest are in the midst of a rebirth, one that involves access to education, leadership roles for women and economic projects that sustainably utilize forest resources. The Yawanawa people’s journey back from the brink involves a life plan that guides them in preserving their territory and traditions, and fighting climate change in the process. At a TEDWoman talk today, the Yawanawa people tell their story.

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Is Your Company Leaving Value On The Table?

Companies that focus only on the bottom line often can’t see over the horizon, and they certainly can’t see how their activities impact others. That impact, long recognized as a looming risk, is increasingly being seen as an opportunity to both secure sustainable supplies of raw materials and win the loyalty of discerning consumers.

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Wednesday In Washington: Explore Latest Developments In Forest-Carbon Finance

Year-end climate talks begin on November 7, and the latest State of Forest Carbon Finance Report, to be released Wednesday, documents a massive uptick in forest-carbon finance – an uptick that still falls far short of the amount needed to end deforestation, which pumps 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere yearly. Join us to learn how the Paris Agreement might change this equation.

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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.

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Will New Aviation Deal Save Forests?

On Thursday, 65 countries representing 83% of international aviation agreed to cap their greenhouse-gas emissions from international flights at 2020 levels from 2021 onward – in part by forcing airlines to offset emissions above that threshold, perhaps by funding programs that save forests and support sustainable agriculture around the world. A final decision on offset types, however, isn’t expected until 2018

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How Agroforestry Can Shield Haiti From The Next Hurricane

We won’t know the toll of Hurricane Matthew for days or even weeks, but we do know that it will be much higher than it would have been if the country had healthy forests, and that an economy of desperation is driving deforestation there. Environmental markets have managed to save and restore forests around the world, but can that approach work in Haiti?

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Fighting Climate Change From 36,000 Feet

As member states to the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization finalize a market-based measure to reduce emissions from airplanes, Forest Trends President, Michael Jenkins, urges them to include REDD+ programs. Such an inclusion would not only boost tropical forest protection, Jenkins says, but it would also deliver benefits to biodiversity and local and indigenous communities.

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How Food Production And Climate Change Are Intertwined

When it comes to global warming, major media tend to focus on industrial emissions, but agriculture is still the world’s leading driver of climate change, which in turn can decimate the world’s forests, farms, and fields – putting our entire food supply at risk. Here’s a primer on the tumultuous relationship between food and climate, and how we can make that relationship a happy one.

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The Asháninka People Of The Amazon Are Saving The Forest, And Doing It Their Way

A quarter-century ago, the Asháninka people reclaimed a portion of their ancestral territory in the Amazon rainforest and embarked on a journey toward self-rule and sustainable development – sparking in the process the creation of an indigenous ecosystem services protocol that could have repercussions for indigenous people across the Amazon.

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Paris Agreement Takes Center Stage At Climate Week

This year’s Climate Week is shaping up to be a historic one as 31 countries officially joined the Paris Agreement today, which is expected to rocket into force before the end of the year. This brings the total count to 60 countries, exceeding the threshold of 55, and 48% of global emissions, which falls just below the required amount. UN officials and national leaders are confident the world will cross that threshold within the coming months.

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Indonesia Becomes First Country To Use EU Certification To Combat Illegal Logging

Indonesia and the European Union jointly announced last week that Indonesia will become the first country in the world to export “verified legal” timber to the EU through a licensing system that certifies legal wood. The program is designed to improve the efficiency of trade in legal timber while still ensuring the paper and furniture products coming into the EU are indeed lawful.

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As 2020 Deadline Looms, Companies Must Step Up To Meet Deforestation Commitments

All around the world, farmers are accelerating climate change by chopping trees to meet our ravenous appetite for palm oil, soy, and other commodities. At the same time, scores of companies have made hundreds of commitments designed to end that, and almost 60% of those commitments have a deadline of 2020 or earlier.

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Applying The Water-Energy-Food Nexus In The Amazon

Deforestation in the Amazon has a ripple effect through the region disrupting ecosystem services and undermining food, water and energy security. The Global Canopy Programme says coherency among policy-making can help, and in a new policy brief outlines how some Amazon countries would benefit from following the integrated approaches of the water-energy-food nexus.

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Forest Restoration Gets A Tiny Fraction Of The Money It Needs. How To Fill The Gap?

Despite plenty of political momentum for forest restoration, only about 17% of funding needs are met each year with very little of that coming from the private sector. However the World Resources Institute and partners have crafted a plan to scale restoration so it delivers environmental and financial returns which should entice larger private investments.

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The Next Agriculture Revolution Is Under Our Feet

The topic of soil might not grab the headlines, but the fact of the matter is soil health is critical in ensuring healthy communities, land, water and climate. Achieving healthy soil today requires innovative practices alongside innovative finance and practitioners say this starts with collaboration among government agencies, experts and farmers.