This week, Ecosystem Marketplace’s SpeciesBanking.com has gone global. The site will continue to include data about North American biodiversity programs and policies but now it will also have information on programs and policies from around the world driving markets for biodiversity protection. This week’s Mitigation Mail fills you in on the details and brings you the latest news from around the world of biodiversity.
NOTE: This article has been reprinted from Ecosystem Marketplace’s Mitigation Mail newsletter. You can receive this summary of global news and views from the world of biodiversity automatically in your inbox by clicking here.
9 March 2011 | Many of our readers may be aware of Ecosystem Marketplace’s SpeciesBanking.com website. The website has been a leading source of news and information on the North American mitigation banking sector, and now we’re going global to include biodiversity compensation mechanisms around the world. The expansion follows the publication last year of State of Biodiversity Markets: Offset and Compensation Programs Worldwide, which documented $2 billion in performance-based financing for habitat preservation. Such mechanisms are becoming increasingly popular as cash-strapped governments look to promote economic growth while preserving endangered species habitat.
Last year’s ‘International Year of Biodiversity’ and 10th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP10) catalyzed many governments to consider policies and programs that might drive markets for biodiversity protection. In these early stages of market and institutional development, transparency and the democratization of information are critical, and SpeciesBanking.com provides just that.
The global annual market for biodiversity offsets, compensation and bank credits is around $2 billion and likely much more since this nascent biodiversity market has largely developed under the radar. By expanding SpeciesBanking.com to cover developments around the world, we hope to build a clearinghouse of biodiversity offset data from information on fish habitat banks in Canada to policy developments on biodiversity offsets in Mongolia and everyplace in between.
SpeciesBanking.com was launched in December of 2008, focusing on species credit trading in the United States. Although the US still remains the most active player in ‘banking’ (with over 900 species, wetland and stream banks), this “re-launch” of SpeciesBanking.com expands the focus to the global stage. We now showcase information on 27 habitat banks around the world, and over 60 policies and programs that provide the underlying drivers for biodiversity markets.
With governments promising to halve biodiversity loss by 2020 while watching coffers slide into crisis mode, these policies and programs provide examples of new mechanisms to incentivize investments in biodiversity restoration and protection.
We’ve also expanded US information available, providing a downloadable dataset of 832 wetland and stream mitigation banks in the US — data which has been elusive even through government channels.
Finally, we provide a dataset of biodiversity Payments for Ecosystem Services programs not tied to biodiversity impacts and compensation. These largely government-run programs dole out around $2 billion annually to biodiversity outcomes through biodiversity-friendly agricultural payment programs, debt-for-nature swaps, and more.
SpeciesBanking.com will be debuted in an online live webinar launch later this month, and we’ll be sure to send an invite when details become available.
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Read on for a full round-up of this month’s latest news on financial incentives for biodiversity conservation.
—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team
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