News Articles

This Week in Biodiversity

Last week, Ecosystem Marketplace released the 2011 Update: State of Biodiversity Market.  This Monday, Ecosystem Marketplace and Mission Markets is hosting a webinar that looks at the update and features experts discusses the current status of biodiversity markets.  Details about this plus the latest news on financing biodiversity inside this weeks Mitigation Mail.

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 here.

7 July 2011 | If you have not yet had a look at the 2011 Update: State of Biodiversity Markets that we released last Monday, take a look for a quick review of developments around the globe. Then join us this Monday, 11 July, as we team up with Mission Markets for a webinar, “Biodiversity Markets: Challenges and Opportunities in the Developing World” to review the latest global activity in biodiversity markets from our 2011 Update report, and convene an expert discussion on challenges and opportunities in biodiversity markets in the developing world.

Webinar details: Monday, 11 July 2011 10:00 am EDT (2:00 pm GMT). Register here.

Read on for all the latest news in financial incentives for biodiversity conservation.
—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team

If you have comments or would like to submit news stories, write to us at mitmail@ecosystemmarketplace.com

News

Biodiversity Market Tops $3 Billion in 2010

 

Despite – or, perhaps, because of – a still-recovering economy, biodiversity markets achieved a record volume in 2010, with the value of transactions topping US $3 billion, according to a new report by Ecosystem Marketplace, the 2011 Update: State of Biodiversity Markets released on June 27th.

 

The report, a companion piece to last year’s State of Biodiversity Markets report, summarizes the latest activity in compensatory mitigation programs and policies around the world over the past year. The report also identified a massive gap between developed and developing-country use of biodiversity offsets and banking, and some intriguing new players in the biodiversity market (One word: Wal-mart).

 

Read more here
Download the report

UK to Pilot Biodiversity Banking in 2012

In an effort to promote more efficient and effective conservation, the UK will start piloting mitigation banks in 2012. A two-year pilot phase is planned with banking projects taking place on a voluntary basis, before kicking into a compliance regime in 2014. The initiative is being spearheaded by the UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra), which is currently seeking local authorities in England interested in participating in the pilots. This comes after several attempts to quantify the economic value of UK biodiversity.

Learn more from Ecosystem Marketplace

Montreal Talks Focus on International Commerce for Genetic Resources

Last month, the Convention on Biological Diversity held discussions on kick-starting mechanisms to implement the 2010 Nagoya Protocol, which focuses on how countries will share the benefits from the sustainable use of genetic resources. The ratification of the protocol would ultimately increase the economic and social value of these genetic resources. In a short amount of time, the CBD has already picked up just short of 30 countries signing the treaty, with 50 nations needed to bring the protocol into force.

Read more here


Mitigation News

France’s Habitat Banking “Experiment” Picks up Steam

France’s first and only habitat bank, located in Provence, is finally getting some company. The French environment ministry has put out a call to tender for three more pilot banks, likely in Strasbourg, Lille, and Poitiers. The French government has recently cautiously embraced habitat banking with an eye to offsetting transportation infrastructure development.

Read more here

Business Still Wearing Blinders When it Comes to Biodiversity and Ecosystem Risk

In the latest issue of their “Sustainable Insight” newsletter, KPMG, Fauna and Flora International, and the UN Environmental Program Finance Initiative take a look at the risks posed to business by biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. They find that while risks can be significant, awareness is often low. Especially high-risk sectors identified include the food & beverage, oil & gas, mining, and banking sectors.

Download the “Sustainable Insight” newsletter here

Business and the CBD: if You’re not at the Table, You’re on the Menu

 

The Convention of Biological Diversity’s (CBD) “business.2020” magazine (48 pages) takes a look back at some of the activity of last year’s COP10, and highlights cases of business activities to help achieve 2020 CBD targets. While the mag doesn’t contain breaking news, the cases make for good plane/train/metro reading.


A quick run-down:

 

    • CBD leaders instruct business to get involved – both through actions within their company, and also by influencing the CBD – aka attending meetings (development of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans http://www.cbd.int/nbsap/, attending a “high-level session on business and biodiversity” at the next COP http://biodiversity-l.iisd.org/events/cbd-cop-11/ )
    • From the business side, there are a multitude of stories of how business are or are planning to help achieve CBD 2020 targets. Approaches vary, based on whether a company impacts biodiversity directly or indirectly or are dependent on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
    • Organizations helping business to understand impacts and potential actions are also highlighted, including: PWC consulting, BBOP, WBCSD, UNEP-FI, etc.

 

 

Download Business.2020 Magazine June 2011

It’s 2010 All Over Again…

 

A meeting of EU environment ministers on June 21st on the European Commission’s new biodiversity strategy, which aims to halt biodiversity loss on the continent by 2020, produced a lot of debate but little in the way of action. Ministers approved a set of targets proposed to guide the European Commission’s new biodiversity strategy, but not the twenty concrete measures that would have implemented them. Italy and Denmark refused to back even the targets, citing concerns about the biodiversity strategy’s cost and the targets’ lack of clarity. The new strategy comes on the heels of the EU’s failure to meet its goal of halting to biodiversity loss by 2010.

 

 

Learn more here
Read the official EU biodiversity strategy

Innovative Financial Mechanisms – Round 2 Coming at CBD COP11?

While a decision on ‘Innovative Financial Mechanisms’ (IFM) was stuck from COP10 language last October, it appears that there are some minor movements afoot. Namely, that the EU has released a “submission of information concerning innovative financial mechanisms, pursuant to decision X/3, A, paragraph 8(c).” In the paper, the EU is supportive of some forms of IFM as a means of raising new resources, setting the stage for another look at IFM at the upcoming CBD COP11 in October.

Download the EU white paper here

New Study Shows the Poor’s Dependence on Forest Services

Forests may be as important as agriculture in providing income to the rural poor, according to preliminary findings of a Poverty and Environment Network (PEN) survey. The project, convened by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), aims to clarify exactly how natural capital contributes to livelihoods among the poor. Early findings suggest that more that “environmental income” from forests accounts for as much as a quarter of overall income and that deforestation tends to be driven by wealth, not poverty. A final report is expected in late 2011.

Read more about the study at the CIFOR blog

World Bank Funding for Madagascar Biodiversity Focuses on Local Livelihoods

The World Bank has pledged an additional $52 million for natural resource protection in Madagascar. Part of the funds is earmarked for ecosystem services payments and ecotourism development, while $15 million will go toward improving the livelihoods of communities living around protected areas, with an eye toward linking natural resource management with new income streams for the rural poor.

Learn more here

US MITIGATION NEWS

Private Mitigation Banks Come Out on Top in North Carolina’s Mitigation Hierarchy

In North Carolina, a new state legislature bill gives statutory preference to mitigation banking – in other words, all parties needing to offset environmental impacts must look to private mitigation banks first, rather than the state’s Ecosystem Enhancement Program (EEP). The EEP itself is also now required to contract with restoration companies rather than doing the projects itself. The EEP has recently come under criticism for high-cost, poorly-planned projects .

Learn more here

BP Hands over $1 Billion to Jump-Start Restoration Projects in the Gulf

BP has agreed to make an advance payment of $1 billion for ecological restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico. The money, intended to help compensate for damages caused by BP’s oil spill last spring, will be split between five states and two federal agencies. A Natural Resource Damage Assessment is still ongoing; when a final bill is presented to BP for damages, the $1 billion will be deducted. In the meantime, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar says, “This milestone agreement will allow us to jump-start restoration projects that will bring Gulf Coast marshes, wetlands and wildlife habitat back to health.”

Read more here

Digging up Wetland Mitigation Prices or Costs

Ah, the places we find wetland mitigation prices… In a Columbus, Mississippi local meeting , a District representative griped about the cost of wetland mitigation prices from a bank in nearby Monroe County: $30,000 an acre. A local news article out of Johnson County, Iowa about wetland restoration for quarry impacts notes “Wetland mitigation can cost $15,000 an acre to replace swamps to $40,000 an acre to replace woods.” In Clair County, Michigan , the road commission recently “purchased 13.05 acres of property, a total cost of $139,450, for wetland mitigation. The property consists of 8.3 acres of wetlands and 4.75 acres of uplands.”

 

EVENTS

 

Ecosystem Services in Urban Areas Seminar 2011

This seminar will provide a platform to exchange information and ideas, based on the presentation of the cutting-edge research on the different perspectives on the value of ecosystem services in urban areas. 15-16 July 2011. Lodz, lí³dzkie, Poland.

Read more here

2011 International Biodiversity Conference

 

Share new trends in biodiversity conservation and tropical ecology at the 2011 International Biodiversity Conference, a symposium sponsored by our nonprofit group based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Wild Spots Foundation, a 501c3 group, started this biodiversity conference to help promote and protect biodiversity around the world. We invite college professors and field experts in wildlife conservation who teach biology, biodiversity, geography, geology, and life science to participate in our event. 29 July – 4 August 2011. Baí±os, Ecuador.

 

Read more about the conference here

2011 International Biodiversity Conference

 

Share new trends in biodiversity conservation and tropical ecology at the 2011 International Biodiversity Conference, a symposium sponsored by our nonprofit group based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Wild Spots Foundation, a 501c3 group, started this biodiversity conference to help promote and protect biodiversity around the world. We invite college professors and field experts in wildlife conservation who teach biology, biodiversity, geography, geology, and life science to participate in our event. 29 July – 4 August 2011. Baí±os, Ecuador.

 

Read more about the conference here

The National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration

Initiated by the University of Florida, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, NCER is dedicated to both small and large scale ecosystem restoration programs around the country. 1-5 August 2011. Baltimore, Maryland.

Read more about the conference here

Earth Stewardship: Preserving and enhancing the earth’s life-support systems

This conference brings together those practicing stewardship across all sectors to share ideas and innovations. 7-12 August. Austin, Texas.

Read more about the conference here

13th BIOECON Annual Conference

 

More information forthcoming. 11-13 September. Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Read more here

Ecosystem Services: Integrating Science and Practice 4th International ESP Conference

This conference aims to provide a continuous platform for researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to exchange information and ideas about new developments and pressing issues on the Science and Practice of Ecosystem Services (and to strengthen the partnership). 4-7 October. Wageningen, Gelderland, Netherlands.

Read more here

CBD COP11

The 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be held from 8-19 October. The High Level Segment will be held from 17-19 October 2012. The provisional agenda includes consideration of: the status of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their Utilization; implementation of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; issues related to financial resources and the financial mechanism; and more. 8-19 October, Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), India.

Read more about the meeting here

UNEP-FI Global Roundtable “The Tipping Point: Sustained Stability in the Next Economy”

UNEP FI’s 2011 Global Roundtable is the perfect opportunity to cast a spotlight on what the sustainable development agenda means for the world’s finance, investment and insurance sectors. 19-20 October 2011. Washington, DC.

Read more here

SAC-SEPA Biennial conference: Valuing Ecosystems: Policy, Economic and Management Interactions

This conference will seek to present not only the best possible scientific understanding of the complexities associated with the delivery of multiple ecosystem services but also provide a forum to raise and discuss what still needs to be done to have an ecosystem approach recognised and supported by land managers, researchers and policy makers. 3-4 April 2012. Edinburgh, Scotland.

Read more about the conference here

JOB OPENINGS

Environmental Defense Fund Catch Share Design Center Deputy Director

EDF’s Catch Share Design Center (CSDC) provides cutting edge tools and information to fishery managers, fishermen, and other interested stakeholders in order to advance the development and implementation of catch share programs worldwide.

 

The CSDC Deputy Director will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies that advance these goals both directly and through the work of the Oceans Program’s regional teams, including those in Latin America and Europe.

Click here for details

Graduate Research Assistantship: Payments for Forest Ecosystem Services, Colorado and Rocky Mountain Region

 

The Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship at Colorado State University is recruiting a graduate student to assist in a project to assess the benefits and drawbacks of different institutional arrangements to enhancing forest ecosystem services and payments for ecosystem services in Colorado, and across the Rocky Mountain region. The successful applicant will work with Dr. Tony Cheng and Dr. Josh Goldstein in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at CSU.

 

Click here for details

US Department of Agriculture, Management and Program Analyst (Land/Resource Tenure and Climate Change Specialist)

 

The Office’s Land Tenure Unit addresses land (and other resource tenure) and property rights challenges to: stimulate economic growth, agriculture and trade; mitigate violent conflict, promote good governance and address humanitarian crises; mitigate the spread of HIV/AIDS; address global climate change; and promote sustainable natural resource use and the protection of biodiversity.


The incumbent will work with the land tenure unit and the Agency’s Senior Land Tenure and Property Rights Advisor to support the Agency’s objectives in addressing and mitigating challenges resulting from climate change. The incumbent advises USAID central and regional bureaus, field missions, other U.S. Government agencies and host-country decision-makers on best practices in addressing resource tenure challenges, particularly as they relate to adapting to or mitigating climate change.

 

Additional resources

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