Community Forum Newsletter
 
Ecosystem Marketplace, Marketplace eNewsletter

October 3, 2008

From the Editors

The Ecosystem Marketplace's Community Forum
Connecting people to ecosystem markets

Welcome to the Community Forum, a newsletter dedicated to providing information on community-based payments for ecosystem services from around the world.

In this issue’s “Around the World” section, we highlight initiatives by investment groups to conserve biodiversity by presenting the decision of a major bank in France to invest in restoration and/or compensation for environmental degradation and the initiative of a private equity fund to protect and restore degraded lands in Malaysia by delivering Biodiversity Conservation Certificates. We then present a commentary by Brett Swallow from ABS which discusses the findings of a new study which shows that the drivers of deforestation are no longer small-scale actors, but instead a few select corporations. We continue by presenting the results from another Science study which argues that individual transferable quotas, or catch shares, in fisheries management can provide market-based incentives for long-term sustainable use of local fisheries and help to avoid fisheries’ collapse. We end this section with the Oasis project – a PES project providing water services in São Paolo, Brazil - which recently won the Brazilian Water Award. We then move to our “Viewpoint” section which provides the link to a short (10min) video documenting a PES project in Lijiang, China and the experiences of people involved. In our “Resources and Tools” section, we present the Community Portal, Forest Trends’ new site connecting communities to ecosystem markets. We follow by providing links to a very informative and entertaining mapping tool allowing users to change the world with a click; a new FAO soil database accounting for carbon storage; and India’s new environmental portal. Finally, take a look at our “Opportunities” section at the end of the newsletter for information on positions that are available in the field, funding sources and interesting conferences and publication opportunities.

We hope you enjoy this edition of the Community Forum!

-Karina Benessaiah, Community Forum

For comments or questions, please email: communityforum@ecosystemmarketplace.com
Sign up to receive the Community Forum on a regular basis
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To sign up to receive the Katoomba Group newsletter on payment for ecosystem services in Tropical America please e-mail Rebecca Vonada.

To sign up to receive the Katoomba Group newsletter on payment for ecosystem services in East & Southern Africa, please e-mail Alice Ruhweza.


News Report

French bank invests in Biodiversity, a first in the hexagon’s finance world
Based on an article by Laurence Caramel, Le Monde, February 19th, 2008

The French investment group ‘Caisse de Dépôt et Consignations’ (CDC) announced its decision to open a subsidiary group CDC-Biodiversity endowed with 15 million Euros that will be invested in nature conservation markets - an innovative move in the French finance world inspired by investment groups in the US, which are legally required to compensate for environmental impacts since the 1972 Clean Water Act. These compensations include often times pricey ecosystem restorations and the creation of protected areas of equivalent value. In France, 60,000 hectares are lost every year to urban expansion with only 3000 hectares being compensated for in the case of particularly valuable (and valued) ecosystems. To justify these actions, developers emphasize the absence of practical solutions; a gap which the CDC aims to fill by proposing to finance compensation projects. Initially, the CDC will respond on a case-by-case basis to project proposals before eventually taking a more proactive role, anticipating demand by developing projects for sale in biodiversity or carbon markets.

A first deal was signed with the highway industry, the ‘société des autoroutes du Sud de la France’ (ASF), whose projects in the Atlantic Pyrénées, near Bayonne, will encroach on wetlands harbouring the European mink, one of the most endangered mammals of the continent. Details remain unknown but generate many questions: what is the value of one hectare of mink habitat? Can we reconstitute ecosystems in their complexity? The task is not impossible but “everything cannot be compensated for and should not be destroyed” states Laurent Piermont, the architect of CDC-Biodiversity, to prevent criticisms.

CDC’s initiative generates interest and criticisms among environmentalists. ‘France Nature Environnement’ (FNE) sees the opportunity to apply the law while others like the World Wild Fund (WWF) fear that putting a value on biodiversity will lead to recognition of the right to destroy. “One of the risks is to protect endangered species and to continue sacrificing ordinary nature” says Jean-Stéphane Devisse of the WWF. To support this risky venture, the CDC will depend on the support of well respected scientists reunited in a committee, such as Jacques Weber of the French Biodiversity Institute and Robert Barbault of the National Natural History Museum. The National Strategy on Biodiversity, adopted in 2004, will help define conservation priorities. In the works for many years, the project was announced in the midst of the environment forum in Grenelle; “it is time for urban and land planning documents to respect the principle of biodiversity conservation” declares French president Nicolas Sarkozy in October 2007.

- Read the original article (in French)
- Consult the CDC-Biodiversity site (in French)

 
Une banque à la rescousse de l’environnement- le CDC investit dans la biodiversité
D’après un article de Laurence Caramel, Le Monde, 19 Février 2008

La caisse de dépôt et consignations (CDC) crée une filiale CDC-Biodiversité dotée d’un capital de 15 millions d’euros qui investira dans le marché de la protection de la nature- une primeur dans le monde financier français qui s’inspire du modèle étasunien où chaque investisseur doit légalement compenser, depuis le Clean Water Act (1972), les dégâts environnementaux occasionnés. Ces compensations incluent la restauration d’écosystèmes endommagés ou par la création d’aires protégées d’importance écologique équivalente; des mesures qui peuvent coûter gros. En France, chaque année, 60,000 hectares d’espaces naturels sont perdus face à l’expansion urbaine. Seuls 3000 hectares seraient compensés dans les cas d’écosystèmes particulièrement précieux. Pour se justifier, les maîtres d'ouvrage, collectivités ou entreprises ont jusqu'à présent mis en avant l'absence de solution pratique. C'est cette faille que la CDC ambitionne de combler en proposant de mener sur le terrain des projets de compensation. Dans un premier temps, il est prévu de répondre au cas par cas aux demandes. Par la suite, à l'instar de ce que font les banques américaines depuis plus de trente ans, il n'est pas exclu d'anticiper cette demande en acquérant des terrains pour préserver ou régénérer des milieux qui serviront à alimenter un marché de crédits biodiversité, comme il existe un marché de crédits carbone pour lutter contre le réchauffement.

Un premier accord a été signé avec la société des Autoroutes du sud de la France (ASF), dont les projets d'extension de l'A63 autour de Bayonne (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) empiètent sur des zones humides qui abritent le vison d'Europe, un des mammifères les plus menacés du continent. Les détails demeurent inconnus mais suscitent plusieurs interrogations : quelle est la valeur d’un hectare d’habitat de vison? Peut-on reconstituer les écosystèmes dans leur complexité ? Les experts ne jugent pas la tâche insurmontable mais "tout n'est pas compensable, ce qui ne l'est pas ne doit pas être détruit", s'empresse de préciser l'architecte de CDC-Biodiversité, Laurent Piermont, pour prévenir les critiques.

L'initiative de la CDC suscite autant d'intérêt que de défiance parmi les écologistes. France Nature Environnement (FNE) y voit l'occasion de faire enfin appliquer la loi. D'autres comme WWF redoutent que cette mise en équation financière de la biodiversité ne conduise à la reconnaissance d'un droit à détruire. "L'un des risques est de concentrer la protection sur les espèces menacées et de continuer à sacrifier la nature jugée ordinaire", redoute Jean-Stéphane Devisse du WWF. Pour border une aventure qu'elle sait risquée, la Caisse s'appuiera sur la caution des scientifiques les plus reconnus comme Jacques Weber, de l'Institut français de la biodiversité et Robert Barbault, du Museum national d'histoire naturelle, réunis dans un comité scientifique. La stratégie nationale pour la biodiversité, adoptée en 2004, servira à définir les priorités de conservation. En gestation depuis des années, le projet voit le jour en pleine dynamique du Grenelle de l'environnement. "Il est temps que les documents d'urbanisme et de planification respectent le principe du maintien de la biodiversité", avait déclaré Nicolas Sarkozy, en octobre 2007.

- Lire l'article en entier
- Consulter le site de CDC-Biodiversité

 
Maylasian rainforest protected by a jointly managed equity funds- Purchase a Biodiversity Conservation Certificates
Based on WorldWire August 13th, 2008

The Eco Products Fund, a private equity fund managed by New Forests Inc. of Washington, DC, Equator Environmental of New York City, and the government of Sabah, Maylasia launched the Malua Wildlife Conservation Bank in August 2008. The Malua BioBank will use the multimillion dollar investment to restore and protect 34,000 hectares of formerly logged lands which buffer the Danum Valley Conservation Area, a virgin lowland tropical rainforest, from oil palm plantations. The bank will generate Biodiversity Conservation Certificates, with each certificate representing 100 square meters of rainforest restoration and protection. The sale of these certificates will endow a perpetual conservation trust and generate a return on investment to both local government and the investors. Any profit will be shared between the forest management license holder (Yayasan Sabah, a foundation established by the Sabah Government to improve the livelihoods of local citizens) and the Malua BioBank investor.

- Read the press release

 
Can deforestation best be tackled by changing corporate behavior?
Commentary by Brent Swallow, ABS Global Coordinator Nairobi

A new paper by Rhett Butler of Mongabay.com, a leading environmental science website focusing on tropical forests and William Laurance of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, claims that the major drivers of tropical deforestation have changed in recent decades. The authors report that the cause of deforestation has shifted from poverty-driven subsistence farming to major corporations razing forests for large-scale projects in mining, logging, oil and gas development, and agriculture. The authors argue that this may allow for more effective action against deforestation through targeting a small number of large corporations to change their behavior by appealing to their sense of corporate responsibility instead of targeting tens of thousands of small landowners. But has such a fundamental shift really occurred across the tropics? Brent Swallow, ABS Global coordinator in Nairobi, argues that it has not. Research by the ASB consortium in the late 1990s showed that smallholder farmers were only one of the major pressures on the land and forest resources in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Although recent hikes in commodity prices may be aggravating land-use pressures from corporations, smallholders also respond to commodity price increases, Swallows argues. He also claims that bulldozers have been present in the Amazon much longer than Butler and Laurance state (for example ranching in the Amazon for the last 20 years) and that a shift in commodity prices does not necessarily indicate that deforestation is driven by corporate behaviour.

- Butler, Rhett A and Laurance, William F. 2008. New strategies for conserving tropical forests. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. Volume 23, Issue 9, September 2008, Pages 469-472.
-   Read the article “Corporations become prime driver of deforestation, providing clear target for environmentalists” from Mongabay.com

 
Catch share fisheries are fifty-percent less likely to collapse claims Science study
By Costello, Gaines and Lynham (2008)


Based on statistical analyses of 11,135 fisheries from 1950 to 2003, researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara have found that catch shares halt and even reverse fisheries collapse. Pioneered in the 1980s, catch shares provide individual transferable quotas to fishermen for long-term use right of a fishery, thus creating incentives for sustainable use of the resource. The authors conclude that an institutional change can greatly alter the future of global fisheries. The study fails however to examine how catch shares come about. Indeed, the success of fisheries quotas is greatly dependent on the fishery itself (species, state, fishers’ numbers and technologies) as well as the political process which brought about the quota regime (fisher folks level of involvement). Interestingly, the study supports usually opposing views between those that believe that market-based mechanisms are the way forward (privatization of the fisheries) and those that support a strengthening of the fisheries commons. Catch shares seem to be doing both.

- Read Costello, Gaines and Lynham. 2008. “Can catch shares prevent fisheries collapse?” Science Vol. 321, No. 5896, 19 September 2008, pp. 1678-1681.

- Read “A Rising Tide” in The Economist (September 18th, 2008)
- Read “Economies of Scale” in The Economist (September 18th, 2008)

 
The Oasis project receives the Brazilian Environmental Award in the water category
By Mitsubishi International Corporation news release on August 1st, 2008

The Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) Foundation for the Americas has been supporting efforts by the O Boticário Foundation for Nature Protection since 2006 to conserve some of the last remaining areas of Atlantic Forest in Brazil. The $400,000 grant over five years to O Boticário Foundation's Oasis Project is using payments for ecosystem services to preserve a watershed responsible for supplying water to nearly four million inhabitants of the city of São Paulo. Also announced early this August in Rio de Janeiro, the Oasis project was selected to receive the Brazilian Environmental Award in the category of water management. The Award is an initiative by the American Chamber of Commerce to recognize the merits and practices of environmental conservation projects in Brazil. This is the second time that O Boticário Foundation has received this prestigious award, the last being in 2005 for a forest conservation project. The Oasis project, modeled partly on measures used to protect the watershed that serves New York City, offers payments to landowners for conservation easements aimed at preserving natural areas on their land. The goal for the first phase of the Oasis Project is to protect 2,500 hectares of private land under agreements to be signed between 2007 and 2011. Mitsubishi International Corporation's president and CEO, Mr. Ryoichi Ueda, who also serves as the Chairman of the MC Foundation for the Americas, stated that, "The MC Foundation for the Americas is proud to contribute both to the conservation of a threatened region of high biodiversity while also helping to ensure the sustainable supply of water for the people of São Paulo."

- Read the news release

- More information on the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas
- More information regarding the Fundação O Boticário de Proteção à Natureza
 

viewpoint

Payments for Ecosystem Services in Lijiang, China - Voices from the field
By The Natural Capital Project, Stanford

This video was created for The Natural Capital Project to document their payment for ecosystem services project in Lijiang, China. It provides a brief summary and diversified account of different stakeholders in China and their views on PES. A lively and interesting way to get a first hand impression of PES in the field.

- Watch the video

 

Resources and

 
Community Portal open!

The Community Portal, a new website designed to increase communities' knowledge about ecosystem services and how PES markets work, bridging the gap between providers and buyers of ecosystem services, was launched at the beginning of August 2008. An initiative of Forest Trends’ Community and Markets Program, the Community Portal is a multi-media information system that uses language and tools accessible to a broad audience at the community level. Information will be provided in a variety of media, such as downloadable booklets, brochures, newsletters, radio broadcasts, audio interviews and tutorials, among other materials.

Forest Trends' Communities and Markets Program seeks to link communities to environmental markets, working to create the awareness and capacity for communities to participate and benefit from payments and compensation schemes in recognition and retribution of their positive stewardship role of ecosystem services. We support communities' land tenure rights, particularly traditional communities, as their right and the basis for securing their cultural identity and economic development, and as a pre-condition for their successful participation in environmental markets. The program focuses on information sharing, capacity building and technical assistance for communities. The program pursues these goals in a variety of manners through integration with other Forest Trends programs and with strategic partnerships throughout the world.

- Access the Community Portal
- We would love to hear your feedback regarding the Community Portal. Please email Rebecca Vonada at rvonada (at) forest-trends.org with any feedback.

 
Changing the world a click at the time

Show ® , a new online tool created by Mapping Worlds, changes our view of the world by resizing countries on the global map according to a series of global indicators organized in five main categories (people, planet, business, politics, living). With just a click, users can see countries expand or shrink based on the indicator selected. A clear and very graphic way of visualizing global inequalities as is illustrated by the map to the right which shows carbon dioxide emissions in metric tons.

- To change the world, click here

 
Harmonized World Soil Database release by the FAO in July 2008
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has developed a new database to improve knowledge of current and future land productivity, as well as the carbon storage and carbon sequestration potential, of the world’s soils.

- Access the database

More on changing climate at India’s National Environment Portal
The National Knowledge Commission and the Center for Science and the Environment have recently launched India’s national portal on environment. The portal features special in-depth sections on subjects like climate change which provide the latest news and perspectives that are critical for policy as well as news and other resources.

- Visit the Portal

 

Opportunities

1) CONFERENCES, EVENTS AND PROJECTS

Micro-documentary film contest: Vulnerability exposed, social dimensions of climate change
Organization: World Bank | Deadline: October 24th, 2008

World Bank’s Social Development Department is pleased to announce the launch of a world-wide documentary competition that will highlight the social aspects of climate change as experienced and/or observed by the film-maker(s). The contest is open to anyone who wishes to have their voice heard. The submitted films should innovatively illustrate the consequences of climate change through one of the following theme categories: conflict, migration, the urban space, rural institutions, drylands, social policy, indigenous peoples, gender, governance, forests, and/or human rights. There are two award categories: 1) Social Dimensions of Climate Change Award (general category) and 2) Young Voices of Climate Change (youth category). The general category is open to professional and amateur; the youth category is open to entries submitted by filmmakers who are under 24 years old. Award winners will be chosen through a combination of public voting and a judging panel. The film with the most public votes in each theme category will receive an honorable mention. The Award Winners will receive an all expenses paid trip to Washington, DC for a screening of their film and will have the opportunity to attend a series of networking and learning events organized by the Social Development Department of the World Bank in December 2008.

- For more information about the contest

 
Compétition de micro-documentaires: Vulnérabilité exposée, les dimensions sociales du changement climatique
Organisation : Banque Mondiale | Date limite: le 24 Octobre 2008

Le département du Développement Social de la Banque mondiale a annoncé aujourd’hui le lancement d’une compétition internationale de micro-documentaires sur les aspects sociaux du changement climatique à travers l’expérience et le regard du réalisateur. Le concours est ouvert à toute personne souhaitant faire entendre sa voix. Les films devront illustrer de manière novatrice les conséquences du changement climatique à travers une des catégories suivantes: les conflits, les migrations, l'espace urbain, les institutions rurales, les terres arides, la politique sociale, les peuples autochtones, le genre, la gouvernance, les forêts et les droits de l'homme. Des prix seront décernés dans deux catégories: 1) les dimensions sociales du changement climatique (catégorie générale) et 2) Jeunes voix du changement climatique (catégorie jeunesse). La catégorie générale est ouverte à tous, amateurs et professionnels, tandis que la catégorie jeunesse est limitée aux cinéastes de moins de 24 ans. Les lauréats seront choisis par un vote du public et par un jury. Les lauréats recevront un voyage tous frais payés à Washington, DC pour une projection de leur film et auront l'occasion d'assister à une série de manifestations organisées par le département du développement social de la Banque mondiale en Décembre 2008.

- Pour plus de renseignements

 
Concurso de micro-documentales: Vulnerabilidad expuesta, las dimensiones sociales del cambio climático
Organización: Banco Mundial | Fecha Limite: 24 de Octubre 2008

El Departamento de Desarrollo Social del Banco Mundial anunció el lanzamiento del Concurso Internacional de Micro Documentales sobre los aspectos sociales del cambio climático a través de la experiencia y/u observación del director. En el concurso podrá participar cualquier persona que desea que su voz sea escuchada. Los micro documentales deben de ilustrar en una forma innovadora las consecuencias del cambio climático a través de una de las siguientes categorías: los conflictos, la migración, el espacio urbano, las instituciones rurales, las tierras áridas, la política social, los grupos indígenas, el género, la gobernabilidad, los bosques y los derechos humanos. Los premios serán otorgados dentro de dos categorías: 1) las Dimensiones Sociales del Cambio Climático (categoría general) y 2) Voces Jóvenes del Cambio Climático (categoría de la juventud). En la categoría general podrán participar principiantes y profesionales; mientras que la categoría de la juventud se encuentra limitada a cineastas menores de 24 años de edad. Los ganadores serán elegidos por voto del público y por un jurado. El micro-documental con la mayoría de los votos públicos recibirá una mención honorifica. Los ganadores recibirán un viaje todo pagado a Washington, DC. para presenciar la proyección de su micro documental y tendrán la oportunidad de asistir a una serie de eventos organizados por el Departamento de Desarrollo Social del Banco Mundial en diciembre 2008.

- Para mayor información

 
LEISA magazine - climate change issue
Deadline for regional edition: February 1st, 2009
The upcoming issue of the Leisa magazine is on climate change and resilience. It will look for concrete examples on how sustainable agriculture helps to build resilience. How do farmers perceive and deal with changes in their environment? How can their strategies be important in the years to come? Please send your stories!

- For more information, visit the website

 
Call for proposals: Addressing the climate vulnerabilities of urban Africa

To better prepare Africa's urban settlements for climate variability and change, the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) program invites combined research and capacity building proposals that address the vulnerabilities of Africa's urban centres to climate change, and will help urban stakeholders work together in developing adaptation options.
This call for proposals is co-funded by CCAA and IDRC's Urban Poverty and Environment program. The application and project development process is led by CCAA.


- Full details on this call
 
Faire face aux vulnérabilités aux changements climatiques des zones urbaines en Afrique

Pour mieux préparer le continent à trouver des solutions à la variabilité et aux changements climatiques en milieu urbain, le programme Adaptation aux changements climatiques en Afrique souhaite recevoir des propositions de recherche et de renforcement des capacités ayant pour objectif de remédier aux vulnérabilités aux changements climatiques des agglomérations urbaines de l'Afrique et de favoriser la collaboration des parties prenantes urbaines dans la mise en oeuvre de nouvelles options d'adaptation.
Cet appel à propositions est co-financé par ACCA et le programme Pauvreté Urbaine et Environnement (PUE) du CRDI. Le processus d'application et de développement des projets est conduit par ACCA.


- Tous les details sur cet appel

2) EMPLOYMENT AND FUNDING
Several positions available at Conservation International
Location: Variable | Deadline: Variable
Several positions are available at Conservation International including several position in the climate change team in marine climate change, forest carbon, adaptation, REDD and carbon policy. An internship in the indigenous and traditional peoples division is also available.

- Visit the Conservation International webpage to learn more.
 
$100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability
Deadline: October 3rd, 2008
The $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability celebrates individuals whose inventions and innovations enhance economic opportunity and community well-being in developing and/or developed countries, while protecting and restoring the natural environment. The award seeks to further foster inventive work focused on sustainable challenges, and promotes inventive role models who can inspire young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.

- Click for more information on the MIT website

 
Whitley Award for leaders in nature conservation
Deadline: October 31st, 2008
Whitley Awards were developed to recognize conservation leaders and groups from around the world who contribute to the conservation of the natural environment. Up to nine Whitley Awards of £30,000 each, plus a Whitley Gold Award worth £60,000 are awarded. The scope of interest has in the past included, but is not limited to: protecting endangered ecosystems and species, promoting sustainability, and influencing environmental policies. Selected projects will be financed in June of 2009 and will be required to present a final report in July of 2010.

  – Visit the Whitley Award website for more information.

 
Whitley Awards para líderes en conservación de la naturaleza
Fecha limite: 31 de Octubre 2008
El Whitley Award es un premio de conservación de la naturaleza, diseñado para reconocer las acciones de líderes y grupos que contribuyen a la conservación de la naturaleza. Los premios consisten en nueve premios de £30000 y un premio de oro de valor de £ 60.000 para dos anos. Temas de interés incluyen, pero no se limitan, a: la protección de ecosistemas y especias en peligro de extinción, promoción de la sostenibilidad, y influencia en políticas ambientales. Los solicitantes seleccionados recibirán financiamiento en junio de 2009 y tendrán que presentar un informe final en julio de 2010.

Más detalles se encuentran en el sitio web del premio.

 
African Forest Research Network grants
Deadlines: September 30th and March 31st of each year
AFORNET is inviting African tree and forest scientists to submit multi-disciplinary and transnational research proposals. The grants are open to promising African scientists affiliated to training and research institutions in Africa who have shown the potential to undertake creative and innovative research in forestry in Africa, either individually or as a team.

  – Visit the AFORNET website for more information about the grants.

 

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