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From the Editors 

Money, money, money. To meet the Aichi Targets - and reverse dangerous trends of die-off and loss - will likely cost hundreds of billions a year, a funding level which current biodiversity finance is nowhere near hitting.

This week, Ecosystem Marketplace launched a new report that examines one possible source of finance: the State of Private Investment in Conservation Finance 2016.

The report reveals dramatic growth: Private capital committed for conservation grew by 62% in the last two years, and totaled $8.2 billion in the last decade. At least $1.3 billion of that was for species conservation, through direct land acquisitions and trading in environmental assets such including mitigation banking credits and carbon offsets. Other investments focused on sustainable food and fiber production as well as in protection for water quality and quantity.

“This report shows that when investors derive consistent financial returns and measurable benefits to people and nature, more capital then flows to conservation,” said Marc Diaz, Managing Director of NatureVest, the principle advisor for the study.  

“This increasing demand, coupled with the very clear need for conservation action shown by scientific research, reinforces the urgent importance for the industry to develop scalable and consistent opportunities to invest in nature.”

To get the details – and there are many more details – download the report free of charge, and read our press release.  

Ecosystem Marketplace will be also hosting two webinars this month that showcase major findings. The first is January 24th at 6pm EST and the second is on January 25th at 10am EST. Please join us!

In other news, 2016 went out with a bang: We've got coverage of the UN global biodiversity talks in December, new mitigation policies from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management, and new offsets initiatives unveiled in Colombia and Ghana.

Happy reading,

- The Ecosystem Marketplace team

 
   

Latest News

Private Investment In Conservation Reaches $8.2 Billion

Conservation investing has experienced dramatic growth in recent years: total committed private capital climbed from $5 billion to just over $8 billion, according to Ecosystem Marketplace’s latest report, State of Private Investment in Conservation 2016. It’s proof positive that healthy forests, wetlands and reefs can be smart investments, authors say, and signals growing interest among even mainstream investors.

Learn more.

2016: The Year Biodiversity Got Back On The Climate Map

In 2016, proponents of mainstreaming biodiversity pushed for further integration of biodiversity in international negotiations and other arenas, while new research found serious declines in global biodiversity. New research published this year also revealed that markets dealing in wetlands and endangered animals have been growing steadily, a hopeful sign in the fight to help reverse dismal trends on wildlife loss.

Ecosystem Marketplace has the story.

Some See Opportunity In Zinke Pick For Interior As Conservationists Stress Restoration Economy

Conservationists have roundly slammed most of US President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees, but the nod to Ryan Zinke for Secretary of Interior is something of a mixed bag. Some working in species conservation hope that ecosystem markets are the ticket under a new US administration to finding a workable balance between environmental protection and economic growth.

Keep reading here.

Cities Across US Develop “Green Infrastructure” Solutions, But Struggling To Find Funding

Mayors from cities across the United States are exploring nature-based infrastructure – such as mangroves for coastal protection and wetlands for flood management – as protection from rising sea levels. Funding for green city projects, however, remains elusive even as more than $25 billion flows into such projects worldwide.

Ecosystem Marketplace has the story.

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.

Keep reading at Ecosystem Marketplace.

HERE'S THE DEAL

Inter-American Development Bank and Partners Sink $1.5M into South America's First Habitat Bank

Species banking is coming to Colombia: The IDB's Multilateral Investment Fund is partnering with the company Terrasos SAS to create the region's first habitat bank. The partners will invest $1.5 million and expect the bank to restore and protect 610 hectares, creating an estimated 70 jobs and reducing compensatory mitigation costs.

Read the press release (in Spanish).

Ghana to Pilot Offsetting in 2017

Ghana's Environment Protection Agency announced last month that it will pilot a new Biodiversity Offset and Business Scheme (BOBS), testing the use of offsets for companies needing to offset residual negative impacts on biodiversity as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process. Three companies are on deck to participate. 

Business Ghana has coverage.

From Gray to Green: Former Coal Center Named Europe’s Green Capital of the Year

After implementing a range of practices intended to protect and enhance biodiversity, the European Commission named Essen, a former coal center in Germany, as Europe's green capital of 2017. The city is also utilizing green infrastructure to address climate change and air quality.

The Daily Planet has the story.

A Permanent Home for the Lesser Prairie Chicken

The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies has finalized the first permanent conservation area for lesser prairie chickens under the rangewide conservation plan it administers. The agency says the 1,781 acres is within one of the highest priority conservation areas identified in the plan though the land is also managed for livestock production.

Read more at the Daily Globe.

POLICY WATCH

That’s a Wrap: Global Biodiversity Talks End with Promises of Mainstreaming

Semi-annual United Nations biodiversity talks wrapped up December 17th with nations promising to integrate biodiversity into forestry, fisheries, agriculture and tourism sectors. Countries also agreed on a range of measures intended to accelerate implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

For details, read the UN’s wrap-up on the conference.

It's Here: USFWS Compensatory Mitigation Policy for At-Risk Species

Late last month, the US Fish and Wildlife Service finalized its Compensatory Mitigation Policy for animals listed under the Endangered Species Act. The final policy, which follows the principles of the Service's recently-finalized Mitigation Policy, seeks to transition away from a project-by-project style of mitigation to landscape level.

Get the details.

Eagle Conservation Banks on the Horizon

On December 16, the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued a long-awaited final rule governing the Service's eagle take program. Among the revisions, the Service intends to expand the use of compensatory mitigation and encourages the use of banking.

Find out more.

Traveler, Wander No More Through the Permitting Wastelands

The US Bureau of Land Management formalized its three-year interim mitigation policy in late December. The policy offers guidance on how to carry out project mitigation, the agency says, while also providing the clarity and consistency the entities seeking to use BLM land need.

Keep reading here.

NEW RESEARCH

Study Shows That Offset Projects Need to Work for Local Communities, Too

A new study published in Conservation & Society takes a hard look at the impacts on local people of biodiversity offset initiatives. Focused on an offsetting program for the Ambatovy nickel mine in Madagascar, study authors found that while local communities reported enjoying some benefits from the project, they felt that impacts overall had been negative. Negative outcomes were mainly linked to diminished access to natural resources due to conservation restrictions and conflicts arising from the distribution of benefits from development activities supported by the mine.

MongaBay summarizes the study here.

Playing Catch-up on Saving the World's Biodiversity 

Six years after countries established 20 targets intended to stop the shrinking of life on Earth, how close is the world to achieving them? We're running late and need an ambitious scale-up of resources and better policies, says new research from a consortium of NGOs.

Read Conservation International’s blog on the new report

   
   

ABOUT FOREST TRENDS' ECOSYSTEM MARKETPLACE

Ecosystem Marketplace is an initiative of Forest Trends, a tax-exempt corporation under Section 501(c)3. This newsletter and other dimensions of our market tracking programs are funded by a series of international development agencies, philanthropic foundations, and private sector organizations. For more information on donating to Ecosystem Marketplace, please contact info@ecosystemmarketplace.com.

 
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