Pre-Registration Limited for Global Katoomba Meeting

Steve Zwick

The world’s leading forum on ecosystem markets kicks off on June 9 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and participation is limited. If you haven’t yet registered for the twelfth Global Katoomba Meeting, follow the link below.

The world’s leading forum on ecosystem markets kicks off on June 9 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and participation is limited. Every effort is being made to accommodate all participants, but pre-registration for the twelfth Global Katoomba Meeting can only be assured through May 31.

Ecosystems deliver valuable services that almost all of us take for granted – like filtering water, regulating the climate, and cleaning the air. Beyond being vital to the survival of mankind, all of these services have one thing in common: until recently, our economic system had no way of determining their economic value.

That changed with the concept of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) – schemes that try to quantify the economic value of services that an ecosystem provides, and then either entice or mandate those who benefit from the service to pay the people who maintain them.

The Global Katoomba Meetings

When the first Global Katoomba Meeting took place eight years ago, PES was little more than an interesting idea that a handful of pioneers were struggling to bring into reality. Today, it’s a global experiment in resource management and pollution reduction that encompasses the booming carbon markets, the burgeoning water markets, and scores of markets for biodiversity and other ecosystem services.

The Global Katoomba Meetings have become the leading forums for analyzing and dissecting the results of this grand experiment and refining the mechanisms being used to implement environmental change.

In order to bring these issues to a wider audience, the Katoomba Group and Forest Trends launched the Ecosystem Marketplace just a few short years ago.

Since then, the site has become a leading portal for news and information at the cutting edge of ecosystem markets. Our mission is to act as a conduit of information both within the ecosystem marketplace and between this highly specialized marketplace and the world at large.

Getting Started in Water Trading

In support of this year’s event, the Ecosystem Marketplace has launched a series of articles on the burgeoning water markets.

These schemes for valuing and trading both water usage and water “inputs” (pollution) are proliferating across North and South America, Asia, and Africa – but, like carbon trading a few years ago, they are little understood outside a small circle of pioneers. This must change if these exciting markets are to deliver on their potential.

Part 1, Water Trading: The Basics, introduces the fundamentals of this promising ecosystem market.

Part 2, Environmentalists Sound Off on New Wetland Regs, covers the latest US regulatory developments.

Part 3, US Water Trading: The Infrastructure, charts the territory in which we are all trying to operate.

Part 4, The State of US Water Trading Today, will be posted later this week and summarize the issues uppermost in the minds of water market participants in 2008.

This will be followed up with an examination of the challenges faced in creating demand for voluntary water trading schemes and a closer look at some of the people implementing change today.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding this series or anything to do with the Ecosystem Marketplace, contact Steve Zwick, managing editor, at [email protected].

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