Reimbursing the Future

The most important conclusion reached in this report is that there are no simple solutions to the complex problem of protecting our biodiversity and using biodiversity in ecologically sustainable ways. Rather, strategies need to be developed by communities, industry and government, working together with scientists, and taking account of specific biodiversity threats, development opportunities and local and national community aspirations. Twenty six General Recommendations are made which canvass the broad directions to be undertaken in addressing biodiversity protection. Sixty three Specific Recommendations propose more detailed action, and many of these could be put into place immediately.

Water Marketing — The Next Generation

Part of the collection of books by Terry Anderson and the Property Environment Research Center this book analysis the public policy behind water rights as well as case studies of water trading. The examples highlight the use of water markets for instream flows, ground water, and pollution. It also discusses the use of water markets in an international context.

Markets and Sustainability

Do markets lead us to make sustainable choices? If not, why not? And what would we need to do to remedy this? This paper takes a preliminary look at these questions. It identifies three categories of reasons why market choices may not be sustainable, related to valuation of the future, recognition of the benefits provided by environmental assets, and incorrect incentives. It gives examples of cases in which these problems have been corrected, and considers the scope for a more positive relation between market forces and conservation of the environment.

Sharing with the Kanis: A case study from Kerala, India

This case study details the access and benefit-sharing deal set up in the late 1980's between the Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI) of Kerala, southern India, and the Kani Tribe. The Kanis introduced TBGRI to a medicinal plant in thier forest from which a drug named 'jeevani' was isolated and commercialized.

People, Plants, and Justice: the politics of nature conservation

This book probes the social and environmental concequences of market-linked nature conservation schemes. Rather than supporting a new anti-market orthodoxy, Charles Zerner and colleagues assert that there is no universal entity, "the market." Analysis and remedies must be based on broader considerations of history, culture, and geography in order to establish meaningful and lasting changes in policy and practice. Original case studies from Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the South Pacific focus on topics as diverse as ecotourism, bioprospecting, oil extraction, cyanide fishing, timber extraction, and property rights. The cases position concerns about biodiversity conservation and resource management within social justice and legal perspectives.

Protecting the Land: Conservation Easements Past, Present, and Future

The editors, Julie Ann Gustanski and Roderick Squires have brought together a dynamic team of experts from across the country. The legal analysis chapters help all those who are interested, not only in knowing their own state’s conservation easement laws, but those who are looking to help forge new or improved legislation in their state. The case studies exemplify the diversity and range of land conservation options that are possible using conservation easements and add to the richness of the book.

Financing Biodiversity Conservation

This report provides an overview of existing and experimental financing mechanisms that can be used to encourage the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. To help to better understand these mechanisms, it proposes a taxonomy that divides the mechanisms into three categories: (i) those that protect biodiversity as a public good, (ii) those that require correcting so-called "negative externalities" that hamper biodiversity conservation, and (iii) those that can be used to support biodiversity-based businesses. The document ends with recommendations on how the Inter-American Development Bank can support financing mechanisms that promote the conservation of biodiversity and its sustainable use.

The Value of Chilean Biodiversity: Economic, Environmental, and Legal Considerations

The authors attempt to show that biodiversity has an economic value which is not being taken into consideration in decision-making in Chile. The purpose of the study is to propose a methodology that can give an approximate value of biodiversity. This value will show that Chilean biodiversity is not only important because of its magnitude and degree of endemism but also for the potential value of its services.

Teaming with Life: Investing in Science to Understand and Use America's Living Capital

This report recommends directions for research on management of natural capital to ensure a sustainable future for the Nation. Authors feel the research should not be restricted to ecology, but rather should also incorporate economics, sociology, and information services into a biological research program that will serve both society and the environment. By doing this authors expect to advance both ecosystem health as well as human health.

Carbon Dioxide Mitigation in Forestry and Wood Industry

The book provides theoretical and practical guidelines to use and enhance the potential of forests to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel resources. To understand the interactions linked with such concepts, the book addresses the following topics: forest dynamics and carbon budget; deforestation and afforestation; emerging programs for sustainable development; timber as substitute for high energy materials and fossil fuels; forest responses to climate change and socioeconomic pressures; and policy aspects. Apart from the production of timber, this book illustrates how forests fulfill numerous additional ecological and social functions. The book has a strong interdisciplinary focus and integrates global aspects with regional and national studies.

Financing Environmental Services: The Costa Rican Experience and its Implications

This article provides a snapshot of a fascinating, rapidly evolving experiment in progress: markets for the environmental benefits of forests. Costa Rica is blazing a trail into a previously undisturbed jungle of policy issues. This paper describes the practical issues that Costa Rica has faced, the nuts and bolts mechanics of how it has approached those issues, and the challenges that remain, both for Costa Rica and for would-be emulators.

The Economics of Non-timber Forest Benefits: An Overview

Problems arise when policy-makers try to balance the twin objectives of timber production and environmental protection. When values conflict, what is the appropriate trade-off? What opportunities exist for "win-win" solutions, where timber and non-timber benefits are complementary? This paper focuses on recent advances in the economic evaluation of forestry activities and, in particular, on how techniques for valuing non-timber forest benefits in monetary terms can assist the development of forest policy and management systems. The paper considers the nature of non-market values and the need for valuation, as well as the different techniques used. It briefly considers the long-term dynamics of forest value and outlines the use of valuation results in forest policy and management.

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution

In this groundbreaking blueprint for a new economy, three leading business visionaries explain how the world is on the verge of a new industrial revolution. Natural Capitalism describes a future in which business and environmental interests increasingly overlap, and in which companies can improve their bottom lines, help solve environmental problems—and feel better about what they do—all at the same time. Citing hundreds of compelling stories from a wide array of sectors, the book shows how to realize benefits both for today’s shareholders and for future generations—and how, by firing the “unproductive tons, gallons, and kilowatt-hours,” it’s possible to keep the people who will foster the innovation that drives future improvement.

The Price of Biodiversity

Simpson argues that too often, conservationists are misunderstanding and misapplying economic principles. The result of which may be the adoption of ineffective policies, injustices in allocating the costs of conservation, and even counterproductive measures that hurt the cause in the long run.

Options for Biodiverstiy Finance:

The Parties of both Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention to Combat Desertification have worked to develop sustainable financial flows for their agendas. This paper provides a brief overview of the commonalities between the conventions, identifies a number of the initiatives undertaken by the two convention processes, draws parallels between them and brings out a number of lessons learned and suggestions for further action.

Capitalising on Biodiversity

The Brazilian Programme of Molecular Ecology for Sustainable Use of Biodiversity (Probem), designed in 1997, is aimed at making the Amazon region a source of high value-added products and advanced scientific know-how, especially through the use of biotechnology. The programme is aimed at changing the current model of economic growth in the region, which is based on the extraction of wood and minerals, ranching and one-crop farming – activities that destroy the forests.

Market mechanisms for adaptation to climate change – lessons from mitigation and a pathway to implementation

Such instruments should be as efficient as possible, and in other policy fields market-based mechanisms have been used to maximize efficiency. So far however, there is almost no experience with adaptation taxes, tradable project-based offsets or tradable allowances, whereas climate change mitigation has been a field where such instruments have been widely applied during the last two decades. While generally, market-based instruments for mitigation can be seen as successful, several key lessons have been learned. (1) Pilot phases are important to test an instrument and to correct design flaws.(2) Distortions by lobbies can lead to adverse distributional effects. Regulatory uncertainty reduces the efficiency gains. (3) Transaction costs can form a significant barrier. (4) Monitoring and independent verification are key to prevent fraud. These lessons should be taken into account in the design of market mechanisms for adaptation, and we derive requirements for that. Finally, we discuss a concrete pathway to establishing market mechanisms for adaptation and define priorities for further research and possible pilot implementation, differentiating by types of adaptation.

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Climate Change for Forest Policy-Makers

The crucial role of forests in climate change mitigation and adaptation is now widely recognized at international level. Climate change will have major implications on the sustainable management of forests. In most countries, adjustments to forest policies, legislation and institutions will be needed to facilitate effective and equitable mitigation and adaptation measures. With regard to mitigation, countries may wish to amend forest policies to give more weight to forests’ carbon sinks and storage functions. Similarly, steps may be needed at forest policy level to promote appropriate adaptation responses. The impacts of climate change on the provision of forest goods and environmental services are becoming increasingly evident in many parts of the world. Climate change is expected to pose a major challenge for the livelihoods of forest dependent people as well as forest product dependent sectors of the economy.

In many countries, forest policies and climate related policies are the competencies of different sections of government and involve different groups of stakeholders and experts. The exchange of information across administrative or sectoral boundaries on issues surrounding forestry and climate change is often limited. As a consequence, in many countries climate change issues have not been fully addressed in national forest policies, forestry mitigation and adaptation needs at national level have not been thoroughly considered in national climate change strategies, and cross-sectoral dimensions of climate change impacts have not been fully appreciated.

It is important that the forest sector devise ways to address mitigation and adaptation challenges and opportunities in national forest policies. National forest programmes have been recognised by the international dialogue on forests as the framework to put international agreements into practice and as the platform for addressing issues related to sustainable forest management, including climate change.

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The Emerging Market for Forest and Land-Use Carbon

Human-induced climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions is impacting the earth’s ecosystem stability through effects such as ocean acidification, thawing of permafrost regions, shrinking sea ice, increased incidence of extreme weather, and shifting precipitation patterns1. These negative climate change impacts are expected to cost the world between 5% and 20%2 in GDP annually beginning in 2011 and thereafter.

Forest and land-use change contribute significantly to emissions through greenhouse gases (GHGs) released during deforestation and soil disturbance. Deforestation, after accounting for re-growth and afforestation/reforestation, accounts for 17.4% of global greenhouse emissions and the agriculture sector accounts for another 13.5%. To put these volumes into context, the forestry sector alone generates more carbon dioxide emissions than the entire transport sector, a level comparable to the annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the U.S. or China (given that the current GHG emissions are almost equal). A study recently released by a large group of leading climate scientists found that forest growth sequesters more carbon and deforestation releases more carbon than previously understood.

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Overcoming Agricultural Water Pollution in the European Union

In Overcoming Agricultural Water Pollution in the European Union the author reviews methods to control agricultural pollutants to water in European Union countries. She finds that voluntary methods dominate with incentives given to farmers for less polluting methods. This implies a that the farmer has a property right to pollute and should be compensated for not polluting.

Investing in Natural Capital: The Ecological Economics Approach to Sustainability

Investing in Natural Capital presents the results of a workshop held following the second biannual conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics in August 1996. It focuses on the relation of human development to natural capital, and the relation of natural capital to environmental processes. Because we are capable of understanding our impact on the environment and the importance of managing it sustainably, humans play a special role in our ecosystem. The book emphasizes the essential connections between natural ecosystems and human socioeconomic systems, and the importance of insuring that both remain resilient. Specific chapters deal with methodology, case material, and policy questions, and offer a thorough exploration of this provocative and important alternative to conventional economics.

Biodiversity Prospecting: Using Genetic Resources for Sustainable Development

As the search for wild species whose genes can yield new medicines and better crops gathers speed, these rich habitats also sport more and more specimens of a relatively new breed — the biodiversity prospector. Like the nineteenth-century California gold rush or its present-day counterpart in Brazil, this "gene rush" could wreak havoc on ecosystems and the people living in or near them. Done right, though, bioprospecting can bolster both economic and conservation goals while underpinning the medical and agricultural advanced needed to combat disease and sustain growing human numbers. …Altogether, the essays in 'Biodiversity Prospecting' explore many different strands of thought and theory that come together in this relatively new industry, elaborating on issues only touched on in other publications.

The River of the Mother of God, Conservation Economics Essay

This book does not challenge the purchase of public lands for conservation, but does challenge the growing assumption that bigger buying is a substitute for private conservation practice. It argues that bigger buying is serving as an escape-mechanism, masking the failure to solve the harder problem. The geographic cards are stacked against its ultimate success. In the long run it is exactly as effective as buying half an umbrella.

Nature’s Benefits:
The Importance of Addressing Biodiversity in Ecosystem Service Programs

The ecosystem services approach is the latest in a long list of conceptual approaches that are intended to improve the practice of natural resource conservation and management yet tend to be replaced by the “next shiny object” before they reach fruition. As a result, there is a limited window of time in which to get this approach right and to capture what conservation benefits are valuable from its somewhat unique conceptual frame.

This report outlines an approach to ecosystem services that will be relatively straightforward to implement, that allows for continuous learning and improvement over time, and could appeal to business and conservation interests.

Principles to Guide Assessments of Ecosystem Service Values

Ecosystem services are the benefits that nature provides. Myriad assessments of the value of nature’s benefits are being conducted by public and private organizations, and they vary considerably in their coverage of ecological, social, and economic effects, and the rigor with which the values are assessed.

The 10 guiding principles in this document encourage interdisciplinary approaches to assessing the social, ecological, and economic benefits of ecosystems and biodiversity, and their interdependent relationships. Practitioners, resource managers, academics, policymakers, local communities and other stakeholders—including the environment—stand to benefit from a set of principles guiding the emerging approaches to assessments of ecosystem service values. Following these principles will lead to more comprehensive, credible and consistent assessments that can improve public and private decisions and the well-being of current and future generations.

This document reports on guiding principles developed at a collaborative multi-sector workshop held in July 2013 at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. The intended audience for these principles is individuals who make or influence natural resource decisions. They include policy makers at the local, state, and federal levels; natural resource agencies and tribes; non-profit organizations; academics and consultants who conduct ecological, social, and economic studies; and private businesses. This report can also provide context for conservation, business and trade organizations, the media, and interested, engaged citizens.

Agroforestry in REDD+: Opportunities and Challenges

Agroforestry and other tree-based systems (wood lots, afforestation) can contribute to REDD+ in two ways: 1) as part of REDD+ under certain forest definitions;  and/or 2) as part of a strategy for achieving REDD+ in landscapes. In the context of REDD+, agroforestry has the potential for reducing degradation by supplying timber and fuelwood that would otherwise be sourced from adjacent or distant forests. In fact, agroforestry has been used in several protected area landscape buffer zones and within conservation as one way of alleviating pressure on forests, thereby reducing deforestation. However, enabling market infrastructure, policies on tree rights and ownership and safeguards would be necessary for agroforestry and other tree-based systems in the landscape to effectively contribute to the goals of REDD+ and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).

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Building Forest Carbon Projects (Step-by-Step Overview and Guide)

Forest projects around the world are working to confront the practical challenges of reducing emissions and providing local benefits. To facilitate the development of forest projects, we have compiled strategic step-by–step guidance to emerging best practices. Drawing on the experience of the Katoomba Incubator, this series of documents helps project developers understand key technical, social, environmental, and financial issues and points the way to key tools and guidance. Composed of nine volumes, the Building Forest Carbon Projects series is best accessed first through the Step-by-Step Overview and Guide, which outlines the key steps in the project development cycle. This overview is complemented by the eight guidance documents that constitute the meat of the series, with each exploring in detail one critical aspect of forest carbon project development.


  • REDD Guidance: Technical Project Design
  • AR Guidance: Technical Project Design
  • Carbon Stock Assessment Guidance: Inventory and Monitoring Procedures
  • Community Engagement Guidance: Good Practice for Forest Carbon Projects
  • Legal Guidance: Legal and Contractual Aspects of Forest Carbon Projects
  • Business Guidance: Forest Carbon Marketing and Finance
  • Social Impacts Guidance: Key Assessment Issues for Forest Carbon Projects
  • Biodiversity Impacts Guidance: Key Assessment Issues for Forest Carbon Projects

Download the publication here.