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From the Editors

The administration of US President Barack Obama has been shaking things up in the world of conservation and land management as it aims to mobilize private sector investment in conservation. These efforts, in turn, are having a big impact on environmental markets in the US.

Now for the first time you can map that growth: just last week Ecosystem Marketplace launched a new mapping tool for tracking ecosystem markets in the US. Look for an accompanying new report, the Atlas of Ecosystem Markets in the United States, later this fall.  

The tool was developed in collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture’s Office of Environmental Markets and the Environmental Protection Agency. Ecosystem Marketplace and its partners created map layers based on Ecosystem Marketplace’s historical tracking data on water, forest carbon, wetland/stream, and species markets for EPA’s EnviroAtlas tool. (You can check out the new map data by launching the Interactive Map, and then choosing "Ecosystem Markets" from the "Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity" menu on the browser bar.)

We're really excited about this project. The maps offer a new way of looking at ecosystem markets and their broader political, demographic, and ecological context.

“Maps are an extremely good tool for communicating key concepts in ecosystem markets status and development,” says Genevieve Bennett, a Senior Associate at Ecosystem Marketplace leading the mapping project. “And readers interested in learning more or doing in-depth spatial analysis can visit EnviroAtlas or access our ecosystem markets map data via web services or download free of charge.”

In other news, Western Australia re-introduces species on a historic island where they had long gone extinct and the UK contemplates rewilding its countryside with bears and wolves.

And you're if in the mood for a long read, The Asháninka People Of The Amazon Are Saving The Forest, And Doing It Their Way tells the tale of the first indigenous environmental services protocol.  

These stories and more are summarized below so keep reading! 

-The Ecosystem Marketplace team

 
   

Latest News

A New California Case Study Finds Eco-Assets Boost Property Sale Price
Assessing property for the endangered species it saves or wetlands it preserves could pay off for some landowners, says a California-based firm researching ecosystem markets. According to the firm’s latest case study, sale price tripled for a property in San Benito County, California once it considered eco-asset market values.

Learn more.

The Asháninka People Of The Amazon Are Saving The Forest, And Doing It Their Way

A quarter-century ago, the Asháninka people reclaimed a portion of their ancestral territory in the Amazon rainforest and embarked on a journey toward self-rule and sustainable development – sparking in the process the creation of an indigenous ecosystem services protocol that could have repercussions for indigenous people across the Amazon.

Keep reading at Ecosystem Marketplace.

Fighting Climate Change From 36,000 Feet

As member states to the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization finalize a market-based measure to reduce emissions from airplanes, Forest Trends President, Michael Jenkins, urges them to include REDD+ programs. Such an inclusion would not only boost tropical forest protection, Jenkins says, but it would also deliver benefits to biodiversity and local and indigenous communities.

Keep reading.

New Mapping Data Reveals Major Growth In Eco Markets

Environmental markets have grown dramatically across the United States, thanks in part to measures implement by the Obama administration, but the exact growth has been difficult to quantify and understand. A new “Atlas of Ecosystem Markets” aims to change that by distilling data from several sources into a clear, simple, mapping tool for regulators, researchers, and users.

Learn more at Ecosystem Marketplace.

HERE'S THE DEAL

Breaking Protocol to Protect the Planet

Proponents for the Natural Capital Protocol that launched in July are curious to see how companies will use it. The protocol is meant to inform businesses on their natural capital management; its creators are hoping companies integrate natcap concepts into every aspect of their business planning.

Get the details on The Huffington Post.  

The Natural Capital Protocol was also a big topic of conversation at this month's Natural Capital Summit in Madrid, Spain.

Read about the summit here.

Largest Mitigation Provider in the US gets Bigger

Earlier this month, the ecological restoration company Resource Environmental Solutions acquired Angler Environmental, a US company that offers green infrastructure solutions among other services. RES says the addition of Angler bolsters its ability to deliver comprehensive ecological solutions.

Learn more from Business Wire.

$1M Grasslands Offset Deal in Saskatchewan 

K+S Potash inked a deal earlier this month with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to contribute nearly $1 million (CAD) to a grasslands offset project in Saskatchewan. The project, planned to conserve 402 hectares of high-value grassland, will offset impacts to 194 hectares of grasslands resulting from the K+S Legacy mine project.

CBC has coverage.

Wetland Restoration Gains Traction in Mississippi  

A global automotive supplier that's building a new vehicle tire plant in Mississippi is also investing in the state's ecosystems. Continental is funding $5 million worth of stream and wetland restoration and partnering with a local conservation group to administer implementation.

PR Newswire has more.

Grand Plans for Wetland Restoration in Massachusetts

Environmental groups and state wildlife officials are attempting to pull off the largest freshwater wetland restoration project to date Massachusetts, at a marsh near Plymouth. The project recently received thousands of dollars in state funding but will require at least $3 million to complete.

Keep reading at the Boston Globe.

MARKET MUSINGS

Down Under Development Deal puts Offsets in an Unfavorable Light

Despite an agreement to use biodiversity offsets to compensate for its ecological impact, a development project in New South Wales, Australia has plowed ahead without securing offsets. The company involved in the project requested an extension for its offsetting requirement, giving ammunition to offsetting opponents in government who argue the practice is a scam.

Read more at the Daily Telegraph.

Also in New South Wales, the Environment Department cited a lack of information on biodiversity impacts and offsets as a main reason to not sign off on a new mining operation.

The Newcastle Herald has more.

ACTs for Sage Grouse Conservation

A multi-billion-dollar natural gas project in Wyoming is putting greater sage grouse conservation plans to the test. The project is still in early stages but some environmentalists are expressing mild concern about the effectiveness of the plans' mitigation provisions.

Read more at the Casper Star Tribune.

New Permit Request for Florida Mitigation Bank but Old Questions Remain

Just days after a Florida politician and developer withdrew a permit application for a controversial mitigation bank, he reapplied with a slightly altered plan. However, the new plan is still next to an active construction site and will trim down the site's mangroves - an unusual move for a mitigation bank.

Read more at the Bradenton Herald.

NEW RESEARCH

Motivation without Mandates: Is it Possible?

Critics of voluntary conservation approaches in the US, such as for the Southern Great Plain's lesser prairie chicken, can add this to their argument: new research from Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania suggests that without the threat of regulation, industry will do little to improve their practices.  

The Earth Island Journal has more.

Time for Biodiversity to Go Political

A Harvard University researcher says if scientists really want to save biodiversity, they must stop focusing on more and better data and get involved in the political process. This will give biodiversity a seat at the global table and a voice to truly inform change.

Nature has the whole argument.

Species of Western Australia: Welcome Back!

Western Australia is attempting to restore one of its island's natural ecosystems by reintroducing native species. Restoration on Dirk Hartog Island began in 2012 and has included the removal of several non-native species such as goats and sheep that were adversely affecting the natives.

SBS News has more.

POLICY WATCH

Putting the Wild Things Back in the UK Countryside

The United Kingdom is considering rewilding its countryside with native flora and fauna including some big animals such as lynx and wolves. It's a big idea, however, with significant implications - not all positive - for rural communities.

Jennifer Sellick of Rose Regeneration explains in detail.

Conference to Fight Illegal Wildlife Trade Draws a Big Crowd

Johannesburg, South Africa hosted the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora that ran from late last month into October. Trade controls for some marine life, protections for certain rosewood species and poaching were among the many main topics.

The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development provides a summary on many of the conference's key trade decisions.

   
   

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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