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From the Editors

Greetings!

Do you ever feel like you are the last one to learn about something important? Sissel Waage of BSR suspects that a vast group of business professionals are not getting the memo on investing in nature to solve pressing challenges, despite the growing stack of case studies documenting the many business benefits of nature based solutions. Many of these benefits were recently laid out in BSR's new report, The Benefit Multiplier of Investing in Nature.

The battle is largely against inertia. But new expenses, inexperience and an incompatibility with existing values are challenging elements companies must cope with when attempting to change directions.  The good news is the relatively slow uptake among businesses is accelerating, Waage says.

A rise in "ecosystems thinking" (consider it the green version of systems thinking - do we smell a TED talk?) can be seen in other spaces, too, like action on climate change and sustainable development. Ecosystem conservation is prominently placed in the global agreement to limit climate change, which some in the space view as clear recognition of nature's role as a tool to fight climate change.

“I think having such a repeated mention of ecosystems is a testament to the fact that nature was really at the front of minds at Paris," says Shyla Raghav, the Director of Climate Change Policy at Conservation International.

As high-level talks proceed, projects on the ground keep calm and carry on, making gradual progress on smaller scales. We have coverage of blighted lots in Detroit being reborn as bioretention gardensthe first issuance of a green bond under the Water Climate Bond Standard in San Francisco, and a new blueprint for using conservation finance strategies to solve China's water challenges

These stories and many more are summarized below. And if you like what you read here, consider becoming a supporting subscriber or advertising your next event through our platform. It gets the word out about your good works to our thousands of subscribers, and it helps us keep the lights on!

 
   

EM Headlines

In Wake Of Paris Agreement, Ecosystems Take Rightful Place In Fight To End Climate Change

Environmentalists have long said that humans must conserve our planet’s living ecosystems if they are to win the war on climate change, and the Paris Climate Agreement made that explicit. As the agreement takes hold, ecosystem conservation is emerging as a key tool for both slowing climate change and adapting to its consequences – not to mention supporting sustainable development.

Ecosystem Marketplace has the story.

Don’t Be The Last One To Hear About The Business Benefits Of Investing In Nature

BSR, the Business for Social Responsibility organization, published a new report last week that demonstrates in pictures, words, and numbers the business benefits of nature-based solutions. Here, BSR’s Sissel Waage explains the importance of illustrative case studies and the reasons for relatively slow (but accelerating!) uptake from the private sector.

Read it at Ecosystem Marketplace.

 

Here's the Deal

San Fran makes a Splash with Green Bond Issuance for Water Projects

In a landmark move this month, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission issued a $240M green bond certified under the Water Climate Bonds Standard to fund sustainable stormwater management and wastewater projects.  

WaterWorld has coverage.

Making Corporate Water Targets Count

Of late, several big corporates like Coca-Cola, General Mills, and Nike have made water-related sustainability commitments: a good thing. But, as Alexis Morgan of WWF highlights in a recent blog post, context and materiality are critical if these targets are to deliver meaningful results. WWF is in talks with several other NGOs to create guidance for context-based corporate water targets.

Read Alexis Morgan's blog at WWF for the whole story.

 

Policy Watch

Will Californians stay Water Smart without a Stick?

In early May, California's governor moved to make the state's water conservation measures, currently in place to cope with long-lasting drought conditions, permanent. However, a few weeks later, the state suspended its mandatory rules, leaving local communities in control of establishing conservation standards.

The New York Times has the story.

Merging Solutions to Integrated Challenges

The Global Environment Facility is aiding China's efforts to reduce pollution and address scarcity in the Bohai Sea, one of the world's most ecologically stressed water bodies. The project seeks to increase integration between water and environmental management in order to address myriad problems at once.

Read it at The Financial.

Jury Remains Out on Water Quality Trading in Ohio

Government officials in Ohio weighed the pros and cons of water quality trading this month as a plethora of stakeholders want the issue of poor water quality resolved. They assessed past use of the practice including documented water quality improvements in the state's Sugar Creek Watershed.

Learn more at the Farm and Dairy.

 

Project Development

Turning Blight into Bioretention in the Motor City

Bioretention gardens that improve water quality by soaking up stormwater runoff fill several vacant lots that once held blighted homes in Detroit. Here, the University of Michigan is wrapping up construction of its green infrastructure pilot project in the city. 

The Detroit News has coverage.

Ethiopian Farmers turn a Desert into a Forest

Ethiopia is in the midst of its worst drought in 50 years. It's no silver bullet, but farmers are building up resilience using nature-based solutions, like planting trees and cover plants, that make the water stay put. This reduces erosion and leads to healthier soils and crops.   

Learn more at Grist.

 

New Research

A Conservationist's Guide to China's Water Woes

The Nature Conservancy recently published promising findings on nature-based solutions and conservation finance tools that can be used in addressing China's many water challenges. The water fund, which implements upstream conservation practices to improve water quality throughout the waterway, is one such tool.

Read it at the Huffington Post.

Drought, Floods, Scarcity: Impacts of Climate Change to be Felt Through Water

According to a World Bank report, an inadequate supply of water could lead to sustained negative growth in such places as Africa, the Middle East, India and China. The report explores the effects of climate change on world water supplies and concludes certain parts of the globe will feel the worst impacts of global warming through changes to this resource.

The Washington Post has the story.

Can Debt Accelerate Conservation Finance Growth?

The Climate Bonds Initiative, Credit Suisse and the Swiss investment advisory company, Clarmondial, collaboratively published a report in April that explores how debt supports investment in ecosystem services, with a focus on the business sector.  

Learn more here.

Mapping the Way to Sustainable Groundwater Management

A new online mapping tool called the Africa Groundwater Atlas offers geological and hydrological data on groundwater resources in 51 African countries – information that was difficult to come by but is critical if African nations are to manage their groundwater sustainably, the tool's developers say.

Igrac has coverage.

A New Day for the Chesapeake Bay

According to researchers from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies, the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay improved in 2015, scoring a C, one of the three highest scores since 1986.

The University of Maryland has the figures.

Your Guide to Freshwater Ecosystem Services

The MARS project, which researches freshwater restoration activities and supports European water-related policies, recently published a set of short and easily-digestible factsheets on freshwater ecosystem services in Europe. The factsheets are part of the MARS project's efforts to increase and share knowledge on the issue in order to effectively shape freshwater policy and management.

The Freshwater Blog has details.

 

Job Postings

Credit Suisse: Director - Sustainability Affairs Risk

Based in New York, the Director will reliably monitor and assess developments related to environmental policy in national and international politics and their likely impacts on banks and their clients' industry sectors. Successful candidates will have a university degree in environmental studies, international relations or in a relevant area with a background in sustainability-related environmental and social issues, or social risk management. 

Learn more here.

Finite Carbon: Associate Director of Forest Carbon Development

Based in Philadelphia or Tallahassee, US, (though location is flexible) the Associate Director will support the project development team by learning and executing proprietary workflow processes embedded in GIS, growth and yield modeling, database management, and quantification of forest carbon offsets. Successful candidates will have a university degree in forestry or natural resources management, and experience with Excel, Access, and GIS. At least 1-2 years of experience with forestry consulting, timber cruising and carbon markets is required as well.

Learn more here.

African Wildlife Foundation: Senior Field Communications Officer

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the Senior Field Communications Officer will provide communications support to field staff across Africa to increase the visibility, knowledge and understanding of AWF’s work. S/he will monitor field activities, actively engaging with field staff and creating opportunities to promote our work through digital, media and print with internal and external audiences. Successful candidates have a background in journalism or public relations and at least eight years of field communications experience in a non-profit setting. 

Learn more here.

Conservation International: Researcher, Nature-based Climate Adaptation and  the Private Sector

Based in Arlington, US, the Researcher will lead interactions with corporate partners and help drive the development of CI’s understanding of the role of the private sector in benefiting from and financing nature-based solutions. This position has a 12 month fixed term. Qualified candidates contain a demonstrated understanding of nature-based adaptation options and private sector or climate finance experience. 

Learn more here.

Environmental Defense Fund: Communications Specialist in Ecosystems Program

Based in San Francisco, California, the Communications Specialist will assist the Communications Director and work directly with EDF’s water experts to develop, implement and coordinate strategic communications plans that advance the water goals of Ecosystems. The Specialist will often play the role of both generalist and strategist, utilizing skill sets in persuasive writing, video editing, media relations and basic graphic/web design. Media experience and proficiency with social media tools is required. 

Learn more here.

   
   

ABOUT THE ECOSYSTEM MARKETPLACE

Ecosystem Marketplace is a project of Forest Trends, a tax-exempt corporation under Section 501(c)3. This newsletter and other dimensions of our voluntary carbon markets program 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. 

ABOUT FOREST TRENDS

Ecosystem Marketplace is a project of Forest Trends, a tax-exempt corporation under Section 501(c)3. This newsletter and other dimensions of our voluntary carbon markets program 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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