The Ecosystem Marketplace's Mitigation Mail
Conservation and Wetland News You Can Bank On

The IUCN’s World Conservation Congress was held this month at the height of the financial crisis.  Participants and speakers connected this crisis to market-based conservation, falling mainly into two schools of thought: 1) financial markets are failing, therefore market-based environmental conservation is suspect; and 2) financial markets are failing, so it’s time to re-structure the way we measure economic growth to account for the value of standing natural assets.  This month’s Mitigation Mail covers both points of view, with the former illustrated by the Global Forest Coalition report ‘Life as Commerce: the Impact of Market-Based Conservation’, and the later espoused by ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’ (TEEB), a study on the value of the world’s ecosystem services.

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What's your view on the financial crisis?  Take the Ecosystem Marketplace survey on the credit crunch here.

Along with the discussion of market-based conservation, the World Conservation Congress also highlighted new online tools for biodiversity conservation at the global scale.  The World Database on Protected Areas maps protected area boundaries at a fine scale, and the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) integrates global-scale data to help big business avoid impacts on biodiversity.

Watch out for another tool next month, as Ecosystem Marketplace launches SpeciesBanking.com, the first-ever centralized database for species banks in the world. SpeciesBanking.com will create an interactive database and information exchange to serve as a registry for all known species banks and their credits. It will serve as an archive of transactions and a resource for relevant ecological and regulatory information.  Watch out for more information on this tool and an official launch event coming soon.

Along with tools providing information on environmental markets, stories this month highlight groups developing or using methodology for offsetting impacts to environmental resources.  The Oregon-based Willamette Partnership is beginning a series of stakeholder meetings to agree on a methodology for calculating several types of ecosystem credits.  Across the globe, Royal Dutch Shell is using the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP) methodology for assessing the impact from a large onshore facility planned in Qatar to determine the amount and citing of biodiversity offsets.

As always, Mitigation Mail highlights mitigation banks from around the world. The Malua BioBank, a voluntary biodiversity offset bank in Malaysia, has already sold 21,500 credits.  In Texas, the Conservation Fund and its partners developed a large new wetland mitigation bank.  At 19,000 acres, the Pineywoods bank is the largest in the state.  Also in Texas, Williamson County developed a Regional Habitat Plan that streamlined mitigation for impacts on endangered cave-dwelling invertebrates and endangered songbirds.  In California, Wildlands Inc. expanded a Giant Garter Snake Mitigation Bank.

Enjoy details of these and other mitigation stories in our newsletter.

—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team

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