Science tells us that healthy forests make healthy rivers and lakes, but policy rarely reflects the connection. That could be changing as the general public comes to better understand the role that deforestation plays in climate change – an understanding that could ratchet up an appreciation of all the ecosystem services that forests deliver.
The Electric Power Research Institute (ERPI) moves its water quality trading program in the Ohio River Basin into a new stage with the upcoming public auction of stewardships generated during the first three years of the project. Also, a new framework on catchment-based management for the mining industry offers sector-specific guidance.
As Louisiana's wetlands and mangroves retreat, the low-lying state becomes more and more susceptible to hurricanes and other coastal disruptions. Fortunately, mangrove forests also pull massive amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and store it in the ocean floor. A new study says that carbon finance could provide up to $1.6 billion for wetland restoration in that state.
As it stands, some companies take environmental issues and sustainability seriously but the majority don't. Here, Ivo Mulder, the REDD+ Green Economy Advisor for UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), argues how quantifying environmental risks in monetary terms may be necessary to convince the bulk of corporations to follow suit.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is holding a public auction to sell the stewardship credits generated during the Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Project's pilot phase. While success isn't certain, developers of the historic project are sure significant lessons will be learned in terms of moving forward with water quality trading.
The main objective of microfinance is to alleviate poverty which is why the socio-economic benefits of payments for ecosystem services projects imply the potential of collaboration between the two sectors. And speaking of poverty alleviation, Bolivia has developed a conservation mechanism it says helps the poor while hurting the deforester.
While microfinance models have been hugely successful on a global scale in providing the means for people to escape extreme poverty, they aren’t often used to finance payments for ecosystem services projects that offer many poverty alleviating benefits. Despite it being risky and costly, both sectors see potential in working together on a larger scale.
The severity and frequency of wildfires has regions like the US West scrambling for solutions. New research presented during a webinar shows Colorado is taking advantage of the watershed investment approach as more water providers in the state adopt Denver's celebrated investments in watershed services project that simultaneously protects the city's water supply and reduces wildfire risk.
The tremendous demand human society has for water, food and energy is only expected to increase. And as sectors search for ways to apply integrated solutions that address the needs of all three sectors, they are too often leaving out a critical component – nature – says Ecosystem Marketplace’s most recent report on watershed investments.
As the constraint on natural resources increases, the public and private sector are becoming more receptive to holistic nature-based solutions to address infrastructure and other challenges. Ecosystem Marketplace noticed particular growth in this area as it looks back over the year.
Today, multiple federal agencies recognized Virginia's nutrient trading program as a natural, cost-efficient and effective approach to improving water quality in the heavily polluted Chesapeake Bay watershed. Federal recognition of the program also indicates potential for more involvement in environmental markets at the national level.
The Lima Climate Talks wrapped up early Sunday morning with a bare-bones agreement on what constitutes a valid Intended Nationally-Determined Contribution (INDC) and a roadmap to year-end talks in 2015 that will begin with bottom-up proposals from countries and hopefully end with a convergence in Paris. With so little detail on INDCs, countries will have to step up individually by March.
Watershed Connect is an information platform to help scale up practice and policy that maximizes the economic and ecological benefits of healthy watersheds - from ridges to reefs.