Nature + Economics
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Nature + Economics

Environmental markets' news & resources: species, wetlands, habitat and biodiversity.

From May 2013, Madsen Environmental has handed over these reins. I'll continue the focus and trends of Nature+Economics here, and post on similar themes. Follow, suggest a Scoop, and offer advice and feedback as I curate
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“And that’s the deal with the chicken”

I’d like to take this space to talk about… chickens. The Lesser Prairie Chicken is just one of a suite of Western species that has come up in conversation in the hallways and outside...

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ARIES :: ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services

ARIES :: ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
ARIES :: ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services...

... along with its main toolkit (Ecosystem Services Explorer, Valuation Database, and Biodiversity Explorer), custom ARIES interfaces can be built to simplify use by specific groups of end users.

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Estimating Ecosystem Services in Southern Ontario - Land Use Environmental Planning - Government of Ontario, Ministry of Natural Resources

Estimating Ecosystem Services in Southern Ontario - Land Use Environmental Planning - Government of Ontario, Ministry of Natural Resources | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
Ecosystem services are the benefits that people obtain, either directly or indirectly, from our
ecological systems.

Application of Natural Assets Information System (NAIS) ecosystem service modeling tool - focused on non-market valuation via benefits-transfer (if I've got that right).

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Mimes: Sitemap: Web

Mimes: Sitemap: Web | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

Yikes. MIMES (U VT Gund Instit ecosystem services valuation tool) tries to explain itself with ecological pathways something er other to people who might not be ecological experts. I'm exhausted just looking at it and I still don't know what MIMES is or can do.

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Advanced Terrestrial Ecosystem Analysis and Modeling (ATEAM)

Advanced Terrestrial Ecosystem Analysis and Modeling (ATEAM) | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

EU effort - mapping of vulnerability of six key sectors: agriculture, forestry, carbon storage and energy, water and biodiversity.

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Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Network

Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Network | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

Completely missed this. Need to check it out, search the database. For nerds only?

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Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes

Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
Launched in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes are the first global indexes tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide.

 

Photo at left: example of environmental criteria for three sectors and weightings.

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

YES, the DJSI asks companies in the forestry & paper sector explicitly about ecosystem services in one question within the eonomic dimension. of the FORESTRY sector  (see 2012 yearbook, p. 82: http://www.sustainability-index.com/images/sam-yearbook-2012-final_tcm1071-337504.pdf). I have email communication with SAM to confirm this, but SAM does not make their quesitonnaires public. That does not mean that SAM does not indirectly query corporation action related to ecosystem services in other sectors, nor does it mean that they may not highlight ecosystem services in the future--questions are continually reviewed and revised. A SAM representative also expressed that not including a question abotu a topic area did not mean that SAM thinks it irrelevant, but rather that "other questions may be financially more material." 

 

The Business and Biodiversity Campaign nicely summarizes the inclusion of biodiversity and ecosystem service criteria in the DJSI thus: "The Corporate Sustainability Assessment, conducted by SAM, also focuses on biodiversity issues which play a role in determining the ecological performance in certain industries - from the extractive and constructive sector to water, energy or real-estate. Ecosystem services are only mentioned in conjunction with the economic performance of the forestry and pulp sector but are implicitly anchored in the ecological analyses of the different sectors." (source: http://www.sustainability-index.com/images/sam-yearbook-2012-final_tcm1071-337504.pdf

 

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Here is an excerpt from info on the methodology of the DJSI index ranking.

 

DJSI methodology: 

"Since 1999, SAM has been conducting the annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), which serves as the framework for measuring corporate sustainability performance and forms the research backbone for the construction of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI)
• The world’s largest 2,500 publicly traded companies are invited to participate in SAM’s CSA for possible inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) 
• 58 industries are analyzed using industry-specific questionnaires
• Companies are evaluated based on a range of financially relevant sustainability criteria covering the economic, environmental and social dimensions
• Companies receive a Total Sustainability Score between 0–100 and are ranked against other companies in their industry
• The top 10% of companies within each industry are selected for inclusion in the DJSI World
• The DJSI identify sustainability leaders across all industries, enabling investors to track their performance and integrate sustainability considerations into their portfolios"

 

Within each dimension (the environment dimension is one of the three), there are an "average 6–10 criteria, and each criterion can contain between 2–10 questions, totaling approximately 80–120 questions, depending on the sector. Each criterion is worth up to 100 points, and is assigned a weight (percentage) of the total questionnaire. The criteria within each 

dimension roll up to the dimension weight. For each company, a Total Sustainability Score of up to 100 points is calculated based on the pre-defined weights established for each question and criterion."

 

from "Measuring Intangibles: SAM’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment Methodology," 5/2012, http://www.sustainability-index.com/images/sam-csa-methodology-en_tcm1071-338252.pdf&nbsp

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Deepwater NRDA projects start - $60 mill so far

Deepwater NRDA projects start - $60 mill so far | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
News Release, April 18, 2012: Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees Announce Major Progress in Gulf Restoration Effort...

 

Anyone remember how much economic/env loss was estimated from the spill?

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Nice summary of trends of governments considering ecosystem services

Looks like a good resource.

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TNC makes business case for water and green growth

TNC makes business case for water and green growth | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
The conversation about water has moved on and is now about the role natural resources play in providing smart, sustainable solutions...
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Jochen Zeitz, PUMA, speech about accounting for nature in business

The guy is really interesting. He wrote a book: Prayer, Profit and Principles with Benedictine monk, Anselm Grün. And he seems really committed to accounting for nature:“The primary purpose of an Environmental Profit and Loss is to show managers and stakeholders where in an operation and its supply chain these impacts occur and their magnitude.”

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Stockholm Env Institute Report: Valuing the Ocean

Stockholm Env Institute Report: Valuing the Ocean | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) links science and policy across a broad range of environmental and development issues at all scales across the globe.

 

Climate change could decrease economic value of key ocean services by up to 2 trillion USD a year by 2100

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ENVISION Home Page

ENVISION Home Page | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

ENVISION is a GIS-based tool for scenario-based community and regional planning and environmental assessments.

 

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NatureServe: NatureServe Vista: Decision Support for Better Planning

NatureServe: NatureServe Vista: Decision Support for Better Planning | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
NatureServe Vista is spatial Decision Support System (DSS) software that supports a broad variety of cumulative impact, mitigation, and planning applications such as: conservation, open space, and green infrastructure planning; land use,...
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National Atlas

The National Atlas of the United States contains many map data sets that are used to produce the maps in the map maker, printable maps, paper maps and dynamic maps.
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Newsweek Green Rankings

Newsweek Green Rankings | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

SUMMARY

Only applies to "the largest publicly-traded companies in America (the U.S. 500 list) and the largest publicly-traded companies based in developed and emerging markets worldwide (the Global 500 list)." Newsweek in partnership with Trucost, Sustainalytics.

 

Measures env impact (45%), management (45%), disclosure (10%).

 

Impact measured by Trucost, who takes things like GHG, air pollution, water use, waste, land and water poll, natural resource use (700 types of impacts) and translates them to $-value env impact cost per company (eg. add up $/ton GHG emiss ... and these $ values come from externality costs in aca lit), normalized by revenue so there's not size bias. With this first step they don't use actual reported GHG/water/whatever data to derive the impact... they use info like financial info, look at co activities... and then put this data into their input-output model which then spits out GHG emiss, air emiss, water use... [model is based on...? info from X bunch of companies in Y bunch of sectors?]. But then, they somehow adjust IF company provides real data. And finally, give chance for company to review/verify (& Trucost will accept if comprehensive/consistent). What env impacts are most important? GHG and water use accounts for ~75% of score for most sectors. Some sectors will have high impacts (eg. utilities) so will probably never rank high on overall rankings, but have opp to see rankings within the sector, so there's that kind of benchmarking. 

 

Management measured by Sustainalytics. Take co data, media/NGO reports, put into sector-specific indicators (60-100 for any single co). Considers policies, mgmt systems, key performance metrics, controversial incidents for env operations, supply chain, products. QAQC process: peer-review, co feedback. Here's a sample report from Dutch insurance/pension/etc firm Aegon: http://sustainability-report.aegon.com/assets/Uploads/pdf/Sustainalytics-AEGON-report.pdf. Sample sector report for food/bev/tobacco: http://www.sustainalytics.com/sites/default/files/foodbevtobacco1.19.12.pdf ;

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For biodiversity law, a crossroads

It wasn't too hard for the Fish and Wildlife Service to decide the fate of 92 freshwater snails, or 17 dragonflies, or indeed more than 500 species over the past year. But when it comes to the dunes sagebrush lizard, trouble looms.
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The RSPB and Tesco unite to protect rainforests

The RSPB and Tesco unite to protect rainforests | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
The RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and Tesco (one of the world's top five global retailers) have announced a ground-breaking partnership called ‘Together For Trees’ to help protect rainforests around the world.

Via Gill Mortimer
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Paying for Ecosystem Services, Part 5: Paying for itself, in the bottom line

Here's a lovely little gem video that features CEOs talking about why it’s not just a good thing, but good for business to account for nature. So there you go, business paying for ecosystem services because it would be foolish not to. Great message.

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Information is Beautiful Images for Accounting for Sustainability Forum 2011

Information is Beautiful Images for Accounting for Sustainability Forum 2011 | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) recently held their annual Forum at St. James Palace on 15 December 2011. The following images were designed by Information is Beautiful and launched at the event to demonstrate the Economic Invisibility of Nature.

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