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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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Managing for Wildlife Habitat on Rangeland: There's a Plan for That

Tim Koopmann rancher in Sunol, and recent recipient of the 2011 Leopold Conservation Award in California, shows how the needs of livestock and wildlife are being simultaneously addressed on his ranch."

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

This video comes from an article describing Conservation Banks in California. A true intersection between Nature (through the conservation) and Economics (through the sale of credits for revenue).

 

NRCS also gives grants and support to those landowners wanting to do conservation, but aren't in the position to create a full conservation bank. That's important because Conservation is a real investment, and it's important to have options for those who need an alternative - the landscape needs lots of patches .

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Alaska’s Bristol Bay mine project: Ground zero for the next big environmental fight?

Alaska’s Bristol Bay mine project: Ground zero for the next big environmental fight? | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
A dispute over a proposed copper and gold mine near Alaska’s Bristol Baymay be one of the most important environmental decisions of President Obama’s second term — yet few are even aware that the fight is happening.

 

At issue is a proposed mining operation in a remote area that is home to several Alaskan native tribes and nearly half of the world’s sockeye salmon. Six tribes have asked the Environmental Protection Agency to invoke its powers under the Clean Water Act to block the mine on the grounds that it would harm the region’s waterways, fish and wildlife.

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

This is a big question - the area is undeniably exceptional in terms of it's natural and evironmental value. There's nowhere else like it in the world. The Salmon Fisheries are irreplacable, and there are significant Native Alaska cultural values at stake too.

 

So the impacts, undeniably, would be huge: in both environmental losses, but also in terms of economic benefit. Alaska has a tenuous employment and economic base and many areas desperately need good jobs. Pebble Mine provides lots of this.

 

This article mentions and economic impact study:

"The Pebble mining partnership released an economic analysis Thursday estimating that the project would generate 2,500 construction jobs during the five years that it would take to build the facility. The report by IHS Global Insight predicted that the companies would spend approximately $1.2 billion per year on direct capital investment and wages during the construction phase and that the mine would eventually generate up to $180 million in annual taxes and royalties.

“For perspective, the report indicates Pebble development alone would pay more in annual taxes to the state than the entire fishing industry combined,” Pebble chief executive John Shively said in a statement."

 

Even when we can fairly estimate the costs and beneifts of each, how do we weigh each against one another?

They're right - this is a really interesting benchmark we're looking at here....

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MJP EcoArchives's curator insight, June 4, 2013 9:00 PM

This is a big question - the area is undeniably exceptional in terms of it's natural and evironmental value. There's nowhere else like it in the world. The Salmon Fisheries are irreplacable, and there are significant Native Alaska cultural values at stake too.

 

So the impacts, undeniably, would be huge: in both environmental losses, but also in terms of economic benefit. Alaska has a tenuous employment and economic base and many areas desperately need good jobs. Pebble Mine provides lots of this.

 

This article mentions and economic impact study:

"The Pebble mining partnership released an economic analysis Thursday estimating that the project would generate 2,500 construction jobs during the five years that it would take to build the facility. The report by IHS Global Insight predicted that the companies would spend approximately $1.2 billion per year on direct capital investment and wages during the construction phase and that the mine would eventually generate up to $180 million in annual taxes and royalties.

“For perspective, the report indicates Pebble development alone would pay more in annual taxes to the state than the entire fishing industry combined,” Pebble chief executive John Shively said in a statement."

 

Even when we can fairly estimate the costs and beneifts of each, how do we weigh each against one another?

They're right - this is a really interesting benchmark we're looking at here....

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Mangrove conservation pays off for Kenya's coastal communities - Reuters AlertNet

Mangrove conservation pays off for Kenya's coastal communities - Reuters AlertNet | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

Mangrove conservation pays off for Kenya's coastal communities. Locals hope the carbon-absorbing properties of the trees will help produce more income for communities around Gazi Bay once a “payment for ecosystem services” scheme dubbed Mikoko Pamoja is assessed and certified by Plan Vivo, a charity working on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).  

 

According to project coordinator Noel Mbaru, the project covers about one-fifth of the 615-hectare Gazi Bay Mangrove Forest. The scheme is expected to sell carbon credits equivalent to 3,000 tonnes each year, earning the community about $15,000.

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

After re-planting the mangroves and building tourist facilities around it, this local Kenyan community could see that it was profitable to keep the mangroves healthy. Their livelyhoods now depend on keeping the Mangroves ecosystem alive and well. They founders/owners now make their livelyhoods from it.

 

It's not ground-breaking economics, but the more and more stories we hear like this, the more proof we have it works. Finding these approaches possible in areas like Kenya is actually really important, even if it isn't cutting edge anymore.

 

But this article also gets excited with upcoming potential carbon credits from this project under REDD. Again, not ground-breaking, but we need to see more everyday examples of these tools to know if they work.

 

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More From the IPBES and the 7th Conference on Biodiversity at Trondheim "Even farm animal diversity is declining as accelerating species loss threatens humanity"

More From the IPBES and the 7th Conference on Biodiversity at Trondheim "Even farm animal diversity is declining as accelerating species loss threatens humanity" | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

The accelerating disappearance of Earth's species of both wild and domesticated plants and animals constitutes a fundamental threat to the well-being and even the survival of humankind, warns the founding Chair of a new global organization created to narrow the gulf between leading international biodiversity scientists and national policy-makers.

In Norway to address an elite gathering of 450 international officials with government responsibilities in the fields of biodiversity and economic planning, Zakri Abdul Hamid offered his first public remarks since being elected in January to head the new Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) -- an independent body modeled on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

It would seem that more and more, issues of Biodiversity and Biodiversity Loss are issues for economic sectors - agriculture, farming/crops, sustainable development.

 

This comment is interesting - it mentions the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Millennium Development Goals in one place.

 

He talks about "fundamental challenge of decoupling economic growth from natural resource consumption, which is forecast to triple by 2050" - and he also talks about using Natural Capital better in more modern GDP measures.

 

 If we want to use Natural Capital to create a more accurate and constructive GDP-like measure, maybe we're not DE-coupling natural resource consumption from economic growth - we're RE-coupling it in more sustainable way....

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Bold statement? "None of the world's top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use"

Bold statement? "None of the world's top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use" | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
A sobering new study finds that the world's biggest industries burn through $7.3 trillion worth of free natural capital a year. And it's the only reason they turn a profit.
MJP EcoArchives's insight:

It would seem that applying Economics to Nature makes sobering reading, according to this review of a recent TEEB report trying to price the unpriced elements of gloal businesses and industried, hence the 'externalities' in the title - "Natural Capital at Risk: The Top 100 Externalities of Business"

http://www.teebforbusiness.org/js/plugins/filemanager/files/TEEB_Final_Report_v5.pdf

 

It estimates that the unaccoutned for cost is 7.trillion annualy. He says a revolution is needed. I think it's more about recognising it's a big issue for sure - but it's complex to say that this report in of itself is a cause for alarm. Sensationalism never got anyone anywhere. But it's a great way to look at the info we use to make decisions. And TEEB has done valuable work, whichever way you look at it.

 

"But the UNEP report makes clear that what’s going on today is more than a few accounting oversights here and there. The distance between today’s industrial systems and truly sustainable industrial systems — systems that do not spend down stored natural capital but instead integrate into current energy and material flows — is not one of degree, but one of kind. What’s needed is not just better accounting but a new global industrial system, a new way of providing for human wellbeing, and fast. That means a revolution."

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Mission Markets Raises $1.5 Million in Series A2 Financing Round

Mission Markets Raises $1.5 Million in Series A2 Financing Round | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

Mission Markets, Inc. today announced it has closed a $1.5 million Series A2 funding round, which brings the company’s total funding to approximately $3 million. Social entrepreneur James Lee Sorenson provided the largest investment in the round and will join the company’s board of directors.

 

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

It may not be exclsively PES (Payment for Ecosystem Services) based, having expanded into the broader 'impact investment' relme, but this not-at-all-new company is an inspiring model. It's been a long time coming, and great to see investment flowing - but 1.5Mil isn't big money in the scheme of things. Seems they are putting a lot of effort into their platform (it's pretty good) and it's harder to work out how to create the investment traffic they need. Anyway, it's great to see Mission Markets is still going strong - they're a fav of mine. Let's just hope it's the tip of the iceberg for them.

 

"Providing an efficient solution through a number of online marketplace services, Mission Markets creates a sustainable economy by connecting “mission focused” communities of investors to “mission aligned” organizations. In addition to its flagship MMX platform, Mission Markets is currently developing an expanded portfolio of capital market and technology solutions to engage investors in sustainable capitalism and impact investing. Mission Markets supports sustainable capital funding solutions in a variety of sectors, including community supported enterprises, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and environmental conservation."

 

www.missionmarkets.com

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Environmental Law Institute Event - NRDA Advantages, Disadvantages, and Mechanics of Cooperation

Environmental Law Institute Event - NRDA Advantages, Disadvantages, and Mechanics of Cooperation | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
An ELI Associates Seminar (call in/webinar), 30th May, 12pm EST.
MJP EcoArchives's insight:

Looking forward to it! It's a hot topic of coversation amoung those in environmental mitigation, offsets and credit trading. Natural Resource Damage Assessments (NRDA) are, broadly, about aligning economic impacts with approrpriate repariation to nature that's damaged. How can we best translate that to effective and efficent repair on the ground? There's the question....

 

"This seminar will bring together Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) practitioners to discuss what the cooperative process has looked like in the past and how it could be further developed to become a more efficient and effective process. Panelists and participants will discuss guiding principles for undertaking cooperative assessments.

Panelists:
Joseph C. Steinbacher, Technical Director, O’Brien & Gere (moderator)
Mark Barash, Senior Attorney, Office of the Solicitor, Northeast Region
Tom Brosnan, NOAA Office of Response & Restoration
Brian D. Israel, Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP/p"

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Woman honored for efforts to help Utah prairie dog - NorthJersey.com

Woman honored for efforts to help Utah prairie dog - NorthJersey.com | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
Woman honored for efforts to help Utah prairie dog
NorthJersey.com
The agency says Romin oversaw creation of the Utah Prairie Dog Habitat Credit Exchange, a mitigation bank that promotes conservation while providing flexibility for stakeholders.
MJP EcoArchives's insight:

This is really interesting because they didn't seem to need a fancy program or a federal listing to make this work. It hasn't made a lot of ripples on the national stage, but their doing what's important - conserving species at a locally-important level. That's success in my book. Are there more people deserving of awards? Where do we award them?

 

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Hello from your new Curator - MJP Eco Archives by Miss Jemma Penelope

As of May 2013, Madsen Environmental has handed over the reins of this Scoop.it topic. I’ll continue the objective of Becca Madsen's platform here, and continue to post on similar themes.

I hope you'll continue to follow. Feel free to suggest a Scoop, and offer advice and feedback. 

 

I'm looking forward to curating for you,

 

Sincerely,

MJP Eco Archives

~ Jemma Penelope @mis_jp

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

You can also take a look at my (freshly emerging) blog - "Mis J P Moves Things & the Eco Archive (misjpmovesthings.wordpress.com) to get a feel for what I write and how I'll be curating.

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Overhead at Katoomba China: How do you define a 'beneficiary'?


Via Carlos Ferreira
MJP EcoArchives's insight:

Good question.

It's great to be asking how to allocate the benefits and the costs most accurately, to be fair to both the Economics and the Enviornment. But there's a socail side to this too, no? If you're asking someone to pay for something, does that also give them the power to not pay and forgoe the benefit? And what happens if you want or need the benefit, but geniunely can't afford it?

 

Is a truely user-pays (beneficary-pays) system possible when dealing with the Environment. It's a good place to start, but we need something more too.

 

This seems like one of the biggest gulfs between Ecnomics and the Environment - in an economy we're fairly discrete individuals making our decisions and spending our money. But in the enviornment we're all intertwined and inter-related. These lines don't seem to line up so well.....what's the bridge going to be?

 

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Carlos Ferreira's curator insight, May 17, 2013 10:32 AM

A fundamental question to any ecosystem services study, policy and market.

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This is a First: Wetland Mitigation Infographic

This is a First: Wetland Mitigation Infographic | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
Folks over at MS USA have developed what appears to be the first and only infographic about wetland mitigation available on the internets. It provides a nice explanation and history of wetland miti...
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NOAA/NMFS NW Region has guidance on conservation banking for fish... if you can find it

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

Well this is interesting: 

"The Northwest Region of National Marine Fisheries Service finalized their Conservation Banking Guidance on January 31, 2013."


Darn it all that it is nowhere to be found on the NOAA NMFS NW site, the NOAA site, and all of the internets. Left a VM to find this and will post soon.

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WI DNR is Talking About P Water Quality Trading

WI DNR is Talking About P Water Quality Trading | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
DNR's Moroney sees more sensible, respectful agency Agri-View The DNR has provided options to address phosphorus limits at lower cost, with tactics like water-quality trading, variances and “adaptive management.” For instance, he said municipal and...
MJP EcoArchives's insight:

"The DNR has the first phosphorus standards in the country. Moroney said he recognizes phosphorus standards are more stringent and can be much more costly, and he warned that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is prepared to impose even more stringent standards.


The DNR has provided options to address phosphorus limits at lower cost, with tactics like water-quality trading, variances and “adaptive management.” For instance, he said municipal and industrial waste treatment facilities may engage in discharge contracts with farmers who employ Best Management Practices. This water quality trading is an exchange of pollutant reduction credits. A buyer with a high pollutant control cost can buy pollutant reduction or treatment from a willing seller to comply with their regulatory requirements. Trading can produce substantial cost savings compared to traditional compliance options like facility upgrades, said Moroney. It’s up in the air as yet what entity – DNR or Land Conservation for instance – will be the middle man between the point source and nonpoint source. Moroney told Agri-View that once this phosphorus trading gets rolling, a farmer who, for instance, increases the width of a stream buffer, will get paid for his efforts by a point-source that can’t fully comply with the phosphorus requirements.

"

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Demystifying the Role of Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessments on Environmental Expert

Demystifying the Role of Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessments on Environmental Expert | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

"Ensuring that development projects benefit both people and the planet is becoming more and more of a priority.

 

Environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA) have been in use for decades to consider the effects of projects such as dams, highways, and oil and gas development. Over the years, ESIAs have evolved to cover both environmental and social impacts, including health and human rights...

 

In 2012, important financial institutions–the International Finance Corporation and the Equator Principles Financial Institutions–took a welcome step towards promoting a more holistic approach to impact assessment, requiring their clients to address ecosystem services as part of their due diligence."

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

Ecosystem services are a more tangible, concrete way of looking at the impacts on the environment, hence the emerging popularity of the term.

 

To me, looking at impacts via Ecosystem Services means not just looking at the impacts on the ecosystem, and impacts on humans, but looking at the things from that ecosystem that humans use and how this is effected.

 

This might seem a small detail but think about this example:

 

"Take the tundra example. Before implementing a project, environmental practitioners might look at its impact on the total reindeer population and find it to be relatively low. Addressing ecosystem services, however, focuses the assessment on reindeer populations in specific hunting grounds and how changes would affect hunters and their families."

 

Is it right to weight the impacts of environmental damage by how much humans use that part of the enviroment. What would happen if the impact to reindeer was huge for the reindeer population, but not in areas that they are hunted by humans? Does this make the impact less important because the impact on the Reindeer as an Ecosystem Service is less?

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MJP EcoArchives's curator insight, June 9, 2013 12:04 AM

Ecosystem services are a more tangible, concrete way of looking at the impacts on the environment, hence the emerging popularity of the term.

 

To me, looking at impacts via Ecosystem Services means not just looking at the impacts on the ecosystem, and impacts on humans, but looking at the things from that ecosystem that humans use and how this is effected.

 

This might seem a small detail but think about this example:

 

"Take the tundra example. Before implementing a project, environmental practitioners might look at its impact on the total reindeer population and find it to be relatively low. Addressing ecosystem services, however, focuses the assessment on reindeer populations in specific hunting grounds and how changes would affect hunters and their families."

 

Is it right to weight the impacts of environmental damage by how much humans use that part of the enviroment. What would happen if the impact to reindeer was huge for the reindeer population, but not in areas that they are hunted by humans? Does this make the impact less important because the impact on the Reindeer as an Ecosystem Service is less?

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California Governor Jerry Brown Releases Delta Water Plan Restoration Costs ... - Sierra Sun Times

California Governor Jerry Brown Releases Delta Water Plan Restoration Costs ... - Sierra Sun Times | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

..."The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) ...is a proposal to provide long-term restoration and protection of fish and wildlife in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta while creating a more reliable means to supply water to 25 million Californians and over 3 million acres of farmland. Information made available today includes cost estimates for implementation, potential funding sources, and the cost-effectiveness of new water tunnels proposed in the habitat conservation plan for the Delta...

 

The BDCP is designed to meet the co-equal goals mandated by the state in the 2009 Delta Reform Act: Restoring the Delta’s fragile ecosystem and improving the reliability of water it supplies to two out of three Californians. The BDCP is a natural community conservation plan under state law and a habitat conservation plan under federal endangered species law. It includes large-scale habitat restoration and the return of more natural flow patterns through the Delta..."

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

The Sacramento Valley is a great case-study of some potential conflict, and some great harmony, between Nature + Economcis. This article talks about the fac the driver behind this conservation effort is clearly the potential impact to the State's economy is natural disaster strikes. So how does the Econcomics of this plan stack up?

 

The plan is actually an HCP under US FWS Endangered Species law, which means it spells out how economic development can occur and how the environmental conservation will be requried to mitigate.

 

HCP's can be a great gateway to Species Conservation Banking under the same Act, but depending on the laguage it isn't always so.

 

This is a significant effort to take care of both the Nature and Economics of the area, but this is a tough areana to be playing in. I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

 

Read the plan here: http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/Home.aspx ;

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Ecosystem Marketplace - New White House Water Guidance Includes Ecosystem Services Approach

Ecosystem Marketplace - New White House Water Guidance </br> Includes Ecosystem Services Approach | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

30 May 2013 | Human existence depends on ecosystem services, and while some are quite obvious – think carbon sequestration and water regulation – others, like soil regulation, are not. But they are all equally important and necessary in sustaining life, which is why there is a growing understanding and appreciation for these services. It's also why the preservation and conservation of valuable ecosystems is appearing in government policies and planning.

For instance, the White House's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which coordinates the executive branch's environmental efforts, has recently released an updated version of the 1983 Principles and Guidelines on Water and Land Related Resources Implementation Studies to include an ecosystem services approach to the evaluation process. Previous guidelines focused almost exclusively on economic factors.

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

This is about using guidance or regulations - policy or legislation - to move ecosystem services and environmental markets, really:

 

My contribution? ""Guidance has been useful as they send a clear message, and can be used by those willing and eager to have some consistency," says Jemma Penelope, a private consultant to the conservation and species banking industry. "But they tend to promote rather than require."

Timing also plays an important role in the effects. For conservation banking, Penelope believes the time is right to implement higher standards because there is a push from all sides involved and they agree it's what the industry needs. Those involved in the water sector would need to determine if the time is right, as well, for guidelines prompting an ecosystem services approach or regulations requiring it. "

 

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IISD RS @ Seventh Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity, Highlights for Thursday, 30 May 2013, Trondheim, Norway

IISD RS @ Seventh Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity, Highlights for Thursday, 30 May 2013, Trondheim, Norway | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
International Institute for Sustainable Development - Reporting Services (IISD RS), Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity Bulletin, Conference Reporting Service (CRS), Biodiversity, Trondheim Conferences on Biodiversity, Seventh Trondheim Conference...
MJP EcoArchives's insight:

Great topic - from first glace these terms are a specific and comprehesive way to guide discussion. Safe Ecological Limits is a useful, non-loaded term I like the use of.

My fav. title on Wednesday was  Session 7: Aligning Policies, Incentives and Business with Safe Ecological Limits, Chaired by Carina Malherbe, Deputy Director of Resource Economics, Department of Environmental Affairs - and with speakers from France, Australia, Norway and the Netherlands,  and The World Bank. Great to see the georgaphic diversity of the pannel.

 

How about the economic diversity though? We need to be designing Incentives and Policies that work in emerging, developing and under-developed areas also.

Regradless, I liked to see the FSC and Fund for Animal Welfare at the table.

 

Check out the other resources at the bottom of the page regarding the newly-created Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), "created to narrow the gulf between leading international biodiversity scientists and national policy-makers".

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Can banks make a profit by investing in the Great Barrier Reef?

Can banks make a profit by investing in the Great Barrier Reef? | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
The hard reality is that we cannot expect Australian banks to stop funding mining altogether. The question we need to be asking is – can banks make a profit by investing some of that coal money towards reef-friendly businesses?
MJP EcoArchives's insight:

While it might not tell us exactly how the banks will make their return on Great Barrier Investment, it does give a nice insight into 'impact investment' which a whole other revenue stream to CSR.  So how far away are we on making this happen?

 

"the Global Impact Investing Network feel that the industry is “in its infancy and growing”. Experts predict a US$500 billion industry globally by 2019.

In the past, the rate of return on impact investments has been lower than the market rate but, in 2013, it is expected to close to market rates of return."

 

I would highly reccomend the book 'Evolution in Sustianable Investment' - the idea isn't a new or as fringe as the general public might think. So, how we up-scale it?

 

 

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Consensus Statement from Global Scientists | MAHB

Consensus Statement from Global Scientists | MAHB | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

“…As scientists who study the interaction of people with the rest of the biosphere using a wide range of approaches, we agree that the evidence that humans are damaging their ecological life-support systems is overwhelming. As members of the scientific community actively involved in assessing the biological and societal impacts of global change, we are sounding this alarm to the world…

“For humanity’s continued health and prosperity, we all – individuals, businesses, political leaders, religious leaders, scientists, and people in every walk of life – must work hard to solve these five global problems, starting today:

Climate DisruptionExtinctionsLoss of Ecosystem DiversityPollutionHuman Population Growth and Resource Consumption”
MJP EcoArchives's insight:

Anyone who is interested in Nature+Economics is so, because of articles like this. If we needed reminding this is important, here it is. The list of signatories includes Dr. and Prof. from Research Institutes and Universities around the world.

It's got a conscice review of these 5 major Environmental and Scientific Issues, and a targeted, yet comprehensive bibliography.

It's sobering reading as always, but useful. But is there a better way for the scientific community to drive the change. I feel I have read this before. Is this is best way to communicate across the Nature/Economcis divide? What is? And who's responsibility is it anyway - Nature? Or Economcis?

 

See the full Report here:

http://mahb.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Consensus-Statement.pdf

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DEVELOPMENT: Beware regulatory landscape - Press-Enterprise

DEVELOPMENT: Beware regulatory landscape - Press-Enterprise | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it

"Land developers in California are a recovering species and are no longer on the endangered list. However, while the economic environment is improving, the regulatory landscape is becoming increasingly complex.

California’s real estate market is not (yet) hot, but it is no longer frozen solid. Signs of this thawing include efforts to revive projects started in the boom times that have sat half-built for many years."

 

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

You could say that when property development in CA sneezes mitigation banking across the State (and maybe the nation) catches a cold. So what might this predicted up-swing mean for mitiagtion and conseravtion banking in CA?

 

"...new rule in 2008 to clarify how to provide compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts to the nation’s wetlands and streams that will be tested under this next wave of new development..."

 

Is he suggesting the tie between nature and economics here might change in this economic cycle? Seth Merewitz discusses how regualtions might influence this. I suspect that 'real life' will surprise us all - it's a complicated relationship with lots of variables...is regualtion the most important?

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Biodiversity Conservation Strategy a Win for the Environment

Biodiversity Conservation Strategy a Win for the Environment | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
The Victorian Government has released its Biodiversity Conservation Strategy outlining how conservation will be dealt with within Melbourne’s designated growth corridors. One key reform, following consistent evidenced-based advocacy by the Prope ...
MJP EcoArchives's insight:

It's great to see so much effort going into cost efficency and reduced compliance costs too, here. But still not cheap, mind. It doesn't seem as sustainable without it, so it's a great modern attitude:

 

"The Property Council, Australia’s leading advocate for the country’s $600 billion property industry, has welcomed the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy for the clarity, transparency and sound environmental outcomes it will deliver."

 

And see at the end: "The Victorian Government has also released a draft cost recovery plan entitled Habitat Compensation under the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, which aims to collect close to $1 billion for the program over the next 30-40 years."

 

I wonder how that compares to Victoria's BushTender system, or NSW's Biobanking scheme. Stay tunned....

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Charting New Waters: State of Watershed Payments 2012, Forest Trends

Charting New Waters: State of Watershed Payments 2012, Forest Trends | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
New Study: US$8.17 Billion Spent in 2011 to Safeguard Drinking Water and Regional Supplies by Protecting Watersheds—$2 Billion Above 2008 Levels

China leads in watershed investments, as globally, protecting natural lands emerges as cost-effective solution to municipal water woes

MJP EcoArchives's insight:

Watershed Payments are one of the first - and most charismatic - examples how economcis and ecosystems can leverage each other. If we can make this idea work, then I'm optimisic about our other innovative ideas comming through too.

 

“80 percent of the world is now facing significant threats to water security. We are witnessing the early stages of a global response that could transform the way we value and manage the world’s watersheds.”

 

See the full report here: http://www.forest-trends.org/documents/files/doc_3308.pdf

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Can we offset biodiversity losses?

Can we offset biodiversity losses? | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
Clive Palmer’s China First Coal Project is entering the last stages of review for its proposed coal mine in Queensland’s Bimblebox Nature Refuge.
MJP EcoArchives's insight:

"A recent paper is one of few to evaluate the outcomes from a biodiversity offset. When frog habitat was destroyed during development in Sydney Olympic Park, more habitat was created as an offset. The authors monitored the population size of the vulnerable green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea) before and after development. They found that an area of habitat 19 times larger than the habitat area affected had to be created to ensure there was a no net loss of frogs.

This is an example of an offset working. But the amount of habitat that had to be created relative to the habitat lost (known as the “offset ratio”) was 19:1 – much greater than initially expected, and this was only discovered after intensive monitoring over more than a decade.

Often, proposed offset ratios are closer to 2:1"

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New BSR Report "Private Uptake of Ecosystem Service Concepts and Frameworks"

MJP EcoArchives's insight:
Nice. Table in back has 35 companies mentioning "ecosystem services" in public reports.
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Shut the Front Door. Richard Branson is Talking about Ecosystem Services.

Shut the Front Door. Richard Branson is Talking about Ecosystem Services. | Nature + Economics | Scoop.it
MJP EcoArchives's insight:

I am floored. My favorite mega-millionaire Richard Branson (is he Batman? you gotta wonder) just posted a piece on the WSJ's LiveMint.com about how it's important to pay attention to biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

 

Let me boil down why he thinks it's important:

- Consumer demand: "Consumers are becoming increasingly frustrated with corporations that are only out for themselves, rather than helping their communities and the planet. Our group and other companies are going to need to know the answers to such questions [about biodiversity and ecosystem services]" 

- Community relations (eg, impacts of a company's operations on ecosystem services/biodiversity upon which local communities rely upon/enjoy): "What impact will our new offices have on the surrounding ecosystem?"

- Company innovation (/employee retention): "Everyone was energized by this challenge of envisioning and creating a sustainable future... And as I was listening to the researchers and my team, I was reminded that learning is not just a luxury, but integral to the growth of our group and the health of our company."

 

Here's WHEN it's important:

- Siting a new facility: "Where is the most suitable and sustainable location to position our new factory?"

 

Here's HOW Virgin is considering biodiversity and ecosystem services:

-  Measuring impacts: "we are looking at ways to better account for the impacts our activities are having on the natural resources"


So cool to see a topic like this coming out of a CEOs mouth. My work here is done.

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