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Ecosystem Marketplace, Marketplace Mitigation Mail

May 20, 2016    

From the Editors

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


Earlier this month at a meeting of parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), talks focused on how to link biodiversity targets to broader global goal-setting on the Sustainable Development Goals and climate change. "Integration" means making sure biodiversity is part of the development agenda and also existing cross-sectoral plans, programs and policies, including financial policies and budgetary processes, according to the CBD.

"When we go outside of the little room of the CBD, we have to convince the larger public, governments and businesses that biodiversity helps achieve their goals," explains Rowan Braybrook, a Manager in Strategic Engagement and International Policy at Conservation International. Get coverage from Ecosystem Marketplace here.

The "biodiversity is in your best interest" mantra might be of help in New South Wales, where farmers and conservationists are squaring off over new land-clearing rules that are either "flexible" or a "disaster", depending on whom you ask. We find a similar battle in the United States over the greater sage-grouse, only there at least both sides agree it's the US Fish & Wildlife Service's fault. 

This month also saw the lesser prairie chicken's legal limbo put to rest: it is going to stay off the endangered species list. Voluntary efforts to protect the bird got new support via the renewal of a USDA program offering landowners incentives to preserve the bird's habitat, which aims to grow acreage enrolled by one-third in the next five years.

Got a tip for a story or thoughts on our coverage? Get in touch by email or tweet at us anytime.

It's Friday,

—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team

If you have comments or would like to submit news stories, write to us at

EM Exclusives

Saving Biodiversity By Integrating It Into All Spheres Of Society

Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into larger, political and high level processes appears set to dominate week two of biodiversity talks in Montreal, which will focus on action, the implementation of national strategies meant to stem the global loss of wildlife.

  – Ecosystem Marketplace has coverage.


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

Environmentalists have long said that humans must conserve the 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.

  – Keep reading here.

Mitigation News  

New Legislation ignites a Biodiversity Battle in Australia's New South Wales

Conservation groups are loudly expressing their concern over New South Wales biodiversity compensation laws, including a new bill that relaxes them further. Critics claim the rules don't protect native vegetation and will result in massive land clearing similar to what happened in Queensland, another Australian state. Not so, the government says: the new bill will provide greater flexibility for farmers while also providing financial incentives for conservation.  

  – Learn about the new rules.
  – Read more about the backlash here.


Landowners find Good Reason to Conserve Prairie Chicken Habitat

A provision within the US Farm Bill is incentivizing voluntary conservation for the beleaguered lesser prairie chicken. Under a renewed Farm Bill initiative, landowners and ranchers can earn money for implementing pro-prairie chicken practices on their property. The Department of Agriculture, the Farm Bill's facilitator, pledges to restore 500,000 acres of habitat. About 1M acres have already been enrolled in the last five years through the program.

  – The Santa Fe New Mexican has the story.


Prairie Chicken will stay off Endangered Species List

The lesser prairie chicken is no longer in a state of limbo: the US Department of Justice has announced it will not challenge a court ruling that removed the bird from the endangered species list. Conservative lawmakers consider the decision a win while environmentalists express deep concern for the bird's fate. 

  – Read it at E&E News (subscription required).


India's Himachal Pradesh is in an Ecosystem Services State of Mind

The state of Himachal Pradesh in India is making plans to integrate ecosystem services into its decision-making and forest management planning with a new project called Forest Ecosystem Services Management, initiated in cooperation with Germany.  Germany will provide finance and technical training.

  – Get the full story from the Business Standard.


Everybody's Mad at the USFWS over Greater Sage Grouse Actions

Imposing a mitigation standard of 'net conservation gain' is one reason several US states and industry groups are filing suits against the Fish and Wildlife Service for its land-use plans that seek to protect greater sage-grouse habitat. At the same time, environmental groups are suing the Service, claiming the plans are riddled with loopholes that allow energy development to put the bird in jeopardy. 

  – Lexology covers the story here.


Mitigation Roundup

  • Proponents of a CAD$1B offset proposal near Niagara Falls, Ontario, have backed away from the plan after public opposition.
  • Officials cut the ribbon on a wetland and stream mitigation project on Army Corps of Engineers property on Hatchery Creek near Jamestown, Kentucky.
  • A controversial Manatee County housing project looks to be in the free and clear for a mitigation bank permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Nevermind, because here comes a court challenge!
  • Some serious ecological restoration: five bison calves were recently born on a wetland mitigation site sponsored by Chicago's O'Hare airport.
  • Australia's federal government slapped down a request by the Ichthys INPEX LNG pipeline to drop AUD$91M in funding for planned marine and land reserves.


A Political Wind Change in Louisiana may Steer Oil Money Away From Wetlands

Lawmakers in Louisiana are considering moving oil revenue dollars slated to restore coastal wetlands to help fix a budget deficit, much to the dismay of environmental groups. These groups argue that slashing finance for coastal restoration would negatively impact several sectors, including energy, transportation and fishing, and could impede the expected flow of revenue-sharing money down the road. 

  – Get the story here.


Stakeholders Turn Their Eagle Eyes on USFWS Draft Rule

Both wildlife groups and wind energy companies have high hopes for the US Fish and Wildlife Service's new draft rule on permitting the take of bald and golden eagles. But wind interests express concern about increased mitigation requirements down the road while environmentalists say the rule may rely on mitigation too much, since there are only a few methods that actually reduce bird kills.

  – E&E News has coverage.


Indigenous Rights are a Win for Biodiversity

For Earth Day, the Global Forest Coalition published a report highlighting the important role indigenous people play as environmental stewards. The report urges governments to enshrine indigenous rights in public policy to better safeguard ecosystems and biodiversity. 

  – Find out more.


In-lieu Fee Fund Generates $5M for Wisconsin Wetlands

Funding generated from Wisconsin's new in-lieu fee mitigation program, which was created to expand compensatory mitigation options for developers seeking offsets, will finance wetland restoration, enhancement and preservation projects. The program currently has a bit over $5 million to distribute in grants.

  – Learn more.




Biodiversity Finance Advisor for Africa, Europe and Central Asia

The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) - Istanbul, Turkey

Available evidence and decisions adopted by Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) indicate a significant gap in finance for biodiversity management – a major barrier for countries to scale up their efforts and achieve the 20 Aichi Targets defined in the CBD’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2020. While various global and national estimates exist, detailed national-level (bottom-up) assessments are required to provide more robust information on biodiversity finance needs and priorities, fully taking into account the effects of the enabling policy environment. These need to be followed by a dedicated campaign to implement a wide range of prioritised finance solutions. In this context, at COP-11 in October 2012, UNDP and the European Commission (EC) launched a new partnership project “The Biodiversity Finance Initiative - BIOFIN” that seeks to build a sound business case for increased investment in the management of ecosystems and biodiversity at the national level. UNDP is therefore seeking a biodiversity finance advisor to work with national governments following a demand driven approach, covering Africa, Eastern-Europe and Central Asia. 

  – Learn more here.


Project Manager – Biodiversity Offsets, Impact Mitigation and Conservation

Wildlife Conservation Society - Mozambique

The Project, Conservation, impact Mitigation and Biodiversity Offsets in Africa (COMBO), is being implemented in four countries – Guinea, Madagascar, Mozambique and Uganda. The overall coordination of the project falls under the Project Director, based in the UK. The goal of the project is to contribute to the establishment and implementation of effective mechanisms to avoid, reduce and compensate impacts to biodiversity and ecosystems, in order to achieve "no net loss" or a "net gain" of biodiversity, with the improvements in mitigation, particularly the last step of offsets (or compensation) generating additional funds for conservation activities. The Project Manager for Mozambique (PM) will be responsible for the management and oversight of project implementation in Mozambique.

  – Learn more here.


Technical Governance Committee, Member

The Gold Standard Foundation

Gold Standard is updating its technical governance structure that will maintain the principle of independent, expert oversight and provide clearer, more efficient decision making as we progress towards Gold Standard Version 3.0. This update involves the establishment of a central, overarching Technical Governance Committee. The TGC is an independent and external body of experts and shall be the main responsible decision-making body for all technical matters within the Gold Standard Foundation. The TGC shall comprise of 10-12 members representing the different Gold Standard Foundation’s key stakeholder groups. Gold Standard seeks to ensure gender balance and geographical diversity, therefore Women candidates and candidates from Least Developed and Developing Countries are encouraged to apply.

  – Learn more here.


Lead Author and Coordinator for the Gold Standard Methodology to Quantify and Monitor Gender Impacts

Gold Standard Foundation

The Gold Standard is developing a new, holistic version – Gold Standard 3.0 – that integrates our principles of safeguards, transparency, and stakeholder engagement to ensure the same high level of assurance across a broad range of activities. This makes it possible for multiple outcomes—from reduced greenhouse gas emissions to improved health to gender equality—to be certified and monetised, creating a framework for results-based payments for outcomes that contribute to the SDGs.

Under the proposed programme, Gold Standard will develop and test a methodology for measuring activity level impact towards SDG 5 – Gender Equality. It is intended that the methodology be applicable to a wide range of activities though it will be initially tested for clean cooking activities. Activity specific guidance may be required. The proposed methodology will allow for the certification of gender impacts as certified outcomes for use in results-based finance. The exact characteristics and use of this certification will be determined alongside the methodology development process.

  – Learn more here.




2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Council has selected Hawaii, United States of America, as the host of the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress - the world's largest conservation event. Held every four years, the Congress brings together leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, business, UN agencies and indigenous and grass-roots organizations to discuss and decide on solutions to the world's most pressing environment and development challenges. 1-10 September 2016. Hawaii, USA.

  – Learn more here.


ACES 2016

ACES: A Community on Ecosystem Services represents a dynamic and growing assembly of professionals, researchers, and policy-makers involved with ecosystem services. The ACES 2016 Conference brings together this community in partnership with Ecosystem Markets and the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP), providing an open forum to share experiences, methods, and tools for assessing and incorporating ecosystem services into public and private decisions. The focus of the conference is to link science, practice, and sustainable decision-making by bringing together the ecosystem services community from around the United States and the globe. ACES 2016 will bring together leaders in government, NGOs, academia, Native American tribes, and the private sector to advance the use of ecosystem services science and practice in conservation, restoration, resource management, and development decisions. We hope you will make plans to join more than 500 ecosystem service stakeholders in this collaborative discussion to advance use of an ecosystem services framework for natural resource management and policy. 5-9 December 2016. Jacksonville FL, USA.

  – Learn more here.


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