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Valuing Ecosystem Services on Conservation Lands 101 Webinar

Webinar, Washington D.C., United States

Scientists, governments, and businesses are gaining a greater understanding of the economic benefits derived from protecting and enhancing natural ecosystems. Landowners have a significant opportunity to derive additional revenue by selling credits from the natural benefits that conservation easements create into the ecosystem service markets. This webinar will provide an introduction to this emerging area from leaders already active in the markets and address the questions land trusts should be asking, including: What tools are available to land trusts for assessing the economic benefits of conservation, and how credible is the valuation methodology? How can conservationists use ecosystem services to influence decision-making and negotiations? What are the benefits of quantifying the value of natural assets beyond ecosystem service markets?

February 4, 2016 | 12:00–1:30 PM EST / 9:00–10:30 PST

Panel presentations

Genevieve Bennett – Senior Associate, Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace (Slides)

Connie Best – Co-founder and Co-CEO, Pacific Forest Trust (Slides)

Bill Silberstein – Partner, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP (Slides)

Moderator: Leslie Ratley-Beach – Conservation Defense Director, Land Trust Alliance


Panelist Bios:

Genevieve Bennett – Senior Associate, Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace

Genevieve Bennett contributes market tracking and analysis to both the water and biodiversity programs. She is the lead author of “Charting New Waters: State of Watershed Payments 2012,” a co-author of the “State of Biodiversity Markets 2011” report, and has written on water and biodiversity finance for EM as well as Environmental Finance magazine and The Little Biodiversity Finance Book. Previously she managed a demand assessment project for the Willamette Partnership in Oregon, modeling how risk and uncertainty affect demand for environmental credits in the Willamette marketplace.


Connie Best – Co-founder and Co-CEO, Pacific Forest Trust

A conservationist, successful entrepreneur and forest owner, Connie is a recognized leader in advancing strategies that harness the power of commerce to accomplish conservation objectives. Dubbed a “Protector of the Planet” by People magazine, she is a recipient of the EPA’s Climate Protection Award for PFT’s leadership in sponsoring successful legislation, developing offset protocols and advocating for inclusion of forest conservation and stewardship in California’s historic regulations to reduce greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change .  PFT registered the first voluntary forest carbon offset project meeting the state’s high standards, made landmark sales into the carbon market, and has worked with forest owners across the U.S. to develop regulatory-quality offset projects. PFT is also active in developing new payment schemes for watershed services in the west.

Bill Silberstein – Partner, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP

Bill Silberstein is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP. Bill Silberstein has built a land conservation practice that has a national reputation for excellence. He has represented landowners and conservation organizations in hundreds of conservation easement transactions and in over 30 IRS audits of conservation easements.


Leslie Ratley-Beach – Conservation Defense Director, Land Trust Alliance

Leslie Ratley-Beach joined The Land Trust Alliance as its first Conservation Defense Director in August 2007. Leslie led the effort that created the first ever national conservation defense liability insurance program (Terrafirma Risk Retention Group LLC) and she continues to coordinate the delivery of Terrafirma services to the land trust insured owners, as well as leading the Alliance’s conservation defense initiative. Previously, Leslie worked with the Vermont Land Trust for almost 13 years first as Stewardship Director leading the program responsible for more than 1430 conservation easements on over 470,000 acres of land with more 1200 landowners.