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Forest Biodiversity and Conservation Projects

Biodiversity is a broad concept generally defined as the quantity and variability of living organisms within species, between species and between ecosystems. Biodiversity has been increasingly recognized as a highly valuable ecosystem asset and which is under significant threat across the globe. Maintaining biodiversity is critical to ecosystem function and the supply of goods and services that ecosystems provide.

A market for biodiversity and its conservation has existed for decades in the form of government land acquisitions for parks and recreational areas, and private or corporate investment for conservation purposes. Increasingly, conservation efforts have become more innovative, with industry and government becoming partners in investment and management. Some jurisdiction-specific regulatory markets related to specific elements of biodiversity exist globally in the form of (for example) wetland mitigation banking, endangered species banking, and riparian conservation easements.

More recently, nascent markets are beginning to develop formalized biodiversity offset products that are certified, registered, and sold through exchanges and other broad market mechanisms. These developments are similar to carbon offsets and/or wetland or species banks, where markets can develop around voluntary and regulatory purchases of offsets for corporate environmental impacts.

How it Works:

Biodiversity assets offer strong potential for new revenue from forest lands through innovative conservation finance structures. Similar to the additionality concept governing carbon offsets, biodiversity assets are generated when there is a distinct and intentional change in land management practices that conserves, restores, or enhances biodiversity.

Unlike carbon, there are no legislated requirements to underpin the development of a compliance market. Biodiversity offset trading is therefore essentially a voluntary market, at present, conducted among willing buyers (or funders) and sellers. Although there is some ability to value biodiversity using comparable real estate valuations or economic theory, in reality most conservation transactions are negotiated on a one-off project-by-project basis. A set of biodiversity offset standards have recently been developed (see The Business and Biodiversity Offset Program), and the first biodiversity offset products have been registered and sold in the TZ1 Registry.

Due to the complexity of developing marketable biodiversity assets, projects need to be customized to a particular property. Key partnerships, careful project design and proper marketing are critical to successful development. More on biodiversity assets in the near future…

 

The Opportunity:

The value and marketability of biodiversity assets is highly dependent on the specific features and circumstances of each property. With innovative strategies and land management design, it is possible to develop biodiversity assets on most properties, particularly large holdings or properties with inherent habitat or ecosystem value.

At 3GreenTree, we are of the opinion that biodiversity is poised to become a significant component of the market for ecosystem goods and services. Progressive and forward-looking firms are beginning to recognize the utility of voluntarily offsetting their ecosystem impacts as a means of precluding the necessity for regulation, maintaining positive public relations, protecting corporate reputation, and preserving or enhancing market share. For conservation organizations, biodiversity assets are their core business. These entities are seeking new and innovative ways to increase the scale of their operations and to maximize return on investment. Biodiversity credits can be one component. With proper planning, innovative landowners have an opportunity to fully engage with the emerging biodiversity offset market. Contact us to find out more…

 

We help landowners, corporations, and investors develop, manage, and market biodiversity assets by:

 

1. Creating partnerships with conservation organizations to attract and develop innovative forms of conservation investment and enhanced financial returns

2. Developing and marketing biodiversity offset products

3. Assessing and designing biodiversity offset projects in accordance with the emerging standards and offset markets

4. Strategically integrating current and future biodiversity asset opportunities with other land-use objectives, revenue drivers and ecosystem assets.

More on biodiversity coming soon...

 

Copyright 2012 3GreenTree Ecosystem Services Ltd.

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