Panel Resources: Coastal and Marine Markets
Paying Poseidon: Financing the Protection of Valuable Ecosystem Services
Global climate-change talks in Copenhagen might not have yielded a new greenhouse-gas protocol, but they did yield an agreement on the need to develop financing mechanisms that reward people in developing countries for saving their rainforests and adopting sustainable land-use practices — both of which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing carbon in trees and soil. Meanwhile, scores of projects across both the developed and developing worlds are using environmental finance to preserve endangered species, improve water quality, and preserve wetlands — all based on the premise that nature’s living ecosystems deliver valuable services that make them worth more alive than dead. Now it’s time to expand this reasoning to the ocean, where fish are vanishing, coasts are eroding, and algae are having a field day.
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Payments for Marine Ecosystem Services: Getting Started in Marine and Coastal Ecosystems
Healthy and robust marine ecosystems provide the underpinnings for profitable industries and supportcoastal communities throughout the world. In addition, oceans play crucial roles in regulating theatmosphere and modulating weather, storing carbon, cycling nutrients, and providing other ecosystemservices. Coastal areas provide essential resources, buffer land from storms, and provide living spacefor almost half of the global population. Yet today many of these ecosystems and the services theyprovide are under threat. Indeed, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment — the most comprehensivestudy assessing the value of the world’s systems to date — concluded that more than 60% of the world’secosystems are being used in ways that cannot be sustained.
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