The overall aim of this project is to develop an innovative solution to the loss of ecologically-rich land in Europe.
Landowners are very familiar with government grants that help them conserve important biological and cultural features of their land, but there is very little known about how non-government incentive schemes might work in practice.
This innovative project will work with landowners and businesses in different European countries to explore how they would utilise the tools and technologies we develop to trade in the commodity ‘ecosystem services’.
The project will develop a set of tools and technologies that bridges the gap between academic research and policy on ecosystem service provision, and its dissemination to private and public landowners.
In the EU, around 1500 ha of bio-diverse land are lost every day to changes in infrastructure and urbanisation. The implications of this land conversion are serious:
it directly affects key ecosystem services that help mitigate the effects of harmful climate change, and support natural infrastructure and sustainable use of natural resources.
In spite of their importance in sustaining human well-being, ecosystem services have not commonly been an object of private-market transactions owing to intrinsic market failures such as lack of information, high transaction costs, and "free-riding". As a result, where ecosystem services are recompensed, it is almost exclusively via government incentives or charitable donation.
NaturEtrade was conceived as a tool to, where possible, overcome these market failures - allowing private markets for ecosystem services to develop, while simultaneously supporting improved ecosystem service provision by government and charities.
NaturEtrade will be a free, easy-to-use, web-based, ecosystem service evaluation tool and trading platform that will enable landowners to measure the ecosystem services provided by their lands, and facilitate beneficiaries of ecosystem services to contract with landowners for the continued and enhanced provision of these services. These ecosystem services may include; clean-water provision, flood regulation, pollination services, pest control, habitat provision, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and cultural values.
NaturEtrade is NOT a biodiversity offsetting mechanism.
NaturEtrade is a payment- for-ecosystem-services system that enables the marketplace to take into account the economic value of nature and pay for these services where they are deemed to benefit their operations (with a view to creating resilient economies).
It is estimated that in Europe there are currently 73 million ha of privately owned forests and peatlands. In order to stabilise greenhouse gas concentration at a level that keeps global warming below 2 degrees C, it is essential that a mechanism for protecting these remaining blocks of privately owned forest and peatlands is developed quickly.
This project presents an opportunity for collecting important data related to the carbon balance of EU forests and peatlands and marketing this regulating service as a tradable ecosystem service commodity to private investors.
The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental policy and legislation by co-financing pilot or demonstration projects with European added value.
Within the LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity strand, specific funding is targeted at Biodiversity, a LIFE+ project category for innovative or demonstration projects that tackle wider biodiversity issues. These can range from the creation of green infrastructure, such as species corridors, to climate change adaptation measures and the removal of invasive species. As well as the tens of millions of euros directly invested in Biodiversity projects since 2007, many other LIFE projects have indirectly contributed to the EU's goal of halting biodiversity loss.
This research group within the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology is headed by Professor Kathy Willis. It aims to deliver: i) High quality biodiversity information with strong societal relevance; ii) Greater understanding of the processes that lead to sustainable and resilient ecosystems both within and, importantly, beyond protected areas; iii) Tools to identify key areas for the long-term provision of biodiversity and the valuation of the ecosystem services that it provides; iv) Methodological evaluation frameworks and models to quantitatively measure and compare success of contrasting conservation management policies and initiatives; v) Policy-dialogue networks with stakeholders to ensure two-way knowledge. It is part of the Biodiversity Institute, an Oxford Martin School created to establish a world-class, agenda-setting programme focused on finding pragmatic solutions to address one of the greatest 21st Century challenges: global biodiversity loss. It combines excellent on-going and new cross-disciplinary research across the University with practical applications to meet the needs of stakeholders and governments.
Key people working on NaturEtrade are: Professor Kathy Willis, Dr. Peter Long, Dr. Sandra Nogué, Dr. David Benz, and Dr. Gillian Petrokofsky.
The Sylva Foundation is a charitable trust and a company limited by guarantee. Our passions are supporting forestry science, promoting trees and their management to the public, and supporting the production and availability of home-grown timber. It runs a number of projects under the Science, Education and Forestry programmes. Sylva’s charitable objects are to promote the conservation of the environment for the public benefit consistent with sustainable development principles by: i) Advancing education for the public benefit in the theory and practice of sustainable forest management; ii) Promoting and conducting research for the public benefit about effective sustainable forest management and the dissemination of the useful results of such research; iii) Supporting the development and application of sustainable forest management for the public benefit; iv) Advancing education and business enterprise in the design and production of home-grown wood products for the public benefit.
Key people working on NaturEtrade are: Dr Gabriel Hemery, Alistair Yeomans, and Richard Pigott.