NaturEtrade creating a marketplace for ecosystem services

A LIFE+ project funded by the EU

About naturEtrade

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.


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.

What do we expect to achieve in 5 years?

An innovative tool that will enable landowners to assess the ecosystem service potential of their land. These tools, though based on very complex science, will be easy to use by landowners and the outputs will be readily understandable by businesses.

A web-based trading platform to demonstrate a novel mechanism to enable private and public sector investment in ecosystem services contained in European land.

Dissemination of the tool to some 8000 stakeholders in the four case study regions.

A database of landowners and businesses with an active interest in biodiversity conservation through ecosystem service trading,.

A 40% reduction in the annual rates of conversion of natural land cover types relative to the baseline period (2000-2012) in parcels of private and publically-owned land in the four case-study regions.