Global News September 2008 Edit

Green Economy Initiative Edit

Emerging Public and Private Natural Infrastructure Instruments

Under the UN climate convention for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) to be included in a post-2012 deal up to payments for ecosystem services.

Norway for example has pledged close to $3 billion for REDD; Costa Rica has invested around $200 million in protection of forests for ecosystem services and Mexico is paying 1.5 million rural people to manage forests and watersheds.

The United States spends more than $1.7 billion a year in direct payments to farmers for environmental protection.

The European Union promotes environmentally-friendly agriculture and forestry under its Euro 4.5 billion Rural Development programmes.

New instruments are emerging such as habitat and 'bio-banking'. In the United States, companies and individuals can buy wetland mitigation banks. Trade in wetland bank credits reached around $350 million in 2006.

'Endangered species credits' are being generated by a biodiversity cap-and-trade system, also in the United States. The market volume has been around $40 million with over 44,000 hectares of endangered species habitat protected.

A similar scheme, created through the BioBanking Bill of 2006, has been piloted in New South Wales, Australia.

Certification schemes involving consumers and companies are also becoming more creative. In South Africa's Cape Floral Kingdom, a biodiversity hot spot, wine producers who commit 10 per cent of their vineyard to conservation can use a special label.

According to UNEP: "There is an urgent need for governments to promote a sharp increase in financial flows via creative market mechanisms and smart instruments that reward those investing in rather than degrading nature-based assets."

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  1. United Nations Environment Programme, September 24

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