Advancing Ecosystem Market Intelligence

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CHALLENGE
Markets require reliable and transparent information to function; this applies equally to new and emerging markets for ecosystems services for carbon, water and biodiversity, as it does to traditional financial markets. Investors need to fully understand the risks and opportunities associated with their ecological dependencies, assets and investments. Only then will substantial private investment move toward supporting sustainable resource outcomes.

APPROACH
The “Ecosystem Marketplace” is a Forest Trends initiative that seeks to consolidate and report free and independent information on ecosystem markets and payments for environmental services through regular market reports. Various businesses and foundations have supported the Ecosystem Marketplace work historically (for example: Bloomberg, JP Morgan Chase, Moore, Packard, MacArthur).

PROFOR's partnership with Forest Trends aims to secure a sustainable institutional platform for ecosystems market intelligence and to scale up and reduce risks in investment in natural capital.The support is expected to help Forest Trends ramp up its analytical and targeted outreach work. It builds on previous work: the “Mobilization of Ecosystem Services Payments in China” though Forest Trends in 2006; and the “Matrix: Mapping Payments for Ecosystem Services”, also through Forest Trends, in 2008.

RESULTS

The State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013’ report has been published and launched during its DC event; its Executive Summary has also been published in Spanish. The report showed an increase in voluntary actors contracted, which are mostly in the private sector; carbon offsets market value decreases, but there is a surge for demand from forestry projects certified to the Verified Carbon Standard and Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Standards.

The State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2013 report has been published and launched in several locations; a webinar has been held on the Latin American findings in the report, in Spanish. Agriculture, forestry, and other land-use projects transacted 28 MtCO2e (30% of the total carbon market, a 9% increase from 2011).

The Results Report 2012: Sharing Progress on the Path to Adoption of Clean Cooking Solutions was published and launched in partnership with the UN Foundation as part of an event of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The report shows the targeted user being the marginal low-income consumers, which benefited from direct distribution. The number of stoves distributed increased by twice that of the previous year, with 8.2 million stoves in 2012.

The latest report has been the ‘Assessment of private sector opportunities in new watershed conservation financing mechanisms’, which was released early January 2014. The webinar and Ecosystem Edge stakeholder briefing to accompany the report are being scheduled for late January. The Team also plans on doing one-on-one briefings with businesses highlighted in the report.

The publications are available in the PROFOR website.

The Warsaw COP 19 event in DC has also taken place with 125 participants. The panel for the event included Dirk Forrister (President and CEO, IETA), Charlotte Streck (Director, Climate Focus), Vikram Widge (Head of Climate Finance and Policy, IFC), and Marnie Funk (Senior Government Relations Advisor, Shell Oil Company). The round table event ‘Pub