Extra credit: Sale of ecosystems a trade-off says eco-investment firm

SINGAPORE — Money does not grow on trees, but it could play a role in saving them suggests international investment firm New Forests. The Sydney-based company believes that nature is “saleable” — citing water, carbon and biodiversity as the three primary commodities.

New Forests managing director David Brand told Reuters that “if the remaining ecosystems aren’t priced then they are basically traded as free input to the expansion of agriculture.”

Stressing the potentially symbiotic relationship between the market and the environment, Brand said that quantifying resources and selling them as nearly unaffordable credits could deter investors from converting undeveloped land into agriculture, instead seeking more sustainable alternatives.

Indonesia agrees. The government of Indonesia’s Papua province and green-investor Emerald Planet have entered into a deal with New Forests to preserve two sections of forest land in exchange for carbon credits. The credits are to be placed in an endowment fund for the local communities.

“We see forests as having an intersection with the three major environmental issues of the 21st century, which are climate change and the carbon cycle, biodiversity and conservation and fresh water,” Brand explained. “We’re trying to create a set of initial deals that demonstrate the monetization of carbon, water and biodiversity.”

Read more here.

Source: Reuters

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