Navigation Links
Buying and selling habitats to help wildlife
Date:10/12/2007

Tradable permits are all the rage in environmental policy. They are already used internationally to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. A group of economists and ecologists from the UK, the Netherlands and Germany, are working together to find out whether such schemes could work for wildlife too. So far, it looks promising, but probably only for cultural landscapes like farmland.

The European Commission expressed an interest in using tradable permits for wildlife conservation, in a recent green paper on market instruments in environmental policy. The paper calls it habitat banking. The idea is that each region sets a target for how much land it wants to keep for wildlife conservation, then leaves it up to the free market to find the most cost-effective way of doing it. If a developer wants to destroy valuable habitat, he or she has to purchase a permit to do so, from someone who has created a piece of valuable habitat elsewhere.

In some ways, habitat banking is similar to current policies of mitigation. European law requires developers who destroy valuable habitat to recreate something equivalent elsewhere. But according to Florian Hartig, a researcher from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Germany, using tradable permits is more flexible. The current mitigation policy is very strict, he says, Flexible instruments can help allocating mitigation where it is most effective.

With habitat banking, landowners who upgrade their land for wildlife get an immediate financial gain. And it would be possible for those with an interest in conservation to stockpile permits and not sell them, increasing the conservation value of the region perhaps even above the target.

A collaboration of European ecologists and economists is studying how such a market could work in theory. They presented their work last week at the European Science Foundations (ESF) first EuroDIVERSITY conference. One problem you quickly see when you look from an ecological perspective is that the value of one piece of wildlife habitat partly depends on how near it is to other pieces of wildlife habitat. When a habitat is newly created, it has to be possible for new species to colonise. This problem is surmountable if you build a measure of connectivity into the ecological value of each piece of land.

Other ecologists in the audience were intrigued but sceptical. Many felt it would be difficult to give a piece of land a single ecological value. The best sites for birds are not always the best for plants, or microbes, one argued. The researchers admit the evaluation process will be complex.

The biggest advantage of habitat banking is cheaper conservation, according to Frank Wtzold, leader of the economic part of the team, at UFZ. Often conservation is extremely expensive when the same benefit could be gained much more cheaply elsewhere, he says. He is about to publish research showing that the conservation of the rare German hamster, Cricetus cricetus, could be achieved for much less money if it was done through agri-environment schemes rather than by restricting economic development.

Hartig says habitat banking can never replace permanent reserves. Obviously it doesnt work for habitats that cannot recover quickly, and take hundreds of years to develop, like old-growth forests, he says. But he believes it can complement reserves, in semi-natural landscapes, where species are adaptable and move into new spaces fast.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sofia Valleley
svalleley@esf.org
33-388-762-149
European Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Buying Time Through Hibernation on Demand
2. Could better mangrove habitats have spared lives in the 2004 tsunami?
3. Ebola virus: from wildlife to dogs
4. Controlling wildlife trade key to preventing health crises, study says
5. Viagras hidden help for wildlife
6. Afghanistan to protect wildlife and wild lands
7. UGA researchers find that hunting can increase the severity of wildlife disease epidemics
8. Pattern of human Ebola outbreaks linked to wildlife and climate
9. Manipulating nature: Scientists query wildlife birth-control method
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/15/2016)... , June 15, 2016 ... report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry ... - 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture ... in 2015 and is estimated to grow at ... billion by 2024.  Increasing application of ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) of ... project, for the , Supply and Delivery of ... Infrastructure , to Decatur , ... Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated in the tendering ... selected for the most compliant and innovative solution. The contract ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is ... partnership with VoicePass. By working together, ... experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different ... engines increases both security and usability. ... excitement about this new partnership. "This ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and ... and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension ... light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or ... of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for ... as WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, ... medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), ... new ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced ... (MoMA) in New York City . ... participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater ... Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
Breaking Biology Technology: