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Ecosystem Markets

Ecosystem Service Markets

In a nutshell, ecosystem service markets allow businesses and utilities to meet environmental goals by paying farmers, ranchers and other landowners to produce environmental benefits. They operate by creating a system for generating and certifying “credits” for individual units of an ecosystem service. Entities that need to reduce their environmental impacts (such as municipal wastewater utilities) can buy credits from entities (including farms and ranches) that voluntarily reduce their own impacts. Credits account for real, measurable improvements in the environment. As a result, ecosystem service markets are inherently performance-based: they pay for real, quantifiable environmental benefits.

Advancing the development of ecosystem service markets will require better outreach strategies to engage farmers and ranchers, user-friendly tools to encourage their success, and the support of on-farm conservation investments in a way that reflects the particular needs, challenges, and potential of agriculture.

Ecosystem Service Markets at Work

Environmental Markets in Washington State Ohio River Basin Trading Project
Guide to Environmental Markets  

Nutrient Trading Markets in Maryland: A Win-Win Situation

Agenda 2013 Priorities

 

Policy Resource Library

Ecosystem Service Markets: Building Opportunities for Farmers and Ranchers Practicing Conservation

Voices for Change

“Since 1985, compliance has been a successful part of farm policy. As crop and revenue insurance becomes the core of agriculture’s financial safety net, we need to retain the same commitment to conservation that has been a part of past farm programs.” — Jon Scholl, President, American Farmland Trust

American Farmland Trust

  • Random Quote

    “Since 1985, compliance has been a successful part of farm policy. As crop and revenue insurance becomes the core of agriculture’s financial safety net, we need to retain the same commitment to conservation that has been a part of past farm programs.” — Jon Scholl, President, American Farmland Trust