Ecosystem Services: Trading for protected areas

Workshop - Ecosystem Services, 16/17 November 2015 © EUROPARC Germany

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Europarc Low Countries, Europarc Germany and Eurosite organized a workshop to discuss the possibilities of trading systems on the voluntary carbon market as a potentially new way to finance management in protected areas in Europe. 24 participants from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia and Belarus discussed this issue on 16 and 17 November in the office of EUROPARC Deutschland. The goal was to look in some detail into the carbon market and to discuss already existing trading instruments for the voluntary carbon market. The seminar incorporated a series of presentations on the general characteristics of the carbon markets in Europe, the UK Woodland- and Peatland Code (partly in place, partly under development), the Moor Futures Scheme in Germany and of the motivations/ experiences and expectations of private companies like Coca Cola, First Climate, Forest Finest and Adelphi to support or participate in these kind of schemes.

The questions resulting from these presentations were inventoried and discussed in plenary and reshuffled to questions for two discussion groups on the second day. These questions were about which business (products/ services/ added values) can be sold by protected areas and which technical and institutional aspects will have to be settled if a protected area is willing to start a project with a valuable buy inn for companies. It became clear that these kind of trading projects will have to be credible and reliable and as simple as possible. Therefore it will be wise to start on a small scale and to grow from experience. The potential for this niche market is not in a faraway country but will be found in the region near the doorstep of the locations of the (potentially) buying companies.

At the end, there was too little time to discuss the pro’s and con’s of a trading system which can be shared by the protected areas in Europe. The next step for the joined working group on Economics and Ecosystem Services will be to look into the possibility of comparing existing and developing systems in some detail and to combine the strong points in a proposal for a system which can be discussed and eventually shared between protected areas.

We hope to come back to this question somewhere in the next months. For further information contact Jan Veenstra ( ”

Text issued by Jan Veenstra and Hans Schiphorst