The Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) and Duke University have launched a collaborative partnership to create a Conservation Economics Initiative.
The Initiative will make economics training more readily available to conservation professionals around the world starting with its first MESP (marine ecosystem services partnerships) sponsored webinar on February 10th. Terrestrial ecosystems such as forests and coastal and marine ecosystems (MCEs) such as mangroves, salt marshes and sea grasses are a treasure trove, providing a range of ecosystem services that are economically and socially valuable to populations far and wide. Unfortunately many of these ecosystem services are unpriced and therefore underprovided when competing with onsite goods and services that do receive compensation such as agriculture, aquaculture and other developed uses. One ecosystem service provided by these systems is biological carbon sequestration, the process of capturing and retaining carbon in soils and vegetation, which helps mitigate the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that lead to climate risk. MCEs are an incredibly rich pool of carbon, storing as much as three times per hectare more than forest ecosystems, which themselves are quite carbon rich. Global efforts to fight climate change have created financial mechanisms to reward parties for sequestering carbon.
This webinar will discuss how these payment programs might apply to forests and MCEs, what kind of economic value this might add to keeping these systems intact and whether this may be sufficient to forestall their loss.
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