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Creating a marketplace for ecosystem services

posted on March 7, 2019

Over the last five years Sylva Foundation has been collaborating with departments at the University of Oxford to create a marketplace for ecosystem services. The Naturetrade project was funded by the EU’s Life programme. The project has now come to a close and the project consortium is keen to hear from current and potential users about the online marketplace. Please read on to find out more and how to take the survey.

Naturetrade homepage

Naturetrade homepage

We are now ready to test it on a wider audience of land managers and businesses with an interest in supporting sustainability. Your feedback on the mapping tool will be of help to us in developing ideas to take this forward from a demonstration project to a useable tool that will help supplement finance schemes aimed at preventing the loss of ecologically-diverse land in Europe.
We have prepared a very short survey that is split into two parts: (a) questions to establish what your relationship to land management in Europe is; and (b) feedback on the tool. We invite you to test the mapping capability of NaturEtrade and its potential to assess the ecosystem services of your land, or to test the possibility of finding land on the system that you can sponsor via a contract for maintaining ecosystem services. Two small caveats: we demonstrate how money can be exchanged via contracts to maintain ecosystem services, but no monetary transactions are being processed during this demonstration phase; and land parcels already published on the demonstration site are either taken directly from the UK Land Registry or have been hand-drawn in workshops. We do not own these properties.

Take part in the survey


Read more about Naturetrade

NaturEtrade is web-based mapping tool that demonstrates a novel approach to the problem of supporting environmentally-sensitive land stewardship practices in Europe. Land managers can easily and rapidly assess the ecosystem services provided by their land, and then “trade” these services in contracts with businesses who have an interest in supporting sustainable land management.

Land managers are very familiar with Government grants that help them conserve important biological and cultural features of their land, but very little is known about how non-Government incentive schemes might work in practice. This innovative project demonstrates how landowners and businesses in European countries can utilise the tools and technologies we have developed to trade in the commodity ‘ecosystem services’. In our project, the term ‘trade’ may be understood to mean ‘sponsor’ as no property changes hands, but a commitment to maintain the ecosystem services of land registered on NaturEtrade is set up by mutual agreement between two parties.

Working with stakeholders in four different European countries over the last five years, the project has developed a set of tools and technologies that bridges the gap between academic research and policy on ecosystem service provision. The project has been funded by the EU’s LIFE+ programme.

www.naturetrade.ox.ac.uk


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Web-based platform revealed at NaturEtrade workshop

posted on May 5, 2016

Another successful workshop for the EU/University of Oxford-funded LIFE+ project NaturEtrade was hosted by Sylva Foundation.

Around 30 people attended the workshop from a range of organisations with an interest in natural capital, assessing ecosystem services and monitoring environmental change. The workshop covered the motivation for developing resource stewardship tools that combine ease of use with robust behind-the-scenes science to provide land managers with affordable, reliable ways of assessing the natural capital of their land.

NaturEtrade Workshop Spring 2016

NaturEtrade Workshop Spring 2016

People at the workshop had the opportunity to try out an early version of the NaturEtrade platform after walking round a particularly rich landscape in Little Wittenham that offered the opportunity of discussing water, pollination, land use, cultural and recreational uses of landscape, and soil erosion; all of which are features of NaturEtrade.

The project is working with economists from the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School who are helping think about how best to run the sort of auctions that will maximise the impact of NaturEtrade to landowners ‘selling’ ecosystem services and business  ‘buying’ these services in a novel way that complements offsetting and current government environmental stewardship funding mechanisms. Inputs from those attending the workshop will be incorporated into developments and improvements in the tool and its promotion to stakeholders.

Read more about NaturEtrade

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Naturetrade project kicks off in Copenhagen

posted on October 24, 2013
Dr Peter Long from the University of Oxford explains the principles of remotely assessing ecosystem services.

Dr Peter Long from the University of Oxford explains the principles of remotely assessing ecosystem services.

This week the Naturetrade project officially started with a kick off meeting at European Union offices in Copenhagen. The project is being led by the University of Oxford with the support of the Sylva Foundation.

Dr Peter Long (University of Oxford) and Alistair Yeomans (Sylva Foundation) attended the meeting, and gave a presentation on the scope of this EU match-funded project.

BACKGROUND and AIMS:

This project will run for 5 years and aims to develop a web-based system that enables EU landowners to assess the provision of ecosystem services on their land, and then trade these services.

MAIN EU POLICIES TARGETED:

The main EU policies that the work aims to help address are:

  • Reduction of loss of EU natural habitats (Directive 92/43/EEC)
  • Sustainable economic growth by maintaining ecosystems and their services (COM(2011)17)
  • Active involvement of EU citizens in biodiversity conservation (COM(2011)244 final)

In the coming weeks a project webpage will be launched with full details of the research.


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