Time for an International Conservation Market?
"As the Conservative party put it in their election manifesto, they pledged to "pioneer a new system of conservation credits to protect habitats". If the detail of this idea is successfully rendered, this could transform the way we value the natural world and finance its protection. Caroline Spelman, the new ecretary of tate for environment, food and ural affairs, should have the policy at the top of her in-tray.
Under the scheme proposed in the manifesto, any property development that results in biodiversity loss must compensate for that loss by an equal investment in biodiversity and habitat conservation or restoration elsewhere. That's a good start, but if such things can be successfully priced, and if investment is at a significant scale, then conservation credits should be made available in many other parts of the global economy as well."
Such a system, argues writer Ben Caldecott, could force companies and land developers to offset their exploitation and disruption of natural resources through a credit system similar to carbon trading.