Environmental Markets

Environmental Market Organizations

  • Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP): "Biodiversity offsets only come into play once rigorous steps have been taken first to avoid and minimize impacts. Far better to avoid harm to vulnerable and irreplaceable biodiversity to the extent possible, than to make good on damage later." Kerry Ten Kate, BBOP Director.

    • 2016: BBOP Vision, Mission, Goals, Strategy, Plan: “Planning Policies and Projects to Achieve a Net Gain of Biodiversity.” Approved by the BBOP Advisory Group and adopted by the Executive Committee on 20 January 2016.
    • 2012: Standard on Biodiversity Offsets. Forest Trends and the Wildlife Conservation Society provided the Secretariat for BBOP during the second phase of BBOP (2009-2012). Publication Data: Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP). 2012. Standard on Biodiversity Offsets. BBOP, Washington, D.C.
    • BBOP Publications Library.
    • Mitigation Hierarchy
  • Ecosystem Marketplace by the Katoomba Group and Forest Trends.

    • 2015: Ecosystem Markets and Finance: A Global Primer. Forest Trends Ecosystem Marketplace.
      • “The last decade has seen significant growth in demand by government, business, and communities to invest in the enhancement and protection of ecosystem services. This primer summarizes the major ecosystem market segments.”
  • International Institute for Environment and Development (iied): Watershed Markets.

  • National Mitigation Banking Association:
    • Established in 1998, the NMBA promotes federal legislation and regulatory policy that encourages mitigation banking and conservation banking as a means of compensating for adverse impacts to our nation's environment.

Wetland Mitigation Banking

  • National Wetlands Mitigation Action Plan:

    • A 17-actions plan drafted by an inter-agency team from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, and Transportation of the U.S.
    • Addresses areas of concern, including data collection and availability, clarifying performance standards, improving accountability, and integrating mitigation into the watershed approach.
    • The plan endorses the goal of no net loss of wetlands and outlines specific action items that address the concerns of the National Academy of Sciences, General Accounting Office, and other independent evaluations.
  • U.S. EPA Wetland Mitigation/Banking Guidance.

  • "Banks and Fee" Study (Environmental Law Institute):

    • Provides citizen groups, local, state, and federal agencies, the public, and the regulated community with the information they need to evaluate the ability of wetland mitigation banking and in-lieu-fee mitigation to achieve their regional wetland conservation and land use planning objectives.
  • Conservation Markets for Agriculture: Issue and Discussion Paper. (2008). Don Stuart. American Farmland Trust.
    • Appendix C: Models for Wetland and Aquatic Resource Mitigation Markets and Agriculture.

Conservation Banking

  • 2014: Gaining Depth: State of Water Investment. (2014) Forest Trends. Washington, D.C., 02 September 2014

    • "Last year, governments and companies invested $12.3 billion (B) in initiatives implementing nature-based solutions to sustain the world’s clean water supplies."
  • 2014: New Forests Sector Overview: Conservation Assets, Forest Carbon & Mitigation Banking.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S. FWS):
    • Guidance for the Establishment, Use, and Operation of Conservation Banks.
    • Information for private landowners, states, and the Endangered Species Act.

Payments for Watershed Services (PWS)

  • All that Glitters: A Review of Payments for Watershed Services in Developing Countries. (2010). Ina Porras, Maryanne Grieg-Gran, Nanete Neves. International Institute for Environment and Development (iied).

  • Innovations in Market-Based Watershed Conservation in the United States: Payments for Watershed Services for Agricultural and Forest Landowners. (June 2011). Terhi Majanen, Rachel Friedman, and Jeffrey C. Milder. Ecoagriculture Partners.

  • International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) Project on “Developing Markets for Watershed Protection and Improved Livelihoods”:

    • Since its inception in 2003, the project has worked with, and learned from, the real-time efforts of those trying to set up and develop payments for watershed services (PWS) in ways that address both land use and livelihood challenges.
    • 2012: Briefing. “Paying for Watershed Services: An Effective Tool in the Developing World?” International Institute for Environment and Development (iied).
    • 2012: Briefing. “Payments for coastal and marine ecosystem services: prospects and principles.” International Institute for Environment and Development (iied).
  • Watershed Markets: Payments for Watershed Markets: Information from Schemes in Developing Countries. International Institute for Environment and Development (iied).

    • Links to Case Studies from: Bolivia, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, and Various Countries involved in Pro-Poor Rewards for Environmental Services in Africa (PRESA), and Rewarding Upland Poor for Environmental Services (RUPES).
  • Developing Markets for Watershed Services. International Institute for Environment and Development (iied).

Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) / Compensation & Rewards for Ecosystem Services (CRES)

  • Assessing the Effects of USDA Conservation Practices on Wetland Ecosystem Services in California's Central Valley. Proposal. Dr. Walter G. Duffy. Submitted by Humboldt State University Sponsored Programs Foundation. Submitted to U.S. Geological Survey, Cooperative Research Units.
  • Common Pool Resource Management and PES: Lessons and Constraints for Water PES in Tanzania. (2010). Brendan Fisher, Kassim Kulindwa, Iddi Mwanyoka, R. Kerry Turner, Neil D. Burgess. Ecological Economics 69(6): 1253-1261.
  • Ecosystem Services:A Guide for Decision Makers. (2008). Janet Ranganathan, Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne, Nicolas Lucas, Frances Irwin, Monika Zurek, Karen Bennett, Neville Ash, Paul West. World Resources Institute (WRI).
  • Ecosystem Services as a Framework for Forest Stewardship: Deschutes National Forest Overview. (August 2011). Nikola Smith, Robert Deal, Jeff Kline, Dale Blahna, Trista Patterson, Thomas A. Spies, and Karen Bennett. United States Department of Agriculture: Forest Service General Technical Report PNW-GTR-852.
  • Ecosystem Service Market Development: The Role and Opportunity for Finance. (March 2010). Prepared by: Ray Hartwell and Bruce Aylward (Ecosystem Economics LLC), Sue Lurie and Sally Duncan (Institute of Natural Resources), and Katrina Van Dis (Central OR Intergovernmental Council). The Bullitt Foundation.
  • Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: Increasing Landowner Compensation for Ecosystem Services. (April 2011). Gina L. LaRocco and Robert L. Deal. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Forest Service General Technical Report.
  • Innovations in Market-Based Watershed Conservation in the United States: Payments for Watershed Services for Agricultural and Forest Landowners. (June 2011). Terhi Majanen, Rachel Friedman, and Jeffrey C. Milder. EcoAgriculture Partners.
  • Markets and Payments for Environmental Services. International Institute for Environment and Development (iied).
  • Payments for Ecosystem Services: A California Rancher Perspective. (September 2011). Molly Cheatum, Frank Casey, Pelayo Alvarez, and Ben Parkhurst. Conservation Economics and Finance Program White Paper.
  • Payments for Watershed Services Regional Synthesis. (October 2010). Theo Dillaha, Paul Ferraro, Marjorie Huang, Douglas Southgate, Shyam Upadhyaya, and Sven Wunder. The Nature Conservancy.
  • Publications and Payments for Ecosystems / Environmental Services (PES): Articles and Briefings, from International Institute for Environment and Development (iied).
  • Releasing the Pressure: Water Resource Efficiencies and Gains for Ecosystem Services - Policy Brief. (2012). Patrick Keys, Jennie Barron. United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).
  • Valuing Ecosystem Services from Wetlands Restoration in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. (March 2010). W. Aaron Jenkins, Brian C. Murray, Randall A. Kramer, Stephen P. Faulkner. Ecological Economics. Vol 69(5): 1051-1061.
  • Water Funds and Payments for Ecosystem Services: Practice Learns from Theory and Theory can Learn from Practice. (2012). Rebecca L. Goldman-Benner, Silvia Benitez, Timothy Boucher, Alejandro Calvache, Gretchen Daily, Peter Kareiva, Timm Kroeger, and Aurelio Ramos. Cambridge Journals.

Case Studies


  • 2008: “Payments for Environmental Services in Developing and Developed Countries.”
  • 2008: “Selling two environmental services: In-kind payments for bird habitat and watershed protection in Los Negros, Bolivia” Ecological Economics Volume 65, Issue 4, Pages 675–684. Nigel M. Asquitha, Maria Teresa Vargasa, Sven Wunderb. Abstract.

Costa Rica


  • 2016: “Cash for Carbon: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Payments for Ecosystem Services to Reduce Deforestation.” (October 13, 2016). Seema Jayachandran, Joost de Laat, Eric F. Lambin, Charlotte Y. Stanton.
  • 2016: Washington Post Article: “A cheap, simple experiment just found a very effective way to slow deforestation.” (July 6, 2016). Chris Mooney.
  • 2013: Paying local communities for ecosystem services: The Chimpanzee Conservation Corridor. International Institute for Environment and Development (iied).
  • 2010: “Developing an Experimental Methodology for Testing the Effectiveness of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) to Enhance Biodiversity Conservation in productive landscapes in Uganda.” Project Overview.

Regional Programs

Environmental Market Publications