Measuring Up: Synchronizing Biodiversity Measurement Systems for Markets and Other Incentive Programs
The actions taken on private lands by farmers, ranchers, and foresters and on public lands by government agencies have an enormous influence on America‘s biodiversity. Biodiversity is a key component to a healthy natural environment, which can supply the ecosystem services that sustain our economy and human health. Billions of public and private dollars are invested in the United States each year to create incentives for management practices that preserve and enhance biodiversity. Despite these financial flows the United States is not meeting its conservation goals, and multiple groups, from conservation practitioners to biodiversity market participants, are calling for better approaches to improve the effectiveness of conservation investments.
This report, prepared for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Environmental Markets, focuses on two areas of action that could help improve effective investments for biodiversity: 1) Standardizing systems for measuring the outcomes of current incentive programs, and 2) Providing options for how federal agencies and others might support biodiversity incentives, particularly markets for biodiversity. The report also addresses Section 2709 of the 2008 Farm Bill, which directs USDA to provide guidance and support for market-based approaches to engage more landowners in conservation.