The General Crediting Protocol (updated 2017) outlines the rules on how to buy and sell credits for Willamette Partnership’s Ecosystem Credit Accounting System. It also describes how actions taken on the land translate into credits as well as how credits are verified, registered, and sold.
Read the General Crediting Protocol.
Excerpt from intro:
“Emerging incentive programs for ecosystem services will connect people who manage land and water in new and resourceful ways. These incentives range from markets to payments for ecosystem services, to a wide range of mechanisms designed to generate revenue from the functions performed by natural systems. Improved water quality, increased water quantity and habitat conservation represent some of the “products” land managers can produce and sell through ecosystem service markets. These markets also provide those creating unavoidable environmental impacts to land or water with viable alternatives for mitigating or offsetting the effect of those impacts—alternatives that meet regulatory standards at lower costs while fortifying the resilience of natural systems.
“This document is a guide for those interested in quantifying the benefits or impacts of their actions on aquatic habitat, upland habitat, and water quality. The Ecosystem Credit Accounting System (ECAS) described in this General Crediting Protocol, includes the protocols, standards, and quantification methods through which actions that affect the environment are translated into quantified, verified, and tradable units. Where the action improves ecological function, these units are known as credits, where the action results in reduced ecological function, these units are known as “debits.” Protocols are the steps of the credit issuance process and the rules for how credits can be bought, sold, and accounted for. Standards are thresholds that must be met at various stages of the process. Quantification methods are used to calculate the credit value of a given action.”