Speciesbanking.com is the nation's first information clearinghouse for the species credit trading industry. Until now, there has been no centralized information resource to serve buyers, sellers, and other market participants. Basic information such as number of banks, species covered, location, availability of credits, and contact details have not been readily available. And what information is available, is often scattered across different websites or in quickly-outdated news and journal articles. By filling this critical information gap we hope to enable an efficient, transparent, equitable conservation market to develop.
Speciesbanking.com will serve as a platform for conservation bank owners to publicize credit availability, credit buyers to find solutions to their mitigation needs, prospective bank developers to research current market conditions, agency staff to learn about activities outside their jurisdictions, and academics and others to monitor and analyze industry trends. A comprehensive and current listing of banks and their credit information allows buyers and sellers to conduct transactions at a reduced cost. And our independent analysis and reporting let market participants to stay on top of industry developments and learn from the experiences of others. The ultimate goal of speciesbanking.com is to facilitate species credit trading as an effective tool for the conservation of threatened and endangered species and their habitat.
Speciesbanking.com will initially focus on species credit trading in the United States; this includes credit trading under conservation banking agreements, as well as those species credits established under other legal instruments such as wetland banking agreements, memorandums of agreement, the Safe Harbor Act, and Habitat Conservation Plans. As species mitigation banking initiatives take root in other countries (e.g. Australia and France) and examples of voluntary compensatory biodiversity offsets become more frequent, we will expand our coverage to include these programs and provide insights for all involved.
Where We Come From
Speciesbanking.com is a project of the Ecosystem Marketplace, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing information on markets and payment schemes for ecosystem services (services such as water quality, carbon sequestration and biodiversity). The Ecosystem Marketplace believes that by providing reliable information on costs, regulation, science, and other market-relevant factors, markets for ecosystem services will one day become a fundamental part of our economic system, helping give value to environmental services that, for too long, have been taken for granted. In providing this information, the Ecosystem Marketplace hopes not only to facilitate transactions, but also to catalyze new thinking, spur the development of new markets, and achieve effective and equitable nature conservation.
We believe that, if implemented correctly, species credit banking for compensatory mitigation - and it's variations in other countries and in its various forms, such as biodiversity offsets – can help create value for biodiversity, transforming endangered species from a liability into an asset, and thereby furthering endangered species recovery.
Working with the Ecosystem Marketplace in this venture is Jessica Fox, an authority in conservation banking with a variety of publications on the topic. Ms. Fox is the head of the Ecological Assets Program at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Under the direction of Ms. Fox, the Ecological Assets program is conducting benchmark research in conservation banking and water quality trading and offers consulting to help companies manage their environmental assets to meet regulatory requirements, reduce environmental compliance costs, increase revenue, and protect natural resources.