Forest Trends is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 and based in Washington, DC that connects with economic tools and incentives for maintaining ecosystems. Its mission is four-fold: to expand the value of forests to society, to promote sustainable forest management and conservation by creating and capturing market values for ecosystem services, to support innovative projects and companies that are developing these markets and to enhance the livelihoods of local communities living in and around those forests.
Specifically, Forest Trends seeks to catalyze the development of integrated carbon, water, and biodiversity incentives that deliver real conservation outcomes and benefits to local communities and other stewards of the natural resources.
Forest Trends analyzes strategic market and policy issues, catalyzes connections between producers, communities and investors, and develops new financial tools to help markets work for conservation and people.
Business & Biodiversity Offset Program
BBOP is an international partnership of some 80+ leading conservation organizations, companies, governments, and financial institutions developing, testing and implementing best practice on biodiversity offsets. Forest Trends launched BBOP in November 2004, and serves as its Secretariat with the Wildlife Conservation Society. BBOP's mission is to provide leadership in the inclusion of biodiversity offsets as a widely recognised and applied tool after avoidance, minimization and restoration measures, by developing and promoting best practice and the highest standards, based on agreed principles.
The Katoomba Group is an international network of individuals working to promote and improve capacity related to markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES). With its first gathering in 2000, the Katoomba Group was launched as an international working group focused on advancing markets for the ecosystem services—including watershed protection, biodiversity habitat, and carbon storage. The Group serves as a source of ideas for and strategic information about ecosystem service markets. It is known for its international convenings, which have provided a forum for exchanging ideas, influencing policy-makers, and catalyzing new initiatives.
Communities & Markets
The Communities & Markets program seeks to reduce poverty, improve livelihoods and conserve natural resources by promoting community participation in market-based conservation mechanisms. The program links communities to environmental markets by promoting the awareness and capacity for communities to participate in and benefit from payments and compensation schemes that value their stewardship role of ecosystem services. Working in synergy with Forest Trends programs and strategic collaboration with partner organizations, the program provides key information, capacity building and technical assistance for communities around the world.
The Ecosystem Marketplace is a leading source of news, data and analytics on markets and payments for ecosystem services (such as water quality, carbon sequestration and biodiversity). Forest Trends Association believes that by providing unbiased information on policy, finance, regulation, science, business and other market-relevant factors, markets for ecosystem services will one day become a fundamental part of the economic system, helping give value to environmental services that, for too long, have been taken for granted. In providing reliable market information, Forest Trends Association hopes not only to facilitate transactions (thereby lowering transaction costs), but also to catalyze new thinking, spur the development of new markets, and achieve effective and equitable nature conservation. The Ecosystem marketplace is a project of Forest Trends.
Forest Trade and Finance
Since 2000, Forest Trends has been aggressively engaged with the Chinese Government and research agencies to encourage sustainable forest management and forest trade policies. Forest Trends have also launched a global forest finance initiative with the goal of raising transparency and accountability, and ultimately for improving practices by financial institutions that fund forestry investment.
Forest Trends' Water Initiative works across sectors and geographies to design, share, and scale effective strategies for protecting and restoring ecosystems that play a critical role in ensuring clean, safe water for people and nature.
Marine Ecosystem Services Program
The Marine Ecosystem Services (MARES) Program aims to protect crucial marine ecosystem services by harnessing markets and private sector investment, in order to complement conventional coastal and marine management and safeguard human well-being.
MARES targets the following four main objectives in promoting its overall goal of protecting marine ecosystem services:
> developing a solid foundation of understanding of marine ecosystem services and their economic value;
> elaborating best practices for the conservation of those services;
> communicating information about ecosystem services and the potential to effectively and efficiently protect them, in order to raise awareness and generate political will; and
> helping to build a community of practice for marine payment of ecosystem services (PES) and other innovative financing mechanisms.
In meeting these objectives, MARES uses analyses, assessments, pilot projects, and other tools to derive lessons learned from PES initiatives and to build capacity for marine ecosystem services protection.
Public Private Co-Finance Initiative
Conserving forests and ecosystems for the services they provide – including regulating the climate and mitigating anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions – while also producing food, fiber and fuel for the burgeoning human population is one of the greatest challenges today. Furthermore, transforming land use to low emissions production systems is costly and requires substantial financing. Forest Trends’ Public Private Co-Finance Initiative works at this nexus and is strategically focused on creating public private architectures that increase the amount of capital flowing to land use practices that reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation, improve the productivity of agricultural and livestock systems, and enhance livelihoods of rural populations. Forest Trends Association works with public and private sector partners to create innovative, integrated, and efficient financial architecture.
Where is Forest Trends Association