Conservation Markets Roundtable
This was the first in a series of roundtables focused on the development of markets for conservation credits (e.g. clean water, wetlands, wildlife habitat, and clean air). The roundtables are informal dialogues of researchers and practitioners who are interested in discussing issues related to the future of these emerging conservation tools. The roundtables are convened by the Willamette Partnership, and the first gathering will be hosted by Willamette University's Public Policy Research Center.
The Most Recent Roundtable was: "The Ins and Outs of Conservation Markets: Beginning to Answer the Tough Questions"
Conservation Markets Roundtable — Friday, May 5, 2006
The first gathering of the Conservation Markets Roundtable combined a morning of panel presentations from leaders in the world of conservation markets with an afternoon of small group dialogues where tough questions tied to creating conservation markets in the Northwest were raised and discussed. The Willamette Partnership, a diverse group of watershed stakeholders and the roundtable’s convener, recently received a targeted watersheds grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to begin a water quality trading program in the Willamette Basin. The trading program will initially focus on temperature, then expand to include other values. The Partnership is a new nonprofit organization with a diverse board of directors including members from business, agriculture, conservation, academia, and local government.
As the Partnership begins work, it is clear that the region needs an informal way to discuss the challenges of creating conservation markets. Conservation markets are not new, but their popularity and expanded use has jumped onto the national policy stage in the last five years. The discussions we have at the Roundtable will be packaged, made available, and used to guide the work of the Willamette Partnership and others looking to use new policy tools to achieve conservation goals. To bring in new perspectives on this topic, representatives from the office of Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, US Forest Service, US Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, David Evans and Associates, and others shared their experiences, activities, and visions related to emerging conservation markets and discussed some of the most pressing issues related to the matter.