monetizing (1)

Monetizing Ecosystem Services

Monetizing ecosystem services of trees might be in the near future.  The City of New York spent $1.2 billion dollars (over ten years) to restore and protect watersheds in effort to avoid spending $8 billion dollars on a new water filtration plant.  Last week, California regulators adopted a system combating climate change that sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions and creates market incentives to encourage oil refineries, electricity generators and other polluters to clean up their plants.  Trees are an important part of ecosystem services, especially since the net primary productivity of carbon removal of forests have been found to exceed original estimates.  Is a market for the purchase of forests or trees to offset climate change far behind?  The ecosystem values of urban forests are already being calculated by combining GIS and iTree in innovative programs in San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.  It is yet to be seen how these markets will form and how challenges will be overcome thru the rest of this century, but it appears early signs of monetizing ecosystem services is on the near horizon.  

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