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Archive for March, 2015

Great news that the UK is contributing to establishing a global network of highly protected marine reserves with the designation of Pitcairn Marine Reserve. Cowburps has previously highlighted the opportunity to protect the rich waters in the UK’s exclusive economic zone around Pitcairn Island. The Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve spans 834,334 square kilometres (322,138 square miles), making it the world’s largest highly protected marine reserve.

On top of the phenomenal biodiversity, two things are notable about this designation. Firstly, boundary includes a small zone to allow sustainable levels of fishing by local residents to continue. Secondly, the planned role for technologies, specifically, satellite monitoring to detect illegal fishing within the designated waters.

This demonstrates the mix of skills needed to develop successful marine protection: from local consultation to support sustainable local fishing, through to new information technologies that allow cost-effective enforcement. These skills include a small, but necessary, chunk of environmental economics – to show what’s really cost-effective and where the costs and benefits of protection are spread.

For example, the costs of the innovative monitoring regime at Pitcairn should really be regarded as part of the baseline for any use of the site. This is because without monitoring, property rights are really just theoretical, and so there can be no way of securing benefits from any activity (either exploiting minerals or fishing, or benefits from conservation).

Related posts from us:

https://cowburps.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/protect-pitcairn-more-than-just-money/

https://cowburps.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/economics-role-in-protecting-uk-waters/

Related reading:

Pew Trust press release

The Guardian article on the news

The last but not the least, we always wanted to work with artists to bring a different dimension to our work for the environment and the economy. As part of that, we’ve sponsored photographer Rhiannon Adam who is on a ‘journey of a life time’ (BBC supported) to Pitcairn. You can follow her adventure and photographs here.

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For your consideration:

The recently started Biodiversity Offsets Blog aims to provide an interdisciplinary platform for the information and exchange on Biodiversity Offsets and the Mitigation Hierarchy.

The goal is to mainstream and facilitate the discussion on Biodiversity Offsets. The focus lies on biodiversity offsets as such (not market based instruments or other more general topics). The formerly widespread information shall be brought together to make it easily accessible for a maximum of people and thereby to unite the societal debate with academic findings and practical insights. This includes joining different perspectives (biodiversity offsets are not restricted to the interest of business).
The Biodiversity Offsets Blog combines general information (including an updated list of experts, literature, websites etc.) with frequent blog posts on new articles, scientific papers, political news, offset examples on the ground and so on.
As the platform shall bring people and their expertise together, all those who are interested are encouraged to share their knowledge, views, questions or concerns and help to build a broad information base. Find out more on www.biodiversityoffsets.net.

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