On the eve of the international biodiversity conference to be held in South Korea from 6 to 17 October (12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on biological diversity), where we will present our main results, it is our pleasure at INVALUABLE to release the 4th Newsletter for the project (September 2014):
The INVALUABLE project, coordinated by the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), in Paris, enters its last year of activity (end of the project in June 2015). It will thus disseminate its policy-relevant results and messages in order to usefully contribute to the critical debate on incentivizing and financing biodiversity conservation and help curb its erosion. Scientific dissemination already started in Iceland in August this year when some of the project partners presented their research results on conditional payments for environmental services at the biannual conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE), held in Reykjavik, 13-15 August. Dissemination will further be carried out next month in October when the INVALUABLE project organises a side event at the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CoP12), held in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, 6-17 October. The INVALUABLE side event (taking place on Thursday October 9th, 6:15 p.m.) will contribute to debates on innovative financing mechanisms (IFMs) within the Strategy for Resource Mobilization (SRM). The latter, including final targets for resource mobilization under Aichi Target 20 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, as well as modalities and milestones for Aichi Biodiversity Target 3 on positive and harmful incentives, will indeed still lie at the core of negotiations at CoP12 (see our stakeholder engagement section, page 6). In this context, engaging closely with stakeholders will be critical for the INVALUABLE project in order to better inform and influence debates and discussions. Results to be presented at this side event, based on partners’ work and publications (see page 7), will include 1) an analysis of the critical issue of terminology of market-based instruments (as recently mentioned during the second Dialogue Seminar on scaling up finance for biodiversity held in Quito in April this year), but also 2) empirical case studies on the ground, both payments for ecosystem services (see our results sections on Cambodia and Brazil, pages 2 and 5) and biodiversity offsets (see our interview section with James Aronson, page 3). Such interface between science and policy (SPI) is essential to allow for sounder policies to be designed, and thus remains central to our project. It is based on robust analysis and design of SPI processes and decision support systems (DSS), undertaken by INVALUABLE partners, including the QUICKScan tool, and was fine-tuned during a well-attended expert-workshop held in Freiburg in March this year (see our methods section, page 4). In France, INVALUABLE results could also help inform public discussions on the proposed Biodiversity Law, currently debated in Parliament, and which includes important sections on the regulation of biodiversity offsetting activities and the possible legal inclusion of some sort of payments for ecosystem services to undertake these offsets. Hence, in this last year of activity, disseminating key messages from the INVALUABLE project about the advantages and drawbacks, opportunities and risks, of market-based instruments for biodiversity conservation could prove very useful when engaging with stakeholders, including civil society and policy-makers. Such engagement will culminate next year with the project conclusive conference, to be held in June 2015.