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IP04 Valuation of Ecological Resources
(IP029) Integrating Landscape Equivalency Analysis with the Principles of Sustainability and Adaptive Management to Improve Conservation Banking for Endangered Species.
Bruggeman, D1, Jones, M1, Lupi, F1, Scribner, K1, 1 Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
ABSTRACT- Tradable permit systems provide a flexible, market-based method of meeting sustainability criteria by allowing environmental credits to be traded among firms required to mitigate environmental impacts. Conservation Banking is a new policy designed to provide firms and landowners increased flexibility for acquiring incidental take permits when otherwise lawful economic activities impact an endangered species. Recent Federal guidance stipulates that Conservation Banking should incorporate the influence of spatial associations of habitat to minimize the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation. Many endangered populations exist as metapopulations, or a population made up of small subpopulations that interact through migration and gene flow. Decisions of individual landowners to develop habitat for an endangered subpopulation will affect patterns of migration and gene flow, and therefore can increase extinction risk for the entire metapopulation. Endangered species habitat represents a public good producing nonexcludable and nonrival services (i.e., biodiversity). Therefore, loss of biodiversity in a metapopulation is an externality that is difficult to manage. Spatially-explicit population models can be used to assess conservation credits needed to maintain biodiversity services. Uncertainty associated with the conservation value of a credit could also be identified and habitat trades could be assessed based on their ability to reduce uncertainty (i.e., application of Adaptive Management). We discuss how Landscape Equivalency Analysis can be used in a trading program to assess conservation banking credits that meet sustainability criteria at reduced private costs. We also discuss how Adaptive Management can be used to manage scientific uncertainty associated with Conservation Banking.
Key words: habitat loss & fragmentation, tradable credits, uncertainty, spatially-explicit population models
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