There’s a growing trend to understand and quantify the value of the services that our ecosystems provide. The tangible benefits are difficult to assess in terms of economic impacts of services such as carbon sequestration of forests, waste treatment of wetlands, genetic resources from biodiversity, and environmental benefits from land conservation.
The Katoomba Group’s Ecosystem Marketplace aims to value and create markets for Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). The carbon cap-and-trade market is the best example of a PES market, but there are others emerging, such as water markets and biodiversity markets.
In order to get a handle on the interconnectivity and dependencies of these related markets, EcosystemMarketplace has created a tool that they call The Matrix. This is a very large poster-sized spreadsheet that charts the defining characteristics of each market in rather granular detail. The size and scope of The Matrix is hard to absorb at this macro scale, so it is also broken down into market profiles. This structure is being replicated into an online database that will foster collaboration and data gathering.