Local Ecosystem Services Marketplaces: Public Utilities as Development Drivers
Title: Local Ecosystem Services Marketplaces: Public Utilities as Development Drivers, A Report for the Bullitt Foundation
Release Date: May 2012
Leading organization: The Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University
Length: 46 pages
Geographic focus: Oregon
The Institute for Natural Resources received funding from the Bullitt Foundation to evaluate institutional factors that influence development of public utility payment for ecosystem services (PES) programs. This research utilized the activities and experiences of the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB), which is currently developing a voluntary incentive program (VIP) to facilitate conservation and restoration activities along the McKenzie River. Research activities included a case study of the EWEB program, examination of funding and structural aspects, exploration of PES buyer and seller preferences, and development of a corporate engagement model. While few legislative or legal barriers to PES programs were found, institutional issues such as lack of knowledge and support of these efforts was more prevalent. The research identified opportunities and barriers regarding the use of PES, and interviews and focus groups were conducted to develop a set of recommendations that are detailed in the report.