Events & Media

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



"Ecosystem Service Markets: Catalyzing Investment in Conservation"

Carrie Sanneman (MESM 2011)
Ecosystem Services Project Manager
Willamette Partnership
Portland, Oregon

Monday, March 4, 2013
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"The notion of using ecosystem services as an additional dimension of decision-making in environmental management is really important. The challenge is always how to make it operational, and the Willamette Partnership is a leader in trying to operationalize it" — Professor Frank Davis

Increasing pressure on natural systems reduces their ability to provide the services that people rely on, such as clean air, clean water, and natural places to play. Emerging incentive programs for ecosystem services provide a mechanism to restore resilient ecological systems by building connections between people who manage land and water and those who can invest in environmental improvement. The Willamette Partnership is a leader in getting market-based approaches to conservation on the ground. The partnership’s efforts, including its Ecosystem Credit Accounting System, have allowed for $8 million of investment in natural systems so far, with more to come, and was recognized by President Obama in his 2012 speech to the White House Conference on Conservation, when he said that it represents the “kinds of ideas that we need in this country — ideas that preserve our environment, protect our bottom line, and connect more Americans to the great outdoors.” This talk will cover current efforts by the Willamette Partnership to develop markets for water quality and habitat across the American West.

Carrie Sanneman is a project manager at the Willamette Partnership, a nonprofit coalition of business, environmental, and other leaders working to enhance the pace, scope, and effectiveness of restoration in the American West. It specializes in the design and operation of emerging markets for ecosystem services and other incentive-based approaches to conservation. Carrie manages the Partnership’s Ecosystem Credit Accounting System (ECAS), which acts to quantify and verify the ecosystem services provided through conservation and restoration of natural systems. She is also the lead on water quality trading. Her role includes guiding stakeholder groups and regulatory agencies through the development of crediting protocols, implementing the ECAS to enable market transactions in Oregon, and helping to manage a three-state process to develop regional guidance on water quality trading in the Pacific Northwest. Carrie graduated from the Bren school in 2011 with a Master of Environmental Science and Management degree, which provided the background needed to meld science, stakeholder interaction, economics, and policy in the world of ecosystem service markets.

NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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