In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, five U.S. federal agencies are directing an unprecedented amount of funds to ecosystem restoration in the Gulf of Mexico. Tracking the benefits these funds provide to fisheries, tourism, employment, recreation and ecosystems presents a major challenge. A team of researchers from The Nature Conservancy in the Gulf of Mexico,Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies and The Nature Conservancy, led by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions' Lydia Olander has received $1.3 million to develop a common framework and a set of indicators that unifies comprehensive reporting on the progress and effectiveness of the gulf's ecosystem restoration--reporting that will aid funders and decision makers grappling with how to distribute restoration resources.
STUDY: CHINA'S NEW NATIONAL CARBON MARKET
Not all cap-and-trade programs are made alike, and the one China rolled out in December differs from those in the United States and Europe in some significant respects. A new Nicholas Institute working paper describes some intriguing features of China's new carbon market and poses some questions for policy makers attempting to ensure that it works as effectively as possible.
REPORT: FILLING THE FISHERIES FINANCE GAP
Many fisheries around the world are considered an economically underperforming asset, providing lower returns than they could be if more sustainably managed. A new report, co-authored by researchers at the Environmental Defense Fund and the Nicholas Institute, introduces the idea of a blended capital approach to fill the all-too-common finance gap that may hamper recovery of many fisheries. It describes the categories of investment required to attain fisheries sustainability at each stage of the recovery process and suggests approaches for philanthropic and public capital to leverage private capital to help fill the gap.