What are environmental markets?


What are Environmental Markets? >>

Natural assets such as rivers, forests, grasslands and wetlands benefit society through the ecosystem services they provide, including water purification, air quality improvements, and flood protection, among other benefits. However, these services are frequently left out of resource management decisions because they aren’t easily quantified or assigned a monetary value. As a result, society undervalues these environmental benefits, contributing to the loss of natural systems.

Environmental markets can provide incentives to preserve ecosystems and the services they provide. These markets are an innovative policy approach to increasing funding for environmental conservation and are often viewed as a complement to traditional conservation programs. Current active and pilot markets exist for greenhouse gasses, water quality, water quantity, wetlands, and habitats.

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      Water Quality Markets       Wetland Markets
  Water Quantity Markets         Habitat and Biodiversity Markets
  Carbon Markets        


Featured Resources >>

Guide to Environmental Markets for Farmers and Ranchers
This 2010 document, produced by the American Farmland Trust, describes environmental markets and the role that farmers and ranchers can play in these markets. 


NRCS Environmental Market Success Stories
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has funded over 60 environmental market Conservation Innovation Grant projects since 2004. These are some examples and highlights. 

The Role of Agriculture in Reducing Greenhouse Gasses
This economic brief describes how agriculture could play a prominent role in U.S. efforts to address climate change if farms and ranches undertake activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or take greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.


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