Speaker: Christopher LaFranchi, Founder & CEO of OneReef Worldwide Stewardship, a US-based non-profit organization
This webinar explores use of an economic instrument designed to enable local communities to protect coral reefs. While some goods and services provided by reefs are paid for, such as fish and tourism experiences, there is no market mechanism that ensures we invest in maintaining the ecological capacity of reefs to continuously provide these benefits (aka, ecosystem services). Because ecosystem services cannot be readily sold to generate revenues, conservation of reefs incurs an opportunity cost from the perspective of local communities (all that must be given up to conserve and manage key functions needed to sustain benefit flows). Local communities who value reefs struggle to reconcile the short-term costs of protecting them, with the long-term benefits they seek, e.g., healthy and productive reefs to pass to their descendants. We will discuss an instrument designed to attract outside groups who also value coral reefs, and who provide resources under long-term agreements that make reef protection an economically viable option for local communities.
This webinar is hosted by the Conservation Strategy Fund and Duke University, as part of the Conservation Economics Initiative.