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Conservation and concealment in SpeciesBanking.com, USA: an analysis of neoliberal performance in the species offsetting industry

Sullivan, S and Pawliczek, J (2011) 'Conservation and concealment in SpeciesBanking.com, USA: an analysis of neoliberal performance in the species offsetting industry.' Environmental Conservation, 38 (4). pp. 435-444. ISSN 0376-8929

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Abstract

Market-based strategies are promoted as neoliberal governance solutions to environmental problems, from local to global scales. Tradable mitigation schemes are proliferating. These include species banking, which enables payments for the purchase of species credits awarded to conserved areas to offset development impacts on protected species elsewhere. An analysis of species banks in the USA through a survey of data from the website www.SpeciesBanking.com (established as a ‘clearing house’ for species banking information) was complemented by questionnaire material from USA bank managers. The number of USA species banks has increased rapidly, bank area ownership and management is consolidated in a small number of organizations, and public information on species credit price is limited. In interrogating the case material, the roles of specific economic policies associated with neoliberalism are considered, focusing on the extension of privatization, de- and re-regulation and marketization into the arena of environmental conservation, and commodification processes as manifested in species banking. Problematic ecological and distributive ‘concealments’ in species banking include the ‘development-led’ nature of conservation banking, tendencies towards net biodiversity loss, and an emphasis on supporting conservation-related wealth accumulation by larger landowners and investors.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Themed Issue on Payments for Ecosystem Services.

Keywords: biodiversity, commodification, ecosystem services, markets, mitigation, neoliberal conservation, species banking, SpeciesBanking.com
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 12:01
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 14:11
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