Timor-Leste approves guidelines for co-management of natural resources

The nation of Timor-Leste – in the heart of SE Asia's Coral Triangle – has adopted its first comprehensive guidelines for establishing community and government co-management of natural resources, on land and at sea. The guidelines were prepared by Conservation International for the Timor-Leste National Coordinating Committee, and are available at http://www.coraltriangleinitiative.org/library/technical-report-guidelines-establishing-co-management-natural-resources-timor-leste.

Report available on relatively new concept of marine biodiversity offsets

Biodiversity offsets are measures taken to compensate for damage to wildlife. In the marine ecosystem, such offsets have been proposed as a way to account for various adverse impacts threatened by new or existing uses. The offsets – which could take the form of creating new habitats to replace impacted ones, among other strategies – would achieve no net loss or preferably a net gain in marine biodiversity.

Earlier this year, a study on marine biodiversity offsets was released by The Crown Estate, a commercial property organization that manages a diverse portfolio on behalf of the UK. Marine biodiversity offsets remain a relatively new idea, and the report is among the few studies anywhere on it. The report relies on two hypothetical cases to guide thinking on how biodiversity offsets could be planned in UK waters, in particular the calculation of equivalence in designing marine offsets. The study "Marine Biodiversity Offsetting – UK Scoping Study" is at www.thecrownestate.co.uk/media/397708/marine-biodiversity-offsetting-uk-scoping-study.pdf.

New publication provides detailed case study of Rhode Island's MSP process

A new publication describes the process by which the US state of Rhode Island developed a marine spatial plan for its waters, and provides up-to-date information on the plan's implementation. Called a practitioner's guide, it is intended to serve as a resource for ocean planners everywhere. The 68-page document offers a detailed look at a particular MSP process. "The Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan: Managing Ocean Resources Through CMSP" is available at http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/oceansamp/pdf/Practitioner_Guide.pdf.

Guide: Best practices for developing Payments for Ecosystem Services schemes

The UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) has released a best practice guide to assist with designing and implementing Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes. Drawing on examples from around the world, the manual helps users to:

  • Understand the principles of PES;
  • Identify and test potential opportunities and suitable partners for PES; and
  • Find solutions to technical, legal and institutional issues.

"Payments for Ecosystem Services: A Best Practice Guide" is available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/payments-for-ecosystem-services-pes-best-practice-guide.