National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference presentation
The recently held National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference (NMEBC) in Louisville, Kentucky, brought together influential policymakers, bankers and researches, allowing them to discuss timely content and to dialogue on important issues that advance and protect the environment in financially sustainable ways.
Speaking at the Emerging Trends & Opportunities Session, Carolina Planning’s, Associate Professor Todd BenDor addressed the audience with his research on Adaptation for Restoration: Evolving Policies, Business Models, and Markets.
For over the last decade, ecological restoration has become a major vehicle for national governments to signal commitment to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, climate impacts, and land use change. To date, 114 nations have committed to restore nearly 400 million acres of land, an area six times the size of the United Kingdom. However, it will not be possible to meet this immense restoration goal through public or philanthropic resources alone.
In this talk, BenDor gave an overview to recent and emerging work on adapting and expanding the restoration industry. He laid out a new vision for the restoration industry that includes the development of a variety of new policies (e.g. expedited permitting processes), business models (e.g. shifting offsets from focus on land to focus on service flows), and market opportunities (e.g. urban stormwater markets) that can help to drive the restoration industry towards becoming a more significant force in generating ecosystem services and reducing environmental risk, all while reducing business risk and driving local economic growth.
Todd BenDor is an Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he directs the PhD program and teaches courses on watershed planning, impact assessment, and complex systems. His research studies the intersection of urban change and efforts to mitigate impacts to sensitive ecosystems. Over the last ten years, his work has focused on the social, economic, and ecological consequences of ecosystem service markets, including wetland and stream mitigation, water quality trading, and endangered species offsets. Recently, he has examined the economic impacts of ecological restoration, the relationships between landowner infrastructure investments and saltwater intrusion vulnerability in Eastern NC, and the effects of infrastructure subsidy losses on rates of development on coastal barriers.