The Nature Conservancy released an interactive map highlighting conservation projects around the world. The map is part of an effort to assess the value of nature.
An often overlooked part of the economy is the value of nature. According to the Nature Conservancy’s site, Conservation Gateway:
We are undertaking cutting-edge scientific analysis of nature’s value and helping to incorporate that value into corporate and government decision-making and on-the-ground conservation projects that help people and nature thrive.
Wetlands Conservation in the Duck-Pensaukee Basin
One of the projects highlighted is the Duck-Pensaukee Basin within the Lake Michigan Basin. Wetlands support a diverse array of wildlife and lovely views, which have value on their own, but governments and corporations often want to put a monetary value on it.
The Nature Conservancy has put together a detailed map and report on the value of the wetlands in this area. Among the reasons to preserve these wetlands: flood abatement, replenishing the water supply, and fisheries. You can click around on the shoreline of Lake Michigan and find out which areas have particularly high value.
Water Conservation Through Agricultural Practices in Georgia
Another project is a collaboration between the Nature Conservancy and local farmers, university researchers, and conservation agencies to reduce water usage in Georgia agriculture. Through a combination of mechanical retrofits, such as an improved nozzle; technological innovation, such as software that delivers more water to the parts of the field that need it and less where it needs less; and farming methods, annual water use is reduced by fifteen billion gallons of water in a dry year.
There’s more to look at on the Conservation Gateway. They look at the benefits of dam removal, the savings realized by prescribed burning, and other projects. For numbers nerds like me, they’ve got the dollar figures, gallons of water saved, and research backing up the recommendations, plus a guide on how to assess protected area benefits. Definitely worth spending some time there.