Gartner and Donlan's candidate conservation banking program funded by Switzer featured on Co.Exist
Fellows:Todd Gartner, Josh Donlan
Laws alone do not save wildlife. The Endangered Species Act (ESA), one of the most effective environmental policies written in the past century, has pulled dozens of species back from the brink of extinction and holds out a lifeline for many others.
But in recent years, the ESA’s effectiveness has stalled. Opposition has grown to listing new species in the face of strict, sometimes costly rules that affect landowners whose property is also the habitat of imperiled wildlife. At least 250 candidate species await decisions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be protected under the ESA, and final decisions are taking years, if not longer, to arrive. Landowners who have very little financial incentive to protect wildlife under the ESA sometimes practice something called "shoot, shovel, and shut up" after discovering endangered species on their property.
The World Resources Institute (WRI), and its partners, hope their "candidate conservation marketplace" will remove some of this opposition, and make it less costly to conserve species. They have started testing a marketplace to buy and sell habitat credits, which will allow developers and landowners to exchange land in different locations to help wildlife conservation.