Biodiversity and carbon offsets of the ECCB2018 congress
Mustajärvi, L., Kotiaho, J. and Moilanen, A. (2018). Biodiversity and carbon offsets of the ECCB2018 congress. 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. doi: 10.17011/conference/eccb2018/108658
© the Authors, 2018
As human beings we cause harmful ecological impacts such as habitat destruction and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Biodiversity and climate offsetting (compensations) are approaches where harmful ecological and climate impacts are compensated by producing some additional benefits for nature that would not have be achieved without the offsetting. In this project we aim to offset the harmful ecological and climate impacts of the European Congress for Conservation Biology, ECCB2018, and through a case-study obtain information about the magnitude of harm caused by a large international conference, and about the benefits gained through raising funds from the delegates to be used for offsetting; restoring drained peatlands in this case. When estimating the harmful ecological and climate impacts of any activity, the focus needs to be on the impacts that would not have taken place without the activity. In ECCB2018 case those impacts are the travelling emissions of delegates. To offset the ecological harm and emissions caused by the ECCB2018, the delegates to the conference are requested to pay an offset fee during the registration. The harmful ecological impacts are estimated from the delegates travel information requested during the registration and from the calculated climate impacts based on this information. Offsetting is recommended but voluntary and each delegate can decide the amount they are willing to pay. All funds raised for the offsetting purposes will be allocated in full to restoration to create the offsets. Drained peatlands were restored in collaboration with Parks and Wildlife Finland, a State Enterprise managing all state owned lands in Finland. When restoring the peatland by filling in the ditches, the hydrology of the peatland recovers rapidly inducing a recovery of the vegetation and jump starting the carbon sequestration function of the peatland (Kareksela et al. 2015). Our restoration area locates nearby Salamajärvi National Park and its size is about 60 hectares. The gains of the restoration will be estimated based on climate effects of restored peatland. In addition, the habitat improvement in restored areas will be estimated by applying the framework developed for the assessment and reversing of ecosystem degradation (Kotiaho et al. 2016). By comparing the harmful impacts with the gains we are able to verify whether the offsets are adequate to completely offset the losses, whether the offset is only partial, or whether the ECCB2018 can reach a net positive impact. 1 Kareksela, S., Haapalehto, T., Juutinen, R., Matilainen, R., Tahvanainen, T. and Kotiaho, J.S. 2015. Fighting carbon loss of degraded peatlands by jump-starting ecosystem functioning with ecological restoration. - Science of The Total Environment 537: 268-276. 2 Kotiaho, J.S., Kuusela, S., Nieminen, E., Päivinen, J. and Moilanen, A. 2016. Framework for assessing and reversing ecosystem degradation.Reports of the Ministry of the Environment, 15en | 2016. ...
PublisherOpen Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä
ConferenceECCB2018: 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. 12th - 15th of June 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland
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- ECCB 2018