NaturEtrade creating a marketplace for ecosystem services

A LIFE+ project funded by the EU and the University of Oxford

NaturEtrade is a web-based mapping tool that demonstrates a novel approach to assessing the ecological potential of land in terms of the ecosystem services that it provides, and then "trading" these services.

It was developed by researchers in the University of Oxford working closely with colleagues in Sylva Foundation with extensive expertise in the provision of online resources and planning tools for land management. It was co-funded by the University of Oxford and the LIFE+ programme of the European Commission.

It is an easy-to-use automated ecosystem service evaluation tool that can assess uploaded information on a land parcel to determine its ecological potential. Beneficiaries of ecosystem services (including businesses, other land owners, national or regional/local government agencies) can contract with landowners for the continued (and ultimately enhanced) provision of these services. It was originally conceived as an "eBay for ecosystem services" and has potential for use in this way, or adapted for reverse auction contracting systems.

how NaturEtrade works

The website allows land owners and managers in Europe to map their land parcels by using a sophisticated user-friendly drawing tool and download information on five ecosystem service categories in a simple report. Land managers in England and Wales can also map their rural properties (if registered on the Land Registry) by automatically selecting registered land parcels.

These short presentations explain how to register and use NaturEtrade:

English | French | Spanish | German

The website also demonstrates how investors of ecosystem services can form contracts with landowners to ensure continued provision of these valuable services. No transactions are taking place in this demonstration phase.

NaturEtrade is a Life + funded project.

NaturEtrade was developed alongside the Local Ecological Footprint Tool (LEFT), sharing many technical features. This short video explains LEFT as a tool for environmental planning.