Rehabilitating Nature: A Comparative Review of Legal Mechanisms that Encourage Wetland Restoration Efforts
48 Pages Posted: 7 May 2008 Last revised: 8 Nov 2009
Date Written: 2003
This article reviews the current legal mechanisms throughout the world that are designed to encourage wetland restoration activities. Part I examines international law that calls for wetland restoration. Part II explores non-regulatory programs that offer financial incentives for wetland restoration. In particular, direct payments to landowners and indirect payments through tax deductions and credits are noted. Part III explores domestic, non-cash incentives that are outside of traditional, permit-based regulatory programs. Such incentives include the generation of good will or favorable publicity for corporations (or their desire to avoid unfavorable publicity), governmental permission to conduct harvesting activities that would otherwise be limited or prohibited, and governmental assurances not to impose stricter land-use controls if the restoration project results in environmental improvements. Part IV reviews several domestic regulatory programs and indentifes incentives for wetland restoration, including mitigation banking.
Keywords: wetlands, wetland restoration, economic incentives, international law, Ramsar Convention, Wetlands Reserve Program, Clean Water Act, mitigation banking
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