World-renowned Katoomba Conference highlights “Green” market solutions in the Pacific Northwest

Release Date: 05-26-2006

Oakley Brooks

Senior Media Manager
503.467.0779

Conference comes to Portland June 7-9; international experts tapped to address new business opportunities in water, carbon and biodiversity

PORTLAND, Ore. —  Diamonds are expensive. Water is cheap. Yet as environmental challenges grow, those price signals seem faultier than ever. Now, the game is changing. New markets for water, carbon and biodiversity are making the priceless valuable.

Environmental markets have a strong track record in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps most notably, Oregon created the first regulated carbon market in the nation in 1997, when it required new power plants to offset part of their emissions.

It’s no surprise, then, that the hosts of the Katoomba conference chose Portland for their U.S. debut. The conference will gather regional and international experts for three days of discussions that seek to jumpstart environmental markets, both in the region and beyond.

The conference kicks off mid-day on Wednesday, June 7th with a Wall Street perspective from Mark Tercek, Director of the Environmental Markets Initiative at global investment bank Goldman Sachs, and an overview of the state of global ecosystems by Walter Reid, Director of the United Nations’ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

Notable speakers on Thursday include Mike Burnett and David Brand, who will bring regional and international perspectives to the development of carbon markets. Water quality trading experts Albert Appleton and Mark Kieser will provide context for the newly formed Willamette Partnership Project – soon to initiate the largest market of its kind in the nation. And speakers from Smith Barney and the Global Environment Fund will join a panel on the emergence of funds for investing in green infrastructure.

Please join us at the Portland Katoomba Conference, held at the World Forestry Center and the Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center. We will also host a conference call with several of the experts at noon on Thursday, June 8th.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: For your convenience, we offer complimentary recording services of our expert panel discussions and private areas where you can conduct one-on-one interviews.

CAN’T ATTEND IN PERSON? For your convenience, we are providing a Thursday noon (PST) conference call with several of our panel experts; they’ll take your questions and update you on newsworthy items coming out of the conference. Please contact us to get the number and passcode you’ll need to participate.

Many of our speakers are available for interview purposes. Please contact us, so we can assist you in scheduling interviews or providing photographs and/or audio.

ABOUT ECOTRUST: Ecotrust was created in 1991 by a small group of people who sought to bring some of the good ideas emerging around conservation back to the rain forests of home. Our work is predicated on the idea that sound economic development should fit a triple bottom line: economy, ecology and equity. Ecotrust works in five integrated program areas: native programs, fisheries, forestry, food/farms, and citizenship.

For more information: www.katoombagroup.org/pacificnorthwest/