Reversed auctions for enhancing biodiversity in Denmark

Inside perspective on the second MAG Meeting in Denmark by Suzanne Elizabeth Vedel

The second MAG meeting took place at the University of Copenhagen and gathered forest owners, policy makers and a broad variety of other stakeholders from associations with biodiversity and recreational interests to corporate ones.

Following input from the 1st MAG meeting and the Co-design event in Belgium in January 2019, the SINCERE project in Denmark had now reached a stage where we had chosen the main Innovative Action we will be working on, namely Reversed auctions for enhancing biodiversity. We were therefore at a place in the project development where we needed input from our stakeholders in order to choose what the exact focus of the auction mechanism should be – under the broad umbrella of enhancing biodiversity.

The day was spent with fruitful discussions on what type of small and large scale management changes the reversed biodiversity auction may focus on. Fundamental issues considered were that the management changes should be doable for small-scale forest owners, the impact on biodiversity should be as large as possible and forest owners should receive advice and guidance on how to make auction bids. During the day, we talked about the large scope for enhancing biodiversity on forest edges and borders between different types of land use, recreating natural hydrology, creating corridors for biodiversity in the landscape and leaving dead wood for natural decay.

A large part of the discussions focused on how to make participation in the mechanism appealing to forest owners, both in terms of lowering the barrier for auction entry through advice and guidance along with the importance of securing that both selected and not-selected owners in the auction are satisfied. Transparency in the evaluation and selection of bids is key here, and public recognition may also play a role.

When summing up at the end of the day, the participants expressed enthusiasm and some were already engaged and curious about participating in the future project process and development. All in all an interesting and fruitful day for us as organizers too. We look forward to the next steps in the project with the actual implementation of the reversed auction for biodiversity.

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