With its first gathering in 2000, the Katoomba Group was launched as an international working group focused on advancing markets for the ecosystem services—including watershed protection, biodiversity habitat, and carbon storage. The Group serves as a source of ideas for and strategic information about ecosystem service markets. It has been known for its international convenings, which have provided a forum for exchanging ideas, influencing policy-makers, and catalyzing new initiatives.
At a 2003 meeting in Switzerland, the Katoomba Group agreed to address both the lack of easy access to information as well as specific regional issues emerging around the evolution of these markets. These two decisions led to the Ecosystem Marketplace as well as beginning of work within Tropical America and the East and Southern Africa.
International Katoomba Group meetings continue, most recently at Katoomba XVI in Palo Alto, California, where international experts gathered in February 2010 for the first ever marine Katoomba meeting, to discuss payments for ecosystem services in marine ecosystems. Next up is Katoomba XVII, which is scheduled for June 2010 in Hanoi, Vietnam. This meeting, which is co-sponsored by the Vietnam's ministries of agriculture and the environment, will focus on opportunities and barriers for payments for ecosystem services in the Mekong region of southeast Asia.
Visit the Katoomba events page for more details.