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Ecosystem Services and Conservation Offsets April 24th, 2012

Funded by the Government of Alberta


Alberta’s History – Dramatic change in its landscapes – Energy, forestry, agriculture and urban development – Competition for land and resources between sectors

– Environmental challenges – limits are being approached; reputation – Water quality, habitat loss and fragmentation of the landscape; greenhouse gases – Social license to operate – Biodiversity, water, and green house gases new drivers of innovation and competitiveness


Alberta’s Policy – Land Use Framework 2008 • Enables development and use of conservation and stewardship tools, including market based instruments • Conservation offsets, transfer of development credits

– Water for Life 2008 • Guides water allocation and management

– Provincial Energy Strategy 2008 • Global energy leader, recognized s a responsible world class energy supplier


Ecosystem services “The benefits that people obtain from the environment� (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005)


Alberta’s Policy – Land Use Framework 2008 • Enables development and use of conservation and stewardship tools, including market based instruments • Conservation offsets, transfer of development credits

– Water for Life 2008 • Guides water allocation and management

– Provincial Energy Strategy 2008 • Global energy leader, recognized s a responsible world class energy supplier


Ecosystem services “The benefits that people obtain from the environment� (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005)


Ecosystem Services

(Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005)


Sustainable Development – Cumulative effects management: a planning system that establishes targets for management of place-based impacts in an area rather than on a project-by-project basis.

– Integrated land management: a planning system used to minimize the human-footprint on public land by sharing land between different users and encouraging land stewardship. (Alberta SRD)

– Integrated resource management: a planning system used to ensure the long-term sustainable use of all available resources in an area. (Orfano, 2011)


Integrated Resource Management (IRM) IRM focuses on balancing ecosystem services and resources to ensure that the natural systems remain functioning, stable and healthy and to ensure important ecosystem services are maintained.


Market Based Instruments • One of the economic recommendations of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, as a way to better manage our resources and ecosystem services. • Can generate efficiency, innovation and competitiveness in resource development • Transfer of Development Credits (TDCs): Used to concentrate development in certain areas and relinquish development pressure in other areas • Conservation offsets: Used to counterbalance the effects of development on public and private land


Example of an Offset Scenario


Supply


Demand


Key Components Required for a Successful Market-Based Approach Clear collaborative Governance with a defined business model that includes: Ecosystem Services Assessment  Data and Information Management System Ecosystem Services Trading Platform  Verification and Validation Systems Knowledge Structure  Policy Evaluation Process


Data and Information •

Support decision making and trade off choices

Integration to recognize bundling, interaction, linkages

Define units of exchange – Supply

– Demand •

Valuation

Enable improved management of resources

Inform enhanced efficiency and innovation

Verify and validate

Document enhanced environmental health

Credible…..open…….transparent


Two Projects •

Alberta’s Bio Resource Information Management System – Silvacom and Green Analytics

• Ecosystem Services Assessment - Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute

Collaborators: –

Alberta Innovates

Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency

Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute

Silvacom and Green Analytics

Miistakis Institute

Government of Alberta


Alberta’s Bio-Resource Information Management System


Ecosystem Services Assessment Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute: acting as expert network coordinator to develop a process to assess the supply of ES on any given landscape.


Ecosystem Services Assessment Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute: acting as expert network coordinator to develop a process to assess the supply of ES on any given landscape.


Ecosystem Services Assessment - Create an assessment platform on which to add ecosystem services as knowledge grows - Start with three categories: - Biodiversity - Forest and rangeland health and productivity - Water quality, including role of wetlands, riparian areas and watersheds

Ecosystem Services and Conservation  

by Carol Beltac

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