Originally known as the Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Initiative, the Nework began as a collection of innovative programs and investments designed to build the capacity to implement integrated ecosystem service and biodiversity markets in Alberta. The Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Initiative was developed based on the Ecosystem Services Roadmap (2012). Read more about the projects in the Initiative by visiting our Projects page.
The Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Initiative was led by Alberta Innovates, a research and innovation agency funded by the Government of Alberta, that works closely with partners to identify, coordinate and fund research and innovation projects and to help solve industry challenges with solutions that deliver economic, environmental and social benefits to Albertans.
The Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Initiative originated in research and industry consultation efforts by the former Institute for Agriculture, Forestry and the Environment (IAFE). The Institute was mandated to develop a policy framework for market-based approaches for providing ecosystem services. In March 2010, the Institute submitted a framework to the Government of Alberta that outlined a phased approach to creating a coordinated, integrated market system for enhancing ecosystem services. The market system would offer many benefits to the Government of Alberta, to companies doing business in this province, and to Albertans. The IAFE outlined the opportunities for Alberta to use market-based tools and policy instruments to improve business innovation and enhance the provision of ecosystem services in Alberta.
Building off the research and knowledge generated through the IAFE and the Ecosystem Services Policy Framework, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions developed The Ecosystem Services Roadmap in 2012. The Roadmap became the foundational document for ecosystem services and biodiversity market innovation in Alberta. It guides the Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Initiative and informs decisions by the Network with respect to the knowledge, information and capacity required to launch ecosystem services and biodiversity markets in Alberta.