The Network is building knowledge and capacity in key areas to support the development of conservation markets in Alberta. We believe that conservation markets diversify the economy, enhance environmental integrity, promote sustainable development and increase innovation and competitiveness for Albertans.
Ecosystem Services (ES) are the benefits that humans receive from nature. These benefits include provisioning services such as food and clean water, regulating services that affect climate, floods and water quality, cultural services that provide recreational benefits, and supporting services such as soil formation. - Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
Conservation markets are markets in which transactions involving ecosystem services take place with the goal of improving or maintaining environmental quality or minimizing environmental degradation. Market approaches to restoring and enhancing ecosystem services have been shown to cause positive changes in land-use management and bring a number of benefits to individuals, businesses and communities.
The 2012 Ecosystem Services Roadmap, developed by Alberta Innovates, identified key requirements for ecosystem services and biodiversity markets to function effectively. They Include:
Since 2010, Network partners have developed a series of research-based projects, pilots and proofs of concept. Collectively, our work is helping build knowledge and capacity to establish conservation markets across the province.