What We Do

The ESBN is dedicated to building knowledge and capacity to support the creation of ecosystem services and biodiversity markets across Alberta. We believe that ecosystem services and biodiversity markets diversify the economy, enhance environmental integrity, promote sustainable development and increase innovation and competitiveness for Albertans. 

What are Ecosystem Services?

Ecosystem Services 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

Ecosystem services and biodiversity markets are markets in which the transactions 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.

How are we supporting the development of ES Markets?

The 2012 Ecosystem Services Roadmap, developed by Alberta Innovates, identified key requirements for ecosystem services and biodiversity markets to function effectively. They Include:

Science and Assessment
Market Infrastructure
Data and Information Management
Stakeholder Engagement; and 
Enabling Policy

Since 2010, ESBN partners have developed a series of research-based projects, pilots and proofs of concept. Together, our work is helping build knowledge and capacity in ecosystem services and biodiversity markets across the Province.