Cultural Ecosystem Services in Alberta

 When we talk about valuing ecosystem services we’re often referring to a monetary value that’s placed on a tangible benefit the environment gives us. We understand the dollar value of a farmer producing food for consumption, but what about the benefits of being in nature that don’t have a dollar value attached to them? Nature can give us a sense of belonging, provide a place to practice our spirituality, or a landscape to hike and take in the aesthetic beauty of our surroundings. These intangible benefits belong to a subcategory of ecosystem services called ‘cultural ecosystem services’ and while it’s a bit more challenging to define the value of these services they still play an important role in making decisions on the landscape.

Opportunities for Payments for Ecosystem Services in Alberta’s Agricultural Sector

Over the course of our latest webinar series we’ve looked at examples of effective ecosystem services markets that have been implemented at both the National and International level. In our final presentation of the series, Dr. Marian Weber gave us a look into the opportunities for ecosystem services markets to be implemented right here in Alberta’s agricultural sector.

Step Outside! 3 Healthy Benefits of Being in Nature

As humans, we understand that there is connection between our well-being and exposure to The Great Outdoors. We can simply feel it when we go for a walk in the park, take in a breath of fresh air, or feel the calm and joy we receive as we engage in hobbies such as fishing or camping. Intuitively, we know the connection between our well-being and being in the natural environment, and research is confirming there is, indeed, a correlation between exposure to green space and increased physical and mental health.   

3 Reasons ES Markets are Important to Albertans

The EcosystemServices Network is working to support the development of ecosystem services and biodiversity markets in Alberta. Market approaches have been known to create positive changes in land use and provide benefits to individuals, businesses and communities.  We believe that implementing a market approach has 3 key benefits to Albertans: they diversify the economy and promote business development, they enhance environmental integrity, and they increase innovation and competitiveness.

Municipal Natural Assets: what are they and why should we manage them?

The Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Network hosted a webinar in collaboration with the Municipal Natural Asset Initiative (MNAI), looking at enhancing municipal natural asset management in Canada. In case you missed it, we’ve pulled together some quick facts around what municipal natural assets are, why we should manage them and how the Town of Gibsons, B.C. is a shining example for municipal natural asset management in Canada.