The national voice for all sectors of the forage and grassland industry, the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) manages a number of national projects of importance to Canada’s 72 million-plus acres of grassland and pastures. Here are some of the projects the CFGA is involved with.
Retaining Canada's Grasslands Using Carbon Offset Markets
Launched March 16, the Retaining Canada's Grasslands Using Carbon Offset Markets is a two-year pilot that will allow landowners and ranchers to generate carbon offsets for carbon stored in conserved grasslands in Canada. The pilot will enable qualifying landowners who sign a land conservation agreement that protects grasslands to generate additional revenue through carbon offsets.
The pilot project aims to test and refine a carbon offset methodology, or protocol, to assess its feasibility and better understand the challenges and opportunities associated with an avoided conversion of grasslands program. It will help identify eligibility requirements, value propositions and land conservation agreement models for landowners. Lower cost, remote sensing tools will be tested to streamline monitoring and verification requirements.
Nature Fund Project
The CFGA Nature Fund Project provides the opportunity to put the best available conservation information into the hands of the land stewards who are working towards the preservation or enhancement of habitat for native species within Canada’s agricultural landscape. The centerpiece of the project is the Habitat and Biodiversity Assessment Tool, an online tool developed in Alberta that enables agricultural producers to integrate the needs of multiple native species in the management of their land.
Under the leadership of the CFGA, the online tool is being adapted and customized for use in provinces across Canada as a source of conservation information for all of those interested in habitat stewardship. The project is being developed for release in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia this year.
Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Project
The CFGA wrapped up its Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Project (AGGP) this month. As well as supporting several provincial pilot projects throughout the five-year project, the CFGA helped build out the Canada Grassland Projects Protocol (CGPP) – the first carbon offset opportunity for Canadian grassland owners and the first avoided-conversion opportunity in Canada.
The critical point to remember with this protocol is that the baseline assumption, or the business-as-usual assumption, is that the grassland is going to be converted to an annual cropping system, meaning that credits are generated for the avoided loss of carbon stored in the grassland.
Soil Carbon Roadmap
Following on the learnings of the CFGA AGGP project, and feedback from CFGA’s annual technical workshops, the association is committed to continuing towards a practice-based methodology for soil carbon sequestration under Canadian grassland management. Through its relationship with Viresco Solutions and Alberta Innovates, the CFGA was pleased to partner on the construction of a Soil Carbon Roadmap for the Canadian Grasslands Sector.
The intent of this project was to bring together the numerous voices around research, demonstration and knowledge transfer tables and build a long-term strategy to assign carbon sequestration rates to individual forage management practices.
For more information visit www.canadianfga.ca.