Network Partner Spotlight: Alberta Land Institute

The Alberta Land Institute (ALI) is an independent research institute founded at the University of Alberta. The institute promotes research to inform public debate and decision-making in the province of Alberta, ultimately helping Alberta make better land use decisions.

Within the last decade, ALI has witnessed a growing interest in establishing markets for ecosystem services in Alberta and as such, Ecosystem Services (ES) markets are a key area of their research. ALI’s research in the area of ES focuses on existing policies that both support and challenge the development of these markets and will facilitate policy development in this area.

A few examples of ALI research efforts and publications in this area include The Application of Property Rights in Ecosystem Service Markets, Economic Valuation of Farmland Conversion, Effective Biodiversity Conservation and Municipal Innovation.

Having identified conservation markets as an emerging tool that can help mitigate biodiversity and ecosystem service loss worldwide, ALI has been a core partner of ESN since the start. 

“The Alberta Land Institute and the members of the EcoServices Network share a long-standing interest in developing market-based tools to realize the very real value that nature offers to humanity and, in the process, move our economy toward the protection of  nature, rather than its exploitation.” shares Dave Poulton, Director at ALI.

Since 2012, Network partners have implemented collaborative projects, conducted innovative research and facilitated the advancement of conservation markets. It is only through organizations like ALI that ESN has been able to facilitate a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities Alberta faces in establishing functional conservation markets. ALI is a core source of breakthrough research that supports the Network and stakeholders’ collective efforts to advance conservation markets in the province.

“The ESN brings together a broad range of interests and ALI is happy to have a forum to share our expertise and the findings of our research programs,” adds Dave. “We value the perspectives of ESN stakeholders on types of research and how research can be most useful.”

Learn more about ALI and browse their completed and ongoing research projects at

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