The research completed for the Ecosystem Services Roadmap identified five fundamental knowledge components required to support an ecosystem services approach.
Considerable research has been developed on ecosystem services. However, much still needs to be understood. Research focus has been placed on developing a system for measuring and assessing ecosystem services, and for information to support economic valuation to properly account for the costs and benefits people receive from ecosystems.
A market-based approach for ecosystem services relies on market forces to regulate the supply of and demand for ecosystem services. By creating economic and regulatory incentives for conservation and stewardship of ecosystem services, markets can guide people’s behaviour in directions that support desired environmental and economic outcomes.
Currently being developed is a publicly accessible, world-class information management platform that reflects the current state of data and information available on ecosystem services and biodiversity across Alberta, from private and public sources.
In Alberta, important policy signals are enabling the use of market-based instruments for ecosystem services, as seen through policy initiatives such as the Land Use Framework and Wetlands Policy.
Knowledge networks have been an effective approach to facilitate the collaboration of researchers and policy analysts working on similar natural resource and environmental issues. Creation of an integrated system for information sharing will ensure decision makers have access to the information they need.