The Ecosystem Services Assessment (ESA) project maps and quantifies ecosystem services produced on Alberta’s landscapes. As market forces continue to pressure the resource development industries, the ESA project will demonstrate how landscapes in Alberta support key ecosystem services (ES) that contribute to social, economic, and environmental objectives. The project started with measuring forage production, timber production, carbon storage, pollination, water purification, and biodiversity. This project can position the beef industry to make informed decisions in lowering environmental liabilities, and improve social license to operate. To assess the supply and value of ES it is critical to establish baselines against which we can measure future changes, including the benefit human communities, to describe the relationship between management actions and the resultant change in ES and also to examine the trade-offs in ES as human demands on ecosystems grow. The primary objectives are:
Robust validation and demonstration of protocols and models (systems) to assess ES and biodiversity through case studies and applied research.
Aggressive delivery of ESA application and outreach tools to support land use planning, sustainably reporting and policy for market based options.
Develop three additional models to be integrated into systems to assess ES and biodiversity