Applying the Ecosystem Services Approach in Alberta: A Panel


As part of the Under Western Skies conference at Mount Royal University, Miistakis convened a panel of four Ecosystem Services experts, each representing a different perspective, and asked them – what are the challenges and opportunities, and where to next?

The concept of Ecosystem Services (ES) – the benefits we derive from nature – is fast becoming a vital mechanism for understanding the natural world, and how we can better steward it. While agreement on the value of the ES approach is near universal, definitions and applications vary considerably. In a diversity of efforts, practitioners have undertaken research, measurement/valuation, program pilots, and policy review with limited reference to each other. Unsurprisingly, silos are emerging. Ignored, this diversity could confound the application of the ES concept in Alberta; however, embraced and managed, this diversity could be a key to the success of the ES approach.

To help foster this critical, interconnected discussion, Miistakis sought experts who could speak to four different perspectives: the measurement of well being, business sustainability reporting, provincial government decision making, and the buying and selling of ES. We were extremely fortunate to have the participation of Mark Anielski (Anielski Management Inc.), Geneva Claesson (Deloitte), Gillian Kerr (Government of Alberta), and Marian Weber (Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures). Each offered their knowledgeable insights, speaking to the challenges and opportunities for Alberta, and their thoughts for next steps.

Video clips of the session are posted under Highlights.

Miistakis Institute works on many different types of projects which have been organized into eight research areas. By expanding on the symbols below you may view projects in that research area, as well as one that identifies projects initiated by Miistakis.

Transportation Ecology

GIS for Conservation

Ecosystem Services

Sustainable Landscapes and Communities

Private Land Conservation

Citizen Science for Conservation

Wildlife Management

Market-Based Instruments

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