“Ecological Goods and Services: A Review of Best Practice in Policy and Programing” IISD

Sep 2, 2011 | Corporate Member News

Dimple Roy, Henry David Venema, Matthew McCandless, IISD, 2011. Paper, 89 pages, copyright: IISD

Ecological goods and services (EGS) are the direct economic and cultural benefits provided to humans by ecosystems such as wetlands and watersheds and include water filtration, flood protection and wildlife habitat. Agriculture is an important land use in Manitoba and a key sector for the provision of EGS regionally.

This research paper provides a review of programing and research in EGS internationally and in Canada. The review was conducted to inform and guide policy that will enable the programing and management of priority EGS in Manitoba.

An international review of EGS programs and policies for natural resources management issues revealed three main things that are very pertinent for the design and implementation of any EGS policy. Firstly, governments with the most experience in EGS programing are improving program efficiency by bundling soil conservation, water quality, flood mitigation and habitat protection into integrated approaches rather than relying on single-issue programs. Secondly, we’re in an era of EGS accountability, where governments need to demonstrate to taxpayers that EGS investments are producing real environmental improvements, which is part of the reason why we are seeing more efficient, integrated programs. Thirdly, EGS programs are scaling up to help achieve regional and even continental environmental goals as we are seeing in the Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico–Mississippi Basin management plans as seen in our report.

This study provides timely and important regional guidance for the development of a Manitoba EGS policy that will be a big part of the comprehensive water resources plan that Manitoba needs to protect Lake Winnipeg as well as providing much needed financial incentives to private landowners that reflect the true value of the EGS that the public benefits from.

Access the report here.

About the International Institute for Sustainable Development 

The world is challenged by a changing climate, biodiversity loss, abject poverty and environmental degradation. What can make a difference? Good ideas. Creativity. Passion. Innovation. The achievement of change. 

IISD is in the business of promoting change towards sustainable development. As a policy research institute dedicated to effective communication of our findings, we engage decision-makers in government, business, NGOs and other sectors in the development and implementation of policies that are simultaneously beneficial to the global economy, the global environment and to social well-being. 

In the pursuit of sustainable development, we promote open and effective international negotiation processes. And we believe fervently in the importance of building our own institutional capacity while helping our partner organizations in the developing world to excel. 

Established in 1990, IISD is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization with a diverse team of more than 150 people located in more than 30 countries. Through our dynamic portfolio of projects, we partner with more than 200 organizations throughout the world. To learn more about our history, please visit the IISD Timeline. 

Click here to learn more about our project work and programs, which are guided by our strategic institutional directions. And please visit our IISD Linkages site to follow our coverage of international negotiations on environment and development. 

IISD is registered as a charitable organization in Canada and has 501(c)(3) status in the United States. IISD receives core operating support from the Government of Canada, provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Environment Canada, and from the Province of Manitoba. The Institute receives project funding from numerous governments inside and outside Canada, United Nations agencies, foundations and the private sector.

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