Farmland Advantage works with farmers to enhance the natural values on their land. These natural values are often referred to as 'ecosystem services'; services of a natural environment that benefits humans. They are values that are not traded in the markets but have great value to us all. They can include areas like wetlands that filter and purify water, and forests that clean the air and provide habitat for healthy wildlife populations.
The project helps farmers identify the natural values which can be protected and enhanced, and develops recommendations and plans to preserve them. These plans can include actions such as water or stream setbacks, strategic fencing, reforestation, or rangeland enhancement. Farmers then carry out the recommendations, and Farmland Advantage helps to provide compensation based on successful implementation.
Farmland Advantage is a five-year research and development project, working towards establishing a long-term program. Farmland Advantage consists of a full complement of partners and agencies working together to develop a solid, replicable program model capable of being administered independently and sustainably.
In this phase of the project we are focused on 3 targeted BC regions - the Lower Mainland, Okanagan, and Kootenays. Over 60 farmers have been contracted to conserve or enhance riparian areas and the results are being monitored and analyzed.
The project is currently engaging long-term funders and working with multiple levels of government and administration to develop future program parameters and success. Farmland Advantage is placing considerable focus on developing relationships with farmers, agencies and funders throughout the province.
Ecosystem Services (ES) are any beneficial natural process arising from healthy ecosystems, such as purification of water and air, pollination of plants and decomposition of waste. They are services that are not traded on the markets but have great value to us all.
Ecosystem Services are fundamental to human survival. They clean air, and filter water necessary to survive. Ecosystem Services also include the preservation of biodiversity necessary to main a specific environment.
Ecosystem Services are incredibly valuable. Human led initiatives that try to independently replace Ecosystem Services are often inefficient and hugely costly. Farmland Advantage recognizes the benefits of man-made infrastructure complimenting natural Ecosystem Services. For example, protecting water quality by simply building and maintaining a fence around sensitive areas in a particular watershed is cost effective and complimentary to the construction and maintenance of any water-filtration plant.
Year 1 Successes
All of the year one goals were met. These goals included:
Year 2, 3, 4, 5
Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 of this research and development project will see: