Ecological Services (ES) are benefits derived from ecological functions of healthy ecosystems, which are globally recognized as necessary for human health and well-being. Globally, incentivising the production of Ecosystem Services is a concept that has been garnering a tremendous amount of interest. There are many long term programs throughout the world that pay agricultural producers to maintain and enhance practices that result in an increase in Ecosystems Services. This type of incentive program is generally referred to as Paid Ecosystem Services (PES). Unfortunately Canada has lagged behind in establishing such programs. The Ecological Services Initiative (ESI) was created to demonstrate and test the concept to determine its viability in the Canadian context. The Ecological Services Initiative’s objective is: to research and demonstrate a voluntary incentive-based model that encourages farmers to adopt Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) for the maintenance and enhancement of ecological services under their management control.
David Zehnder, with the cooperation of the Windermere District Farmers’ Institute is pioneering this concept.
Find more information: The Ecological Services Initiative