Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AI Bio)
Aibio Home Banners New1Aibio Home Banners New2Aibio Home Banners New3Aibio Home Banners New4Aibio Home Banners New5Aibio Home Banners New6Aibio Home Banners New7Aibio Home Banners New8Aibio Home Banners New9Aibio Home Banners New10
Growing prosperity in Alberta's agriculture, food and forestry sectors
Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity

Developing excellence in environmental innovation

Ecosystem services are the benefits that people obtain from ecosystems. This includes such things as air filtration, water filtration, fresh water, energy, food, fibre production and recreation. These services are enhanced through the choices society makes regarding land use and management.

The development of solutions to the environmental problems is an opportunity for Alberta to position itself as a global leader. Therefore, focusing on developing environmental solutions and on enhancing ecosystems is a strategic area of priority for AI Bio since it assists the Alberta Government in:

  • Achieving its objective to "green growth" and improve environmental outcomes,
  • Providing a basis to support economic diversifications,
  • Enhancing competitiveness opportunities for agriculture and forestry, and other managers of natural resources, and
  • Branding Alberta as a leader in environmental management.

Click here for a video illustrating ecosystem services    

AI Bio's Projects, Programs, Initiatives and Events

Land Use 2016 conference, May 4-5, 2016, The Westin Edmonton

Land Use 2016-image

The Land Use 2016 conference, cohosted by the Alberta Land Institute and Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, is western Canada's premier forum on land use research, planning, and policy. To be held May 4 to 5, 2016 at the Edmonton Westin Hotel, the conference brings together decision makers and researchers from Alberta and around the world. Speakers will explore the theme of Regional Planning -- how it influences the provision of ecosystem services, the use of agricultural land, and governance. Registration is open. 

Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Network

The Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Network is a virtual community guided by a working group led by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, Silvacom Group, Land Stewardship Centre, Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency and the Government of Alberta. The working group brings together expertise across areas of common interest including ecological and biophysical science, data and information management, socioeconomics, policy, and outreach to deliver on the objectives of the Ecosystem Services Roadmap. Our experts have a professional interest in ecosystem services and related fields, and are invested in the work being conducted in this area. This multidisciplinary group of experts is working to build the knowledge required to implement an ecosystem services approach to land management in Alberta. Visit the website for more information.

Ecosystem Services Roadmap (2012)

The Roadmap provides the strategic direction for areas requiring innovation relating to the enhancement of ecosystem
services and the application of market-based approaches to strengthen the competitiveness of resource‐based sectors
through environmental excellence.

ES Roadmap Report (2012)

Executive Summary

Ecosystem Services Proof of Concept (2014) 

In this document we are using proof of concept (POC) to describe the system required to implement an ES approach to resource management. This includes ES assessment (ESA), ES market infrastructure and other planning and policy support tools. The POC includes, but is not limited to, pilot studies to test market-­‐based instruments (MBIs) on a smaller scale, discussion papers, frameworks and options to support decision-­‐making, policy development, and recommended protocols and approaches. 

ES Proof of Concept Report (2014) 

Ecosystem Services Assessment (Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute)

The environment offers many natural services that are provisioning (example: food, fibre, fuel, water), regulating (example: water and air filtration, flood regulation) and cultural (example: nature recreation, wildlife viewing). By improving systems for measuring ecosystem services, we will better understand the impacts of development. ABMI has partnered with specialists to establish credible systems for measuring ecosystem service supply and demand. 

Click here to visit the ABMI website    

August 11, 2014

News Story

The Value of Nature (Vegreville News Advertiser)

Wetlands Research Project (Alberta Land Institute)

On February 24, 2015, the Alberta Land Institute launched the "Alberta's Living Laboratory - Wetlands Project" in partnership with Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions and other funders. Working with private land owners, the project aims to better understand wetland restoration and their contribution to watersheds such as flood mitigation and water purification.  The project's multi-disciplinary research team will also address the practical question of compensation for land owners who agree to restore wetlands on their land. Because the test wetlands will be designed and installed in a scientific manner, the restored wetlands will become living laboratories, allowing a wide array of research for years to come. 

October 27, 2015 Forum Video Conservation Auctions: A Promising Policy Tool?
Dr. Patrick O'Connor, an international expert, spoke on the use of reverse auctions for conservation purposes. 
August 2015 Online Resource   Wetlands Policy (Government of Alberta)
August 2015 Backgrounder  What's a Wetland? (Alberta Land Institute)
June 24, 2015 News Story What's it worth? New project aims to nail down the value of wetlands: Innovative new project features a reverse auction in which producers 'bid' on the compensation they'd want for giving up acres (Alberta Farmer Express) 
June 24, 2015 News Story  Running the ruler on what works best: Project takes a high tech appraoch to rate the value of wetlands
(Alberta Farmer Express)

May 13, 2015


 "Cash for Wetlands?" (see video, Powerpoint)
DR. SHARI CLARE, Adjunct Professor, Department of Resource Economics
and Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta 
Presentation at the Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions
Impact Innovation 2015 public lecture

March 10, 2015

News Story 

University of Alberta will use market mechanisms to restore wetlands (Edmonton Journal)

February 24, 2015

Success Story 

Wetland restoration project looks at social and economic costs and benefits (University of Alberta)

February 24, 2015

Success Story

Can We Restore Your Wetland? (Alberta Land Institute)

February 24, 2015


How Can We Restore Your Wetlands? (Alberta Land Institute)

February 24, 2015

News Release

Science and Economics Mix With Water in New Wetlands Research Project (AI Bio)




Bio-Resource Information Management System (BRIMS)

In 2012, AI Bio, Silvacom, and Green Analytics (part of the Silvacom Group) began working on the Bio-Resource Information System (BRIMS). BRIMS is a system that collates data and information on the biomass, carbon, water and wetland resources of Alberta, which will help to inform integrated management decisions throughout the province.

BRIMS update "How we are Helping Advance the BioEconomy in Alberta" (by Silvacom) - Feb 2015

BRIMS Information Bulletin (by Silvacom) - June 2014

BRIMS Information Bulletin (by Silvacom) - Jan 29, 2013

BRIMS Case Study (Silvacom website)    

Project Summary (by Green Analytics) - Aug 2012


Biological GHG Management Program

Partnering with Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation launched the Biological GHG Management Program in May 2012 fulfilling part of CCEMC's mandate of achieving reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and assisting Albertans in adapting to climate change. This program offers support for projects that will discover, develop and deploy technologies and strategies and demonstrate cost-effective ways and means to help meet Alberta's climate change strategy goal of reducing net emissions from the province by 50 Mt CO2e/yr by 2020. Read launch news release. Read the backgrounder.

Last updated: Thursday, February 11, 2016