The bottom line for conservation
is often the bottom line financially
. And sometimes that conflicts with our conservation values. For example, at home a person’s environmental morality constantly goes head to head with their pocket book – buying a new furnace, replacing the car with a hybrid, and many other environmentally-valuable actions compete for limited resources. The same applies to landscape-scale conservation actions, and the associated policy and program efforts that do (or could) underlie them.
However, understanding this dynamic, fully informing it, and even finding opportunities to use it in support of conservation, can be critical to actually making ecological conservation happen. This is what Miistakis’ Financial Dimensions of Conservation
research theme centres on.
Often, it is mostly about making sure that the full scope of financial considerations are included in a land or resource use decision. That means asking: When are financial considerations a barrier, and where are they opportunities? Where does a financial efficiency argument put weight behind a conservation argument? How can the tax regime foster support for conservation? How do we effectively pull these levers?
To these ends, Miistakis has explored such facets as cost to society, incentive programs, tax implications, market-based instruments, efficiency in gathering scientific data, efficiency in building infrastructure, and financial incentives for conservation.
What has that looked like in our project work? With our partners, we’ve undertaken projects that have looked at questions such as:
- Can beef certification support grasslands conservation?
- Could Transfer of Development Credits markets be created in Alberta?
- What are the costs to society of wildlife collisions?
- What are the tax implications of different municipal land use regimes?
- What ecosystem service incentive programs have been used in the Crown of the Continent?
- What are the operational costs of private land conservation stewardship?
- What is the economic value of wildlife corridors?
- What are the costs to agricultural producers of living with wildlife?
In these ways we continue to support landowners, municipalities, industry, ENGOs, and government agencies in making sustainable land or resource use decisions that consider – up front – the financial barriers and opportunities.
Staff Profile: Ken Sanderson's Pick3
What's cooking (share a favorite recipe)
I love lamb and there is nothing better than the basic rosemary and garlic rub for lamb. Blend these ingredients together into a thin paste and rub onto your lamb, then wrap tightly and let it sit overnight. Fresh garlic and rosemary make for a better end product.
What are you learning right now? What do you want to learn?
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
I am learning about using drones for land conservation. I recently had the opportunity to work with someone using a drone to fly imagery for my farm. The small, efficient drone captured a photo mosaic, digital elevation model and near infrared imagery all at amazing resolution. This kind of approach could prove beneficial in many types of land conservation research projects.
What is your favorite hobby?
I enjoy growing mushrooms… the edible kind. I have been growing for a long time and have grown over 20 species, but I have never managed to fruit the one mushroom that got me into the hobby in the first place, the Shaggy Mane. One of these days!