Ecosystem Services Assessment for Environmental Innovation and Competitiveness

Geographical coverage

Geographical scale of the assessment Sub-national
Country or countries covered Canada
Any other necessary information or explanation for identifying the location of the assessment, including site or region name


Conceptual framework, methodology and scope

Assessment objectives

This project has two principal objectives:

1) Develop models to estimate and map the provision and value of a selection of ecosystem services across Alberta.

2) Evaluate tools for applying ecosystem service information to environmental markets and land-use management. Applications include

  • Ecosystem service scorecards generated for Alberta’s natural resource and agricultural industries

  • Design of conservation offsets in which ecosystem services can be exchanged in a market

  • Scenario modelling in which future levels of ecosystem services and economic indicators can be estimated for a range of alternative land-use policies or scenarios

Mandate for the assessment

The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute ( conducts world-class monitoring of more than 2000 species and habitats to support decision making about provincial biodiversity. Managing natural resources requires trustworthy and scientific information on the health of our environment. We tell the factual story of Alberta’s wildlife and ecosystems through the highest quality data and information. Our data and knowledge products are value-neutral, arm’s-length, and publicly accessible.

Conceptual framework and/or methodology used for the assessment

URL or copy of conceptual framework developed or adapted

System(s) assessed

  • Inland water
  • Forest and woodland
  • Cultivated/Agricultural land
  • Grassland
  • Mountain

Species groups assessed

Biodiversity (see for details on biodiversity monitoring program)

Ecosystem services/functions assessed


  • Food
  • Water
  • Timber/fibres
  • Energy/fuel


  • Regulation of water quality
  • Pollination

Supporting Services/Functions

Cultural Services

Scope of assessment includes

Drivers of change in systems and services


Impacts of change in services on human well-being


Options for responding/interventions to the trends observed


Explicit consideration of the role of biodiversity in the systems and services covered by the assessment


Timing of the assessment

Year assessment started


Year assessment finished

If ongoing, year assessment is anticipated to finish


Periodicity of assessment


Assessment outputs


Communication materials (e.g. brochure, presentations, posters, audio-visual media)

Journal publications

Training materials

Other documents/outputs

Tools and processes

Tools and approaches used in the assessment

  • Modelling
  • Trade-off analysis
  • Scenarios
  • Economic valuation

Process used for stakeholder engagement in the assessment process and which component

Stakeholder engagement will consist of a "User Needs Assessment" to derive targeted feedback from a selection of representative decision makers (i.e., “users” of ES information) and use that to inform the design and delivery of the ecosystem service tools/applications.

We will also seek input from technical experts to review all models that are developed.

Key stakeholder groups engaged

The number of people directly involved in the assessment process

Incorporation of scientific and other types of knowledge

  • Scientific information only
  • Resource experts (e.g. foresters etc)
  • Traditional/local knowledge

Supporting documentation for specific approaches, methodology or criteria developed and/or used to integrate knowledge systems into the assessment

Assessment reports peer reviewed



Accessibility of data used in assessment

Publicly available data will be used

Policy impact

Impacts the assessment has had on policy and/or decision making, as evidenced through policy references and actions

Independent or other review on policy impact of the assessment


Lessons learnt for future assessments from these reviews

Capacity building

Capacity building needs identified during the assessment

Actions taken by the assessment to build capacity

Network and sharing experiences, Sharing of data/repatriation of data, Developing/promoting and providing access to support tools, Communication and awareness raising

How have gaps in capacity been communicated to the different stakeholders

Knowledge generation

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment

How gaps in knowledge have been communicated to the different stakeholders

Additional relevant information