revolutionary project pays farmers to clean the air and the water - air cleaner
A research consortium is testing a revolutionary plan on the ground. C.
Farmers and ranchers produce cleaner air, water and wildlife habitats next to their food crops.
Through the monetary value assessment of water purification on privately owned agricultural land through wetlands or preserved ecosystems, governments and conservation groups can achieve their environmental goals by compensating farmers for changing practices and protecting sensitive lands.
The eco-services initiative is co-operated by farmers, scholars and environmental activists, and the new concept is being modeled on 13 demonstration farms, sheep and cattle pastures across the province.
These enhancements include increasing the buffer zone between crops and waterways, livestock fencing around sensitive areas of the environment, replanting local plant species to encourage local wildlife, and restoring carbon capture or spawning for salmon
"This is to enhance the normal [farming]
The practice of producing ecological benefits, "said B. C.
Farmer David Tsang, ESI, a consultant project coordinator.
The provincial and federal governments have invested in the project through the investment Agriculture Foundation of B. C. The B. C.
Committee on Agriculture and B. C.
The Association of Cattlemen supported the project.
Pay farmers to protect wetlands and wildlife habitats on their land, or to improve sensitive areas around streams and rivers, there could be as high a cost as building a public infrastructure or buying land for protection, said Zede.
In the face of construction of water purification plants at a cost of up to $8 billion and operating costs of $0. 25 billion a year, New York City has invested $1.
According to a report from the United States, 5 billion protects the watershed and pays farmers the cost of removing sensitive land from productionS.
Environmental Protection Bureau.
The plan targets about 5,000 acres of land to protect the 165 "Stream mile" of the Catskill/Delaware Basin to improve water quality to the point where no filtration plants are required.
Zehnder said compensation for ranchers losing productive land could be only $100 per acre.
Farmers in the pilot project are receiving an allowance of up to $2,000 based on the amount of land set aside and agricultural productivity.
Governments and foundations spend billions of dollars on projects, infrastructure and operating costs to provide clean air, water and habitat for species at risk, something nature can do.
Wetlands are an effective natural water filtration system that sometimes drains water for agricultural use and provides flood control.
Recycling methane from livestock feces can produce meat and dairy products with lower carbon footprint, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate fuel.
Thousands of kilometres of streams and rivers flow through pastures and farmland into the Missouri and Fraser rivers, which zehnder says will gradually intensify even if all producers follow environmental regulations and best farm practices.
Zehnder said: "farmers or ranchers may have done a good job in maintaining their ecosystem, but the focus of this project is to provide them with better help, in addition to legal requirements.
Some simple things, such as isolating livestock away from the river bank, can have an impact on the water quality downstream.
"Agriculture and the environment are not separate and you need a healthy ecosystem to produce food," said Zehnder . ".
"But there is a lot of land in Area B that is sensitive to the environment. C.
Farmers and ranchers are in private hands.
"Fish and wildlife habitat is protected by several legislation that provides for agricultural practices and limits certain types of land use without compensating farmers.
Farmers are reluctant to expand the protection buffers around sensitive areas because once they are in place, removing them would violate the law, Zehnder said.
"We are looking for ways to compensate farmers from the perspective of producers and funders, whether it be the government or the foundation," he said . ".
The project is funded by a variety of groups, including duck Unlimited, the University of Alberta Institute for Land Use innovation, and the agricultural environment and wildlife fund.