The Ecological Goods & Services of AMCP Community Pastures are worth over $13 million a year, according to a new report, The Social and Environmental Benefits of AMCP Community Pastures, led by the Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and overseen by an expert Steering Committee.
As detailed by the report, AMCP Community Pastures provide direct benefits throughout the Province via livestock grazing services, scientific research, recreation, heritage, employment and economic development as well as environmental benefits such as carbon sequestration, soil formation/conservation, and biodiversity. AMCP management practices, such as rotational grazing and prescribe burns, serve to improve the lands and maintain the ecological goods and services delivered by the Community Pastures.
Grazing/forage supply is worth $5.67 million. This is a direct benefit supporting the livestock industry – over 350 pasture patrons with a total 40,000 head of livestock use the Community Pastures every year.
Carbon sequestration: over $4.7 million. The AMCP Community Pasture grasslands hold considerable amounts of carbon supporting provincial and federal climate change initiatives.
Soil formation/conservation and biodiversity: over $825,000. AMCP land use practices, such as grazing, prescribed burns, and maintenance of native grasslands, support healthy soils and plant and animal habitats. The community pastures host significant plant diversity and meet the habitat requirements of numerous species-at-risk.
Recreation, heritage and scientific research: over $1.2 million. Across Manitoba, AMCP community pastures are used to support the scientific community for research, and by Manitobans for cultural practices, recreation, wildlife viewing, and hunting.
Local economic development: over $860,000 through job creation and local purchasing, which supports rural economies. Commercial uses also take place on AMCP Community Pastures, including gravel extraction and timber harvesting, which is conservatively estimated at over $90,000 per year.
· The sustainable management practices of the Community Pastures, such as the use of rotational grazing, enhance the ecological goods and services of the lands.
· Over and above the important grazing services for livestock producers, the Community Pasture program is taking on greater importance in response to climate change, biodiversity losses, the need for water retention and soil organic carbon management. The Community Pastures support agriculture, rural areas and contribute to productivity and resilience.
The purpose of valuing the ecological goods and services of the AMCP Community Pastures is to demonstrate the numerous benefits the community pasture program offers to Manitoba by quantifying each of the above services or benefits. IISD and the University of Saskatchewan employed a total economic valuation (TEV) approach which includes both direct monetary and non-monetary values of the Community Pastures. They found the total value of AMCP Community Pastures to be between $10.57–$18.88 million per year with an average of $13.35 million per year.
Funding for the study and final report was provided by the Canada and Manitoba governments through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.
Read the report here: