News from March 2010

President Obama signs on for Canada’s wetland conservation efforts

March 31, 2010 | Posted by AB NAWMP

While the world watches his plans for health care take shape, U.S. President Barack Obama has also made a significant contribution to the health of continental wetlands conservation. On March 25, 2010, President Obama signed into law a bill to allow for funds raised in Canada to become eligible match for North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) projects funded for Canada.

“This is the final step in the legislation process and great news for wetland conservation efforts in Canada,” says Jeff Nelson, Chief Executive Officer, DUC. “This legislation will allow up to 50 per cent of the non-federal match for wetland conservation projects in Canada to be funded by Canadian conservation supporters.”

The increased support and engagement of Canadian partners will prove invaluable toward assembling the funding necessary to conserve many more of Canada’s wetlands.

Learn more >>

Wetland Carbon Protocol Workshop Planned

March 17, 2010 | Posted by AB NAWMP

Several years ago, Alberta NAWMP initiated the development of a wetlands protocol within the Alberta Offset System Protocol system. The intent was to create wetland protection and restoration opportunities within an emerging and regulated carbon offset market. A protocol is required to verify and formalize carbon sequestration benefits of these wetland actions and facilitate market transactions. Climate Change Central was contracted to undertake this process. In 2009, the Prairie Habitat Joint Venture (PHJV) and Ducks Unlimited Canada also became funding partners.

The protocol development process includes three phases:

  1. Scoping,
  2. Science discussion documents, and
  3. An expert workshop.

Summary findings are then translated into a draft protocol and subjected to review by experts, stakeholders and the public prior to being approved by government. The first two phases have been completed and the third is currently underway.

The scoping phase was completed with two significant findings:

  1. There is sufficient knowledge to develop a protocol to quantify greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and removals associated with conservation and restoration of wetlands in prairie Canada, and
  2. There are quantification methodology challenges that require additional attention.

The second phase addressed implementation issues and expanded previously identified quantification challenges.

The third phase will center on two science workshops scheduled for March 17 & 18 in Edmonton. The science supporting the protocol to date comes from a variety of sources: guidance documents, literature reviews of published science, and technical experts. This information will form the basis of discussion leading to consensus on key protocol factors. In a process successfully used for other protocols in Alberta, experts will be assembled and engaged. They will help address questions posed in the summary findings and provide advice and agreement on standardized protocols, methods, and best available. The workshop will produce a report (Technical Seed Document, or TSD) that will form the basis of the protocol.

For more information, please email contact Michael Barr, Alberta NAWMP Coordinator, at m_barr@ducks.ca.