WC132 SeptOct 2023 - Magazine - Page 26
Project workflow, scope, and deliverables
The project will do this in three stages of work.
The first, “Identifying the Opportunities,” will
focus on developing datasets and models to
quantify spatially varying estimates of greenhouse gas emissions, crop production and
nutrient runoff for each of the three solutions,
and across Ontario and the Prairies. The spatial
Canada’s net-zero 2050 goal emphasizes
aspect is critical given the same practice can
wetland restoration and holistic ecosystem bene昀椀ts.
have different effects on climate mitigation
in different regions. For example, reduced
tillage practices have been shown to increase
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in humid regions, but decrease ful adoption of an economic incentive strategy in one region does
not necessarily mean it can be replicated in other regions without
emissions in arid regions. The second stage of research, “Imagining the Possibilities,” will focus on developing spatially explicit
accounting for local interests and institutional capacities.
restoration scenarios based on optimization of economic and en“We recognize that successful research impact requires the
vironmental costs and benefits, specific to each of the solutions,
integration of our partners and stakeholders into each stage of
and considering governance capacity and political feasibility.
the research through a knowledge co-production process,” says
For a solution to be feasible, it needs to not only be scientifically
Nancy Goucher, the project’s knowledge mobilization manager.
sound but it also needs to be supported by the policy framework
“The establishment of mutually-respectful and trusting relationships will be integral to our ability to develop deliverables that
and the local community.
are helpful to our partners.”
Finally, in the third stage of research, “Designing for the
The Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund
Future,” the team will use the “solution specific” scenarios
provided partial funding for SOLUTIONSCAPES under its
developed to create “solutionscapes” - portfolios of restoration
Climate Action and Awareness Fund. The project is supported
scenarios that explicitly consider cross-scenario interactions via
by an interdisciplinary set of experts from six universities across
iterative consultation with stakeholders at local exemplar sites.
Canada and the United States, as well as multiple non-academic
For example, we recognize that one barrier to restoring wetlands
partners representing government, private and non-profit organiis the cost associated with removing land from agricultural production. However, losses can be mitigated by restoring marginal
zations. The project will receive a total of $6.7 million to conduct
areas that are less economically productive.
“We recognize that this project is ambitious because we’re
In Canada’s pursuit of its climate goals under the Paris
looking for a systemic level of change, which requires policies
Agreement, adopting nature-based solutions that simultaneously
and action at nested scales,” says Basu. “Identifying local drivers
address multiple objectives, including food production, water
and constraints to adopting new strategies starts with a deep
protection, and community values and priorities, is crucial. Basu
understanding of what is happening on the ground.”
emphasizes that the project’s scenarios will provide policymakers
SOLUTIONSCAPES is examining the design and managewith options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance carbon
ment of landscapes in two of Canada’s prime agricultural areas— sequestration, ensure water security, promote ecosystem sustainability, and build resilience.
the Great Lakes and the Prairies. Each region illustrates very
different biophysical, socio-economic, and political constraints.
To learn more about the project, obtain a full list of partners, participate in future
The comparison offers insight into how trade-offs are evaluated
webinars, and subscribe to the project newsletter, please visit solutionscapes.ca
and navigated by actors in each region. For instance, the success26
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WAT E R C A N A D A . N E T
landscape where the co-benefits can be maximized and trade-offs minimized.
While each of these three sets of solution
strategies mentioned can contribute to Canada’s water and climate goals, their implementation in working landscapes remains limited for
various reasons. SOLUTIONSCAPES seeks to
uncover opportunities and barriers associated
with these strategies by comprehensively examining the socio-economic factors involved.