Conservation Authorities are transitioning to a greener economy in order to enable more sustainable lifestyles.
What is the Green Economy?
The Green Economy is the development of new and emerging renewable and energy efficient technologies, and other business strategies and collaborations that can enable us to live more sustainable lifestyles while growing economically within the capacity of our natural world.
Our Economy is changing because our world cannot support the current rate that we consume natural resources.
Our Economy is Changing
Some of the ways we rely on natural resources every day include:
- Clean and sustainable water supply for drinking water, farming & food supply, manufacturing, fisheries, energy production, tourism and recreation
- Gas and oil for fuel
- Healthy biodiversity such as forests, wetlands and other natural systems for flood and erosion control, forestry and related businesses, carbon emissions storage, drought management, and climate change adaptation
- Green space, lakes and rivers for recreation, tourism and climate change adaptation
Using more resources that can be replenished or restored to provide relatively low cost sources of energy have enabled our economy to grow beyond levels that can be sustained into the future. In other words, we are living beyond our natural means.
Conservation Authorities envision a future where we use fewer resources, create less waste and live with a more sustainable smaller footprint, economically, environmentally and socially.
Conservation Authorities are working to develop a Green Economy Roadmap that looks at our internal operations and business practices and partnerships in order to design more efficient ways to do our business and protect the environment.
The roadmap addresses:
- Re-thinking Conservation Authority programs and business activities;
- Greening Conservation Authority operations
- Integrated land management
- Measurement and monitoring
- Promoting and facilitating new collaborations
- Health and the Environment
- Environmental Marketing, Communication, and Education
Tools to Grow the Green Economy
Conservation Ontario Market-Based Instruments Literature Review
Working with Conservation Ontario, Dalhousie University student Kaitlyn MacEachren completed a literature review of a variety of market-based instruments as tools that are used for growing the green economy. Drawing from a wide range of international and domestic sources, Kaitlyn’s report defines market-based instruments, identifies some of the challenges with the various tools, presents a number of international and domestic case studies, and provide some general best practice recommendations for Conservation Authorities about the use of the various tools. The report focuses on instruments such as habitat banking, phosphorus trading, water trading and others that would be most relevant for Conservation Authorities.