This study, prepared for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, provides an illustrative estimate of the public benefit of agricultural beneficial management practices (BMPs) in a small watershed in southern Manitoba. Three key elements form the core methodology for this study:
A linkage to the community’s environmental and agricultural issues. By dealing with the issues that are important to the community, this public benefits analysis is guaranteed to be policy relevant. While there will be variations from place to place across Canada, based on local ecosystem and economic factors, the issues important in a community will include many national and global issues as well. Using community issues as the starting point also ties the analysis closely to the Human Well-being – Ecosystem Service conceptual framework established by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, which is the globally-accepted framework for understanding how human well-being is affected by ecosystem goods and services.
Using the impact pathway approach to link ecosystem services with agricultural BMPs and their impacts on people. This approach was developed for use in the analysis of the economic externalities relating to energy generation and use, and is the accepted methodology for estimating of site-specific marginal external costs.
The use of watersheds as the basic geographic unit of analysis.