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Watersheds and the Bioeconomy

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IISD’s bioeconomy work is linked to our focus on watersheds where under-utilized plant sources, such as agricultural residues and wetland plants, can be harvested sustainably and turned into sources of energy, plastics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Our experts in land and water policy, watershed analysis, modelling, stakeholder consultations, ecosystem services and environmental economics work with public and private partners to develop bioeconomies around the world. We succeed through landscape analyses, by forming partnerships for harvesting and processing and by developing markets and policies for implementing sustainable processes. 

  • Blog
    Wetlands: Protecting us from floods and saving us money

    Wetlands: Protecting us from floods and saving us money

    Can wetlands protect us from floods, while also bringing us financial benefits? Hisham Osman thinks so...

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  • Brochure
    Smart-Sourced Fuel Products

    Smart-Sourced Fuel Products

    Many different types of “waste” or under-used plant materials can be turned into value-added bioenergy fuel products. This brochure, available in both English and French, focuses on such materials available in Manitoba, Canada, including agricultural residues, forestry residues, grassland plants and wetland plants.

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  • Blog
    Cattails Into Clean Energy: Where to from here?

    Cattails Into Clean Energy: Where to from here?

    Richard Grosshans takes a look at the success our bioeconomy work harvesting cattails into clean-energy pellets, and discusses where the project is headed now.

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  • Report
    Watershed Indicators: The challenge of consistency

    Watershed Indicators: The challenge of consistency

    In 2014–2015, with support from Environment Canada, the Canadian Sustainability Indicators Network (CSIN) explored the question of watershed indicator consistency and coherency across Canada and between Canada and the United States.

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  • Paper
    Peatland Mining in Manitoba’s Interlake: Cumulative impacts analysis focusing on potential nutrient loading and greenhouse gas emissions

    Peatland Mining in Manitoba’s Interlake: Cumulative impacts analysis focusing on potential nutrient loading and greenhouse gas emissions

    Peat has been mined in Manitoba for over 70 years and currently represents approximately 13 per cent of Canada’s horticulture peat production...

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  • Paper
    Advancing Netley-Libau Marsh Restoration Efforts: Cattail biomass and nutrient survey of Netley-Libau Marsh

    Advancing Netley-Libau Marsh Restoration Efforts: Cattail biomass and nutrient survey of Netley-Libau Marsh

    Lake Winnipeg is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world and drains a watershed area of 1,000,000 square kilometres. Overloading of...

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  • Paper
    Strategic Large-Basin Management for Multiple Benefits: Submission to the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission

    Strategic Large-Basin Management for Multiple Benefits: Submission to the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission

    This paper was submitted to the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission (CEC) for consideration in its review of the regulation of Lake Winnipeg...

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  • Paper
    Cattail Biomass in a Watershed-Based Bioeconomy: Commercial-scale harvesting and processing for nutrient capture, biocarbon and high-value bioproducts

    Cattail Biomass in a Watershed-Based Bioeconomy: Commercial-scale harvesting and processing for nutrient capture, biocarbon and high-value bioproducts

    One of the fundamental insights of the Watershed-Bioeconomy research is that phosphorus, the nutrient responsible for fouling Lake Winnipeg and...

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  • Brochure
    Watershed Indicators

    Watershed Indicators

    A common barrier to effective planning In watersheds around the world is the complexity of the multi-faceted issues, incomplete and inaccessible...

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  • Paper
    Cattail Biomass to Energy: Commercial-scale harvesting of cattail biomass for biocarbon and solid fuel

    Cattail Biomass to Energy: Commercial-scale harvesting of cattail biomass for biocarbon and solid fuel

    The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has explored the harvesting of cattail (Typha spp.) as a component of watershed...

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