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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. 

  • 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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  • Brochure
    Nature's wealth: Wetlands as filters, fuel, flood protection and food

    Nature's wealth: Wetlands as filters, fuel, flood protection and food

    This publication, originally published as a news-style insert in the Winnipeg Free Press and the Brandon Sun, explores the many benefits of...

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  • Brochure
    Bioeconomies at a Watershed Scale (brochure)

    Bioeconomies at a Watershed Scale (brochure)

    This brochure provides an overview of IISD’s watershed-focused approach to the bioeconomy.To do so, it details two case studies of watershed-based...

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  • Video
    Cattails for Clean Community Waterways

    Cattails for Clean Community Waterways

    In 2013, the City of Winnipeg and IISD embarked on a project to turn locally harvested cattail (Typha) and native prairie grasses into pellets to...

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  • Paper
    Cattails Harvesting for Carbon Offsets and Nutrient Capture: A

    Cattails Harvesting for Carbon Offsets and Nutrient Capture: A "Lake Friendly" greenhouse gas project

    The Cattail Biomass Harvesting project is pursuing and evaluating the commercial-scale harvesting of cattail (Typha spp.) for its multiple co...

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  • Paper
    Cattail (Typha spp.) Harvesting in Manitoba: A legislative and market analysis for operationalization and carbon emission offsets

    Cattail (Typha spp.) Harvesting in Manitoba: A legislative and market analysis for operationalization and carbon emission offsets

    Research findings from the Netley-Libau Nutrient-Bioenergy project are encouraging replication of the cattail harvesting concept in areas in the...

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  • Video
    Our Lake, Our Solutions: Two years of progress and partnerships

    Our Lake, Our Solutions: Two years of progress and partnerships

    This video details progress IISD has made with its partners on the bioeconomy concept since the Lake Winnipeg Basin Summit in 2010, when IISD...

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