Land capability modeling for the Canadian prairies towards ecosystem services offset protocols

Humanity faces the triple challenge of stabilizing climate, ensuring food security, and safeguarding nature. Innovative approaches for climate- and biodiversity-friendly agriculture capable of sustaining resilient production landscapes are urgently needed. Carbon markets offer a platform for market-driven solutions that incentivize soil carbon sequestration through nature-based solutions. Canada employs a cap-and-trade scheme for domestic carbon credit trading on route to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Prairie grasslands are fundamental to meeting Canada’s climate targets owing to the significant soil carbon debt attributable to decades of unsustainable practices and agricultural conversion. However, currently there is no grassland protocol in Canada to verify the carbon offsets generated through improved grassland management, grassland restoration, and/or avoided conversion of native grasslands. The proposed research aims to (1) model carbon sequestration-storage potential of Canada’s prairie grasslands; (2) assess the economics of using carbon-offsets for grassland conservation and restoration within Canada’s Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change; and (3) model the biodiversity-habitat value of Canada’s prairie grasslands.

Faculty Supervisor:

Monireh Faramarzi


Timm Fabian Döbert


Perimeter Solar


Geography / Geology / Earth science



University of Alberta



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