The ESMRC is working to achieve the following objectives:
- Establish a functioning ESM protocol for ecosystem services (carbon, water quality and water quantity)
- Identify agricultural management system impacts on ecosystem services
- Develop innovative advanced learning techniques to improve ecosystem services monitoring and quantification
- Institute an online platform that tracks and quantifies changes in ecosystem services data
- Standardize data collection
- Quantify carbon sequestration capacity of agricultural soils
“We are excited and honored to welcome FFAR to the Research arm of the Consortium”, said ESMC’s Executive Director, Debbie Reed. “This public-private partnership is a true win for US farmers and ranchers who will be paid for the services they deliver and will help scale carbon drawdown. This market will provide the tools, support and buyers to recognize and reward farmers who increase soil carbon sequestration, reduce GHG and improve water quality and water use conservation. ESMC’s outcomes-based market brings together the collaborators needed to ensure a viable market well into the future.”
Along with measurable improvements to the environment, forming a viable ecosystem services market will benefit farmers and ranchers in several ways. The program will help improve farm management practices that enhance overall operational efficiency in the form of higher yields, increased resiliency to severe climate shifts and improved water and soil quality.
The intended impact of this effort is to enroll 30 percent of available land in the top four crop regions and top four pasture regions to impact 250 million acres by 2030 and 650 million acres by 2050 in outcomes-based conservation practices.
“As a sixth-generation Kansas farmer, increasing soil health and resiliency has always been important to my family and me,” said Charles Atkinson, an American Soybean Association Board member who raises soybeans with his father and son on 1,000 acres in Southeast Kansas near Columbus. “We applaud FFAR’s funding to ESMC to develop a market to pay producers for conservation practices we establish on our land to sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases and increase water quality and quantity. The research to be conducted with FFAR’s support is a critical part of the equation in making ecosystem markets successful.”
FFAR’s contribution to ESMC adds to contributions made by the Noble Research Institute, General Mills Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Research Conservation Service and the United Soybean Board.
About the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC)
The Ecosystem Services Market Consortium LLC was formed in May 2019 and is a subsidiary of the Soil Health Institute. ESMC’s mission is to advance ecosystem service markets that incentivize farmers and ranchers to improve soil health systems that benefit society. ESMC LLC is a member-based organization launching a national scale ecosystem services market for agriculture to recognize and reward farmers and ranchers for their environmental services to society. ESMC members represent the spectrum of the agricultural sector supply chain with whom we are scaling sustainable agricultural sector outcomes, including increased soil carbon, reduced net greenhouse gases and improved water quality and water use conservation.