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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. 

  • Video
    How to Build a Floating Wetland

    How to Build a Floating Wetland

    Not only do floating wetlands look super cool, they could help us keep fresh water free of whole range of pollutants—maybe even oil spills! Madeline and Richard take us through how to make one, in this short video.

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  • Policy Brief
    Manitoba's Biomass Fuel: Protecting our environment and saving us money

    Manitoba's Biomass Fuel: Protecting our environment and saving us money

    Biomass is a viable, abundant and environmentally sound source of renewable energy in Manitoba. This is what we need to do to make it a major renewable energy player in the province.

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  • Blog
    Making Biomass Big Business in Manitoba

    Making Biomass Big Business in Manitoba

    Biomass has the potential to be a major player in the renewable energy sector in Manitoba. Now we need to create a sustainable industry for it. Here's how we can make that happen.

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  • Interactive
    Manitoba Bioeconomy Atlas

    Manitoba Bioeconomy Atlas

    The Manitoba Bioeconomy Atlas demonstrates the economic and ecological value of common wetland plants as a marketable feedstock for biomass energy—all with the goal of creating a healthier Lake Winnipeg basin and developing a Manitoba bioeconomy.

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  • 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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