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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. 

  • Report
    Sustainable Watersheds for Carbon Offsets: Biomass harvesting for phosphorus capture, habitat renewal and carbon emissions reductions

    Sustainable Watersheds for Carbon Offsets: Biomass harvesting for phosphorus capture, habitat renewal and carbon emissions reductions

    We have been exploring new and innovative practices to reduce flood impacts and nutrient loading, as well as to reduce carbon emissions, in the Lake Winnipeg watershed through better water retention management, and the harvest and use of sustainable wetland biomass.

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  • Report
    Floating Treatment Wetlands and Plant Bioremediation: Nutrient treatment in eutrophic freshwater lakes

    Floating Treatment Wetlands and Plant Bioremediation: Nutrient treatment in eutrophic freshwater lakes

    Allow us to explain why floating treatment wetlands are an innovative “natural infrastructure" option for effective biological treatment and removal of nutrients to help clean up algal blooms in surface waters.

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  • Blog
    Canada could take inspiration from U.S. environmental policy preventing algal blooms

    Canada could take inspiration from U.S. environmental policy preventing algal blooms

    Recent US legislation to combat algal blooms and protect fresh water shows bipartisan environmental action is still possible—and sets an example for other countries.

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  • Report
    Case Study Research on Offsets for Water Quality Management

    Case Study Research on Offsets for Water Quality Management

    This case study research examines six water quality trading/offset programs from Canada, the United States and New Zealand and provides lessons relevant to offsetting nutrients, specifically phosphorus and nitrogen, in Manitoba. 

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  • Blog
    Canada Should Copy Europe When It Comes to the Bioeconomy

    Canada Should Copy Europe When It Comes to the Bioeconomy

    The recently announced EU Bioeconomy Strategy continues that continent’s legacy of advancing biological solutions to environmental questions and strategically highlights the economic benefits of the approach with a strong focus on jobs, growth and investment.

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  • Blog
    Freshwater Lakes’ Pollution Problems Go Beyond Plastics

    Freshwater Lakes’ Pollution Problems Go Beyond Plastics

    Focusing solely on plastic pollution ignores the myriad problems — from algae to pollution — that plague our lakes

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  • Brochure
    Floating Treatment Wetlands: Keeping our fresh water clean and healthy

    Floating Treatment Wetlands: Keeping our fresh water clean and healthy

    We explain how, where and why floating treatment wetlands can be used to keep freshwater bodies clean around the world.

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  • Report
    Adaptive and Inclusive Watershed Management: Assessing policy and institutional support in Kenya

    Adaptive and Inclusive Watershed Management: Assessing policy and institutional support in Kenya

    This report explores existing institutional linkages between gender, water and climate change in Kenya.

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  • Blog
    The Multiple Benefits of Natural Infrastructure

    The Multiple Benefits of Natural Infrastructure

    We explain exactly what natural infrastructure is and all the multiple benefits that it brings to humans and to the environment.

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  • Report
    Floating Treatment Wetlands: Keeping our fresh water clean and healthy

    Floating Treatment Wetlands: Keeping our fresh water clean and healthy

    This short, engaging storybook takes you through what Floating Treatment Wetlands are, and how they could really help us keep bodies of fresh water clean and healthy.

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