Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

The CFFO Commentary: Evaluating the Value of Dollars spent on Environmental Projects

By Nathan Stevens
June 24, 2011
In a world of limited financial resources, choosing the best environmental projects and the targets to be met can be difficult for policy makers. Recently, Dr. Anna Roberts from the Department of Primary Industries in Victoria, Australia, shared an approach to establishing and evaluating environmental improvement goals.
The approach is known as INFFER, which is short for Investment Framework for Environmental Resources. The key point of the process is to establish hard targets that have explicit costs and consequences included in the proposal. Furthermore, it contains a solid set of guidelines on which policy tool to use – from incentives, to outreach, to regulation, to times when no action is required or sensible. The key is to pick which targets have the highest benefits for the costs involved.
There are two examples that Roberts shared with the group of participants. The first was an application of INFFER to a small-scale wetland restoration project. In this instance, INFFER was able to target a small region and establish a plan that will see a cost-effective project come to fruition with the landholders fairly compensated for lost productive land.
The second example was to take an established policy goal and use INFFER to determine how costly the project would be to hit the desired target, as well as present other scenarios that would meet other targets. By way of example, Gippsland Lake is an important environmental area in Australia that is facing serious phosphorus problems. In 2002, the Australian government mandated that there would be a 40 per cent reduction in phosphorous over 20 years. The INFFER model has been applied to this scenario and it came up with the following:
·         A 40 per cent reduction would cost $994 million dollars and require full adoption of best management practices, stringent enforcement of effluent regulations and the retirement of roughly 2,500 hectares of dairy land.
·         However, a more modest goal of a 20 per cent reduction in phosphorous would cost just $80 million over 20 years through best management practices, enforcement of the effluent regulations and no land taken out of production.
INFFER is far from the only method of establishing and prioritizing which environmental goals to pursue. However, it does focus on the key point of using limited environmental budgets in the most effective way possible. This is a lesson that could serve Ontario well in its future decisions for maximizing its ability to make environmental improvements.
Nathan Stevens is the Research and Policy Advisor for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKNX Wingham, and UCB Canada radio stations in Chatham, Belleville, Bancroft, Brockville and Kingston. It is also archived on the CFFO website: www.christianfarmers.org. CFFO is supported by 4,200 family farmers across Ontario.

Views: 9


You need to be a member of Ontario Agriculture to add comments!

Join Ontario Agriculture

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

The Government of Canada launches research fund to help prevent and divert food waste from Canadian landfills

When food and other organic wastes are disposed of in landfills, they produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Municipal solid waste landfills are responsible for almost one-quarter of Canada's methane emissions, which are generated when biodegradable waste decomposes. Cutting methane emissions from all sources, including landfills, is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change. Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced the Food Waste Prevention and Diversion: Research and Capacity Building Fund. This $570,000 Fund will help support local government research and capacity-building initiatives to prevent and divert food waste from landfills. Reducing food loss and waste also means that the energy, water, and land that is used to grow food are not wasted. Municipal, local, and Indigenous governments are best positioned to advance food waste prevention and diversion across their communities. This fundin

Lactalis invests in new distribution centre in Oshawa

Lactalis Canada Inc., the Canadian dairy leader behind iconic brands such as Cracker Barrel, Black Diamond, Balderson, Astro and Lactantia, is entering into a long-term lease for a new distribution centre located in Oshawa, Ontario, principally for its cheese and tablespreads supply chain network.

Canada announces express entry for newcomers with ag work experience

Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced that the first round of invitations for agriculture and agri-food occupations through category-based selection in Express Entry will occur this week

MacAulay launches $333M Dairy Innovation and Investment Fund

Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced the launch of the new Dairy Innovation and Investment Fund on Sept. 29.

Food Producers of Canada's (FPC) Leadership Meets with Ministers Champagne and MacAulay to Address Canadian Grocery Price Inflation

Senior representatives of the Food Producers of Canada (FPC) and other representatives from the broader Canadian food manufacturing sector met this morning with the Honorable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) and the Honorable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agrifood (AAFC) in a joint effort to share information and to explore solutions to address the ongoing issue of grocery price inflation in Canada

© 2023   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service