The Noble Research Institute's Ecosystem Service Market (ESM) Program is pleased to announce the award of a contract for protocol development for ecosystem service market credits from agricultural working lands has been awarded to Kieser & Associates, LLC (K&A).
"Kieser & Associates' team of service providers includes scientists, policy-makers, legal, financial and market influencers with expertise and experience that understand the importance of environmental, economic and societal benefits of production agriculture," said Debbie Reed of DRD Associates LLC (DRD).
Reed is one of the lead consultants on the ESM project that will be overseeing protocol development and pilot project implementation work. "We look forward to working closely with the Kieser team to develop a protocol that delivers sound outcomes-based credits grounded in the best available science," she said.
The K&A team includes Tetra Tech, Inc. and WestWater Research, LLC and is complemented by expert advisors from the Sand County Foundation, Nyemaster Goode, Troutman Sanders, and Terra Altus Ecosystem Services. The K&A team will be working with Reed and Rori Cowan, who recently joined DRD Associates LLC from the American Carbon Registry (ACR).
The mission of the ESM is to advance ecosystem service markets that incentivize farmers and ranchers to improve soil health systems that benefit society.
The ESM is a farmer-facing, farmer-oriented program focused on maximizing sustainable agricultural production systems and creating sound social, economic and environmental outcomes that benefit farmers and ranchers, their families and communities, and society at large. Flexibility and innovation will be required in the design and implementation of protocols that meet the needs of farmers and ranchers who are managing biological agro-ecosystems on a daily basis.
The K&A team and DRD Associates will work through the ESM program to develop a draft protocol to monetize three ecosystem service attributes from agricultural working lands: soil carbon, water quality and water quantity.
The team will engage with the ESM Steering Committee comprised of multiple representatives from across the food, beverage and agricultural sector supply chains as they develop a draft protocol then proceed to pilot test it with ranchers and farmers participating in Noble's Land Stewardship Program in the Southern Great Plains states of Oklahoma and Texas. The protocol will undergo scientific peer review and public comment after pilot testing and adaptation.
The teams are also engaged with ESM in planning protocol expansion and pilot testing of the protocol for use in additional US geographies beyond the Southern Plains and in additional agricultural production systems. Ultimately the protocol will be adapted for use across the US.