Northeast Healthy Soil Network 2021 Symposium

April 2, 2021

Designing Just Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) for Farmers and Consumers: A Case Study from Vermont

On Friday, April 2nd from 1:00-3:00pm, the Northeast Healthy Soil Network, in partnership with Dartmouth College and Stonewall Farm is pleased to host a virtual panel of regional experts focused on designing payments for ecosystem services (PES) in the state of Vermont, the first of two panels on PES.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Richard Howarth, Professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College and Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Economics. Speakers include Dr. Alissa White, a postdoctoral scholar at UVM’s Gund Institute, Jennifer Byrne, District Director at the White River Natural Resource Conservation District, Jon Winsten, Agricultural and Environmental Economist at Winrock, and Ryan Patch, Dept. Dir. Water Quality, Agency of Agriculture of VT. The panel will begin with presentations with Q&A, followed by break out rooms wherein participants and panelists will address the most pressing questions of this topic, which can be submitted by participants in advance upon registration.

In the face of complex and wicked environmental challenges at the global and local scale, agriculture is increasingly seen as a key part of realistic solutions.  However, as society asks farmers to provide not just food, but also to ensure accessible and clean water as well as climate resilience and regulation, compensation for providing these public ecological services is essential.  However, the provision of payments for ecosystem services (PES) typically require financial incentives and sound policy regimes.

Multiple stakeholders at the state and federal level are right now exploring how PES programs might be operationalized to help meet environmental goals. Building a program that meets the goals of society, policy and farmers is no simple task and often requires tough decisions about who benefits and which goals are paramount. The NEHSN has observed Vermont’s process to design PES in a way that meets multiple social ecological goals.

Through this panel, we hope panelists and participants will better understand and be able to differentiate between the various PES schemes being introduced in our region  — from carbon-based to more holistic models and approaches. We hope also that this dialogue will open a broader discussion about PES schemes for the broader Northeast region. A second panel in this series on PES will take place in May.

PLEASE COMPLETE THE REGISTRATION FORM BELOW. Once you have registered you will receive a confirmation with a link for the ZOOM form. Please be sure to complete that form in order to receive the ZOOM link for the webinar.

The Northeast Healthy Soil Network originated as a 2018 initiative of GDAE. Our mission is to form a working group of farm and food system stakeholders who agree on a regional need for soil-oriented agricultural policy reform. For more information about this movement, visit our website and check out our resources from the 2018 and 2019 symposiums

To view the first webinar in the NEHSN Spring 2021 series, click here.

To see information from 2019 and 2020 Tuft University’s GDAE Healthy Soil Network Symposium’s, click here.

To view the April 2, 2021 webinar sponsored by Dartmouth College and Stonewall Farm, click here.