ESMC Names Science Advisors, Adds Six New Members

The Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) today announced selection of science advisors to provide scientific expertise to the four working groups within the Consortium’s research arm, known as the Ecosystem Services Market Research Consortium (ESMRC). Working group co-leads were also named. The ESMRC working groups are focused on investments in research, development, demonstration and deployment to increase rigor and reduce costs for the fully functioning science-based, standards-based, and outcomes-based ESMC marketplace for agriculture.

The working groups’ efforts will continue to enhance the scientific underpinning for the voluntary ecosystems services market that ESMC will launch in 2022. The ESMC market is a voluntary, market-based approach to incentivize farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices that provide quantified ecosystem benefits. ESMC is pilot testing its protocols on 50,000 acres of ranch land and farmland in the Southern Great Plains and is launching additional pilots in 2020.

Science advisors for Working Group 1: Quantification of Soil C and Net GHG in Protocols, Pilots and Certification tasked with developing accurate, cost-effective and scalable quantification of agricultural management system impacts on soil carbon and greenhouse gases include: Mark Ritchie, Syracuse University; Stephen Del Grosso, USDA Agricultural Research Service and Mariko Thorbecke, Quantis. Working group co-leads from ESMC are Ryan Sirolli of Cargill and Chris Adamo of Danone North America.

For Working Group 2: Quantification of Water Quality and Water Quantity in Protocols, Pilots and Certification, which will focus on similar impacts for water quality and quantity, science advisors include: Peter Kyveryga, Iowa Soybean Association; Sally Flis, The Fertilizer Institute and Paul Reig, World Resources Institute. Working group co-leads are Kris Johnson of The Nature Conservancy and Alex Echols of the Campbell Foundation.

Scientific expertise for Working Group 3: Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) Technologies; MRV Platform; and Gridded Land Ledger will come from Daniel Northrup, Benson Hill; William Fox III, Texas A&M and Jia Deng, University of New Hampshire. This group aims to further develop innovative and advanced analytical tools and technologies to measure impacts; a secure platform to collect, store and manage inputs and outputs to support the ESMC marketplace and a land ledger to track ecosystem service outcomes in a geospatial manner. Working group co-leads from ESMC are Jason Weller of Land O’Lakes Inc. and Mike Komp of the Conservation Technology Information Center.

For Working Group 4: Soil Carbon Research to Quantify and Achieve Ecosystem Service Capacities of Soils, science advisors include: Jen Moore-Kucera, American Farmland Trust; Ron Turco, Purdue University and Mahdi Al-Kaisi, Iowa State University. This group seeks to credibly assess the technical capacity for different soils to absorb and retain carbon and contribute to improved water quality and water use conservation. ESMC working group co-leads are Hannah Birgé of The Nature Conservancy and Cristine Morgan of the Soil Health Institute.

ESMRC science advisors will serve one-year terms and can be reappointed for up to two additional years.

In addition, ESMC continues to expand its membership, adding six new members to the Consortium. Joining as a Founding Circle member is Syngenta. New Legacy Partner members include: Almond Board of California; Arizona State University; Arva Intelligence; Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, and OpenTEAM. ESMC is also pleased to announce its membership in Field to Market at this time.

New ESMC members join the current roster of members, including ESMC Founding Circle members: ADM; Bunge; Cargill; Corteva Agriscience; Danone North America; General Mills; Land O’Lakes Inc.; McDonald’s USA; National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; Nestle; Noble Research Institute, LLC; Nutrien; The Nature Conservancy and the Soil Health Institute. ESMC Legacy Partner members include: American Farmland Trust; American Soybean Association; Anuvia Plant Nutrients; Bayer; the Conservation Technology Information Center; Farm Foundation; Impact Ag Partners; Mars, Inc.; National Association of Conservation Districts; National Corn Growers Association; National Farmers Union; NativeEnergy; Newtrient, LLC; Pivot Bio; Sand County Foundation; Soil Health Partnership; The Fertilizer Institute; Tatanka Resources; the Tri-Societies; Tyson Foods and World Wildlife Fund. Partners pledge financial support and active participation to establish private ecosystem service markets for agriculture and to improve ways to measure, verify and monetize increases in soil carbon, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, improved water quality and increased water conservation. ESMC welcomes companies, nonprofit and conservation organizations and agricultural organizations as partners.

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About the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC): The Ecosystem Services Market Consortium LLC (www.ecosystemservicesmarket.org) was formed in May 2019 and is a subsidiary of the Soil Health Institute. ESMC’s mission is to advance ecosystem service markets that incentivize farmers and ranchers to improve soil health systems that benefit society. ESMC LLC is a member-based organization launching a national scale ecosystem services market for agriculture to recognize and reward farmers and ranchers for their environmental services to society. ESMC members represent the spectrum of the agricultural sector supply chain with whom we are scaling sustainable agricultural sector outcomes, including increased soil carbon, reduced net greenhouse gases, and improved water quality and water use conservation.

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