WINNIPEG, MB, Nov. 15, 2023 /CNW/ – Today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced the creation of a new living lab in Manitoba. Led by the Manitoba Association of Watersheds, this living lab project represents an investment of up to $9.2 million over five years under the Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) – Living Labs program.
This living lab aims to accelerate the sector’s response to climate change by bringing together producers, scientists and other sector partners, to co-develop, test and evaluate on-farm beneficial management practices (BMPs) on multiple sites across the province. These BMPs, which support nutrient management, water retention, crop and livestock integration, soil health and more, will help store carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while providing environmental co-benefits.
In collaboration with partner organizations within the living lab, the Manitoba Association of Watersheds will also encourage knowledge transfer and exchange between local producers, federal and provincial researchers, Indigenous communities, and other partners.
This new project adds to the four living labs launched earlier this year and the nine living labs announced in 2022. With a total of 14 living labs under the ACS – Living Labs program, there is now at least one living lab in every province.
“Farmers are natural innovators and by partnering with researchers, they can help develop new solutions to build resilience to the challenges of climate change. Manitoba’s rich farming history has laid the groundwork for this exciting new project and it will drive innovation through collaboration between farmers, Indigenous communities, scientists and other sector partners.”
– The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“Collaboration with farmers and researchers, through their local watershed districts, brings tremendous value to Manitoba farmers. Practices developed on-farm, and shared within communities, is a remarkably effective way to increase adoption of beneficial management practices. Our hope is that innovative practices developed through Living Lab – Manitoba will lead to healthier watersheds through an increase in sustainable agricultural practices and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”
– Garry Wasylowski, Board Chair, Manitoba Association of Watersheds
- The lead partner for the new Manitoba living lab is the Manitoba Association of Watersheds, who previously led Living Lab – Eastern Prairies under the former Living Laboratories Initiative, which ended in 2023.
- For additional information on each of the new living labs and what they will be working on, please see the backgrounder.
- The lead partners for the first nine ACS – Living Labs announced in 2022 are:
- Alberta Beef Producers
- Alberta Conservation Association
- British Columbia:
- B.C. Investment Agriculture Foundation
- Peace Region Forage Seed Association (this living lab straddles northern Alberta and British Columbia)
- Mistawasis Nêhiyawak
- South of the Divide Conservation Action Program
- Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture
- Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture
- Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick
- The lead partners for the first four ACS – Living Labs announced in 2023 are:
- The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association
- L’Union des producteurs agricoles
- Les Producteurs de lait du Québec
- Prince Edward Island:
- The East Prince Agri-Environment Association
- Canada introduced the agroecosystem living labs concept to G20 Agriculture Ministers in 2018, who welcomed it as a novel way to accelerate the development of sustainable agricultural practices and technologies around the world.
- First announced in March 2021, the Agricultural Climate Solutions program is one of many initiatives undertaken to promote environmental sustainability and resiliency in the agricultural sector. It is part of Canada’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, and towards net-zero emissions by 2050. These goals were announced ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
New Agricultural Climate Solutions – Living Labs, Partners and Activities
The Government of Canada announced a new living lab under the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Agricultural Climate Solutions – Living Labs program. The living labs are a collaborative approach to agricultural innovation, bringing together farmers, scientists and other stakeholders to co-develop and test new practices and technologies in a real-life context, so they can be adopted more quickly by Canadian farmers.
The new activities planned for each living lab will focus on carbon sequestration and mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the development and testing of beneficial management practices (BMPs), which could then be widely adopted across the region and country.
The new living lab is:
Manitoba Association of Watersheds (MAW)
This living lab will develop and test BMPs for nutrient management, natural and agricultural landscapes, water retention, agroforestry, crop and livestock integration, grazing management, rhizome microbiome, soil organic matter growth and soil health, as well as facilitating better use of resources. A key focus of these activities will be to bridge the gap between understanding and implementation.
News Release: Government of Canada announces new living lab in Prince Edward Island – Canada.ca
News Release: Government of Canada announces new living lab in Ontario – Canada.ca
News Release: Government of Canada announces two new living labs in Quebec – Canada.ca
News Release: Government of Canada launches nine new living labs: collaborative on-farm solutions to combat climate change in agriculture
2022: New Agricultural Climate Solutions – Living Labs, Partners and Projects – Canada.ca
Government of Canada announces new living lab in Prince Edward Island – Canada.ca
Government of Canada announces new living lab in Ontario – Canada.ca
Government of Canada announces two new living labs in Quebec – Canada.ca
Agricultural Climate Solutions – agriculture.canada.ca
Accelerating the adoption of climate-smart best practices in agriculture
Canada plays leadership role on soil conservation at G20 meeting in Argentina – Canada.ca
Living Laboratories Initiative: International engagement and partnerships – agriculture.canada.ca
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada