ONTARIO ALUS ALLIANCE WORKSHOP
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT
That the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) concept is adopted by the province of Ontario as a permanent provincial program that involves farmers and their lands to provide environmental benefits for the citizens of Ontario.
Purpose of the Ontario ALUS Alliance
- to create awareness of the true value of our natural capital and the ecological goods and services produced on farm lands as part of Ontario’s infrastructure and life support system
- to build upon the stewardship ethic of the farm community through the ALUS program, providing incentives to farmers for the voluntary production of ecological goods and services
- to maintain and enhance the health of rural ecosystems and the environmental, social and economic benefits they provide, understanding that they are the foundation of a safe, sustainable, secure food supply system
- to form an alliance that crosses barriers and develops strength from its diversity by bringing together farmers, environmentalists, advocates and community groups in a positive manner
Whereas explosive growth in Ontario has consumed vast areas of farmland and with it some of Ontario’s natural capital, in the form of wildlife habitat, water infiltration zones, carbon sinks, woodlands, grasslands, wetlands and so on;
Whereas ecological services provided on farmers’ lands carry no value in the marketplace and in fact, some services, such as source water protection, may have a negative value under current regulations;
Whereas the vast majority of land in southern Ontario is owned by farmers;
Whereas if habitat losses are to be countered, and effective action is to be taken on climate change, the farm community must be effectively engaged;
Whereas the engagement of farmers will require the provision of incentive payments for the production of ecological goods and services;
And whereas ALUS provides for these incentives and will enroll voluntary farmers and their lands as producers of ecological goods and services,
We the undersigned support the vision and purpose of the Ontario ALUS Alliance.