Land trusts like EALT conserve and steward natural and cultural resources. Conservation of natural areas is particularly important in Alberta’s capital region, where urban expansion is rapid and continually expanding. As a result, many natural areas are being lost.
There are a variety of benefits of conservation, to the environment, wildlife, communities, residents, the economy, and to those who make their livelihood on farmlands and other rural lands:
- Environmental benefits: protects potable water supplies; cleans water; cleans air; and protects habitat and biodiversity
- Economic benefits: helps prevent flooding; assists businesses based on ecosystem services such as tourism and insurance; and increases property values beside natural areas, due to their amenity values
- Social and community benefits: protects places for people to connect with nature, preserving recreational spaces, which have spiritual and aesthetic values, and helps strengthen the sense of community
- Health and human well-being benefits: provides places for people to engage in physical activity to promote healthy living, which contributes to obesity prevention and stress relief and relaxation
- Child education and development: Children who play in nature show more creativity and concentration; less obesity and allergies, less attention deficit; and have strengthened immune systems
- Climate change mitigation: Maintaining natural areas, forests and wetlands, is a more cost-effective method of climate change mitigation than replacing lost ecological functions using infrastructure and technology
Visit our Knowledge Library to find factsheets with more information on the benefits of nature.