We assist hard-working farmers who look after their land, so the land can continue to work hard for us.

Farmland Advantage works with farmers to enhance natural values on their land through a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) model. These natural values, or ‘Ecosystem services’, are the benefits that a natural environment provides to people. They are services that cannot be easily bought or sold but have great value to us all. Natural areas that provide ecosystem services include wetlands that purify water, rivers that support healthy salmon populations, grasslands that act as carbon sinks, and forests that clean the air and provide habitat for healthy wildlife populations.

Farmland Advantage helps farmers identify the natural values on a farm that can be protected, restored, and enhanced and develops recommendations and plans to preserve them. These plans may include establishing stream setbacks, building strategic fencing, undertaking reforestation, implementing rotational grazing practices on rangeland, thinning and pruning tree stands, or removing debris to reduce wildfire fuels. Once a site is selected and assessed, the prescribed work is completed by Farmland Advantage in partnership with producers and in some cases, restoration partners.

Farmland Advantage provides an annual compensation to farmers based on successful implementation of the project, and ongoing upkeep.

Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES)

Farmland Advantage is a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) Program. The PES model is voluntary and uses a market-based system to directly protect specific ecosystem services. The basic concept of PES is what the name would suggest, one individual or group pays another individual or group for maintaining or enhancing a particular ecosystem service. Establishing a value for these services can entice investment in restoration and maintenance of those services, which benefit all of society.

PES programs are happening around the world, and are employed on international, national, and local scales. Some countries that have PES programs include Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, UK, USA, Norway, Australia, and more.

Program Timeline

Farmland Advantage began in 2016. It started small, as a five-year research and development pilot project of the Windermere Farmers Institute and other partners. In that time the project established 60+ demonstration sites across BC.

  • 2008
  • 2016
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2008: The Seeds are Planted

    Farmland Advantage begins as a community-led initiative, with the goal of establishing a Payment of Ecosystem Services (PES) program in BC. Fundamental work was done in these early years, including establishing the first network of participating farms.
  • 2016: Farmland Advantage Begins

    Farmland Advantage becomes a five-year research and development project. With a full complement of partners and agencies working together, the project develops a solid, replicable program model capable of being administered independently and sustainably.
  • 2019: 60 Demonstration Sites

    Under the initial project, 60+ demonstration sites were underway across BC by the end of 2019.
  • 2020: Over 300 Hectares

    Over 300 hectares (740 acres) of prime riparian habitat was conserved and enhanced through the project.
  • 2021: IAF Begins Delivering Farmland Advantage

    IAF adopts Farmland Advantage as a pilot program to fully test the model. Under the pilot program, IAF is funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s SARPAL fund to address the conservation of grasslands habitat and by the Healthy Watersheds Initiative fund to restore and enhance riparian areas.
  • 2022: Graduating to a Full Program

    Following the success of the pilot program, IAF begins to deliver and administer Farmland Advantage as a full program. By the end of the 2021-2022 fiscal year there are 47 Farms under contract, 14 hectares of riparian areas assessed, & 400 hectares of grasslands assessed.
  • 2022: Establishing a Wildfire Risk Reduction Pilot

    The Farmland Advantage Program is funded by BC Wildfire Service to establish a Wildfire Risk Reduction pilot project, which will implement activities that reduce the fuel load for wildfires on private lands, farms, and ranches in the BC Interior.
  • 2023: More Farms Join FLA

    By the end of the 2022-2023 fiscal year there were 97 farms under contract and additional funding has been secured from the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, BC Ministry of Water Land and Resource Stewardship, Fisheries and Oceans Canada through the BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund, and Environment and Climate Change Canada through the Habitat Stewardship Program.

Program Funders

In Spring 2021, IAF began officially administering and delivering the Farmland Advantage program following the success of a one-year pilot. The program is supported by a variety of partners, including:

Suggest a Site

Complete this form to suggest a parcel of land that is suited to Farmland Advantage


What is Farmland Advantage, and why is it important?


How are sites selected, and what sites are best suited to a project?


Exploring Farmland Advantage’s Impacts Across BC.

Projects & News

From stream health to grasslands, learn about our projects and program news.