The activation of financial markets to reward soil stewardship: Preliminary findings from a systemic co-inquiry

Nick Pawsey, Catherine Allan, Francisco Ascui, Geoff Cockfield, Simon Cook, Mark Frost, Alfred Wong, Julia Lynch, Benjamin Wills, Ross Colliver

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Despite the potential economic and environmental benefits, there is a lack of financial incentives for farmers to adopt soil stewardship best management practices. This project, through a series of systemic co-inquiry workshops, sought to: 1. establish a shared understanding of the soil-farmer-finance ‘system’, 2. identify leverage points to activate financial markets and ensure that soil management is better reflected in bank lending and land valuation decisions, and 3. establish a joint research agenda that would facilitate this process. The one-day workshops were run in Melbourne, Perth and Toowoomba and involved more than 50 participants from across the grower, banking, valuation, corporate advisory, conservation, and research sectors.

Based on workshop outcomes, participant feedback and the reflections of the research team, this presentation will provide an overview of the emerging joint research agenda and review the utility of systemic co-inquiry. The presentation will conclude with a summary of our recommendations regarding effective collaborative design principles.

Workshop participants from the banking and valuation industry recognised potential legitimacy and operational benefits from improved access to soil data and scientific evidence regarding impact of soil stewardship on soil health, productivity and profitability. To support bank risk assessments and the valuation of land: 1). evidence needs to be provided which is based on appropriate spatial and time-horizons and communicated in terms relevant and understandable to growers and the finance industry, and 2) significant efforts are required to bridge the connections between the financial, agricultural and research ‘worlds’
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2020
Event2020 ISSRM Virtual Conference - Virtual, Online
Duration: 11 Jul 202026 Jul 2020 (Conference website) (Program)


Conference2020 ISSRM Virtual Conference
OtherEach year we gather at our annual ISSRM to share research, reconnect with colleagues, and make new connections. Because we cannot meet in person this year, we are hosting a virtual conference. We value what each of you contribute to society and natural resources research and practice and we want to provide the opportunity to share those contributions.

We are planning a series of workshops, paper sessions, a poster session, a student forum, and a mentorship activity. All sessions, workshops, and paper presentations will be pre-recorded and available for viewing at any time during the conference dates. Set times will be scheduled for live question and answer sessions. Discussions will continue on message forums throughout the conference. Please see “Submission Information” below for more information or contact
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