Alliances and Special Initiatives
NRS designs, supports, and facilitates national, regional, and state alliances and collaborations focused on achieving renewable energy and conservation goals and objectives. Examples of successful coalitions and initiatives launched and/or supported by NRS follow:
25x’25 is a rallying cry for renewable energy and a goal for America. Through the diligent efforts its diverse array of partners, the 25x’25 Alliance has evolved into a powerful coalition united behind the goal of securing 25 percent of the nation’s energy needs from renewable sources by the year 2025. To date, the 25x’25 goal has been endorsed by nearly 1,000 partners, 35 current and former governors, 15 state legislatures and the U.S. Congress through The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. NRS organized and continues to support the 25x’25 Alliance. The primary sponsors of this project are not-for-profit foundations and business partners.
Solutions from the Land is a national dialogue led by agriculture, forestry and conservation thought leaders to help landowners and managers make the most of the land’s potential. Through this project participants explore integrated solutions from the land for addressing food and energy production, economic development, biological diversity and climate change challenges. The primary sponsors of this project are the Farm Foundation, NFP and The Nature Conservancy.
The Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from the Land initiative looks to link with and build upon the multi-stakeholder partnership’s that have been developing in the region, to forge a diverse coalition of agricultural, environmental and food security leaders that will construct a strategy and action plan for making Ohio agriculture more sustainable and resilient to the challenges before us. Based on a holistic and integrated approach to land management, the project leaders will identify, build and incubate value chains that support the sustainable production of food, feed, fiber, energy and ecosystem services, and the delivery of these goods and services up the food chain all the way to the most urban consumers.
The Delmarva Land & Litter Challenge, established in August 2015, is an alliance of organizations representing grain producers, chicken growers, poultry integrators, conservationists, academic partners; along with agribusiness, finance and service providers that are joining forces and collaborating in a new way forward for managing poultry related nutrient pollution on the Delmarva Peninsula. NRS has supported the Challenge as it works to provide catalytic leadership in accomplishing the following outcomes and goals: Delmarva farmers and their agri-business partners are respected stewards of the land, guardians of natural resources and champions of the rural cultural heritage in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. By 2025: • Delmarva farming and poultry complex becomes a national model as an environmentally friendly and economically sustainable regional agricultural system; • Delmarva agriculture is regionally neutral in importing and exporting nutrients, and wherever possible, nutrients are recycled locally to support sustainable agricultural operations; • Nutrients are utilized in farming operations without negative environmental impacts on land and in adjacent waters; and, • Growers are rewarded for producing high value food, feed, fiber, clean energy, and ecosystem services.
The North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA) is a diverse collection of agricultural, conservation and scientific organizations. NRS has helped the Alliance to grow by recruiting farm leaders, along with public and private sector and industry value chain partners, are collaborating in developing ways to improve the resilience of production systems, as well as adapt and mitigate present and future risks from changing climatic conditions. The Alliance has grown to include more than 50 partner organizations that represent various agricultural, conservation, private and public stakeholder groups from across North America.
The North Carolina Agriculture and Forestry Work Group (NC-ADAPT) is a collaboration involving leaders from the agriculture and forestry sectors, along with business, academic, research and government partners in the state of North Carolina. NC-ADAPT’s mission is to explore the impacts of increasingly extreme weather events and changing climatic conditions on the agricultural and forestry sectors of North Carolina and determine whether producers are adequately prepared for the changes ahead. NRS is supporting the Work Group as it develops an Adaptive Management Strategy for farmers and foresters to implement on their operations to keep the North Carolina agriculture and forestry sectors vibrant and resilient for decades to come.
NRS facilitates the work of the Ag-Auto-Ethanol Work Group (AAE), a coalition of collaborating biofuel feedstock and producer groups, agribusiness partners, automobile manufacturers, infrastructure providers, and technical and academic experts who are working together to develop strategies and action plans to accelerate the transition of transportation fuels to higher octane/lower carbon blends for use in the North American light duty vehicle fleet.
NRS created the Native Pollinators in Agriculture project to educate growers on the role that native pollinators play in enhancing pollination services and profitability and advocate for programs and resources to establish habitat and increase populations of native and managed pollinators. The project holds regional workshops and national field days to highlight the pollination services and valuable conservation co-benefits that native pollinators and other beneficial insects provide. NPIA is managed by NRS and is funded and supported by the Turner Foundation. The project sponsor is the National Association of State Conservation Agencies.
NRS facilitated the formation of the Southeast Agriculture and Forestry Energy Resources (SAFER) Alliance in 2006. This alliance is working to position the South as a national leader in the bioeconomy. SAFER works toward this vision by providing strategic leadership in advancing initiatives related to biopower, biofuels, and bioproducts. These initiatives focus on better policy, targeted research, efficient commercialization, and outreach and education. In 2008, SAFER merged with the Southern Alliance for the Utilization of Biomass Resources (SAUBR).
From 2008-2010, NRS facilitated a project through which the Chesapeake Bay Commission and its member states conducted an in-depth examination of how biofuel development in the watershed could be accomplished in a way that produced much needed economic development along with greater environmental benefits to land and water. This led to the development of two publications, Taking the Policy Lead for the Nation and Balancing Energy, Economy and Environment which outlined ways biofuel development could bring new sources of income for agricultural and forestry communities while assuring the protection and restoration of the Bay and its tributaries.