2019 REPORT FROM THE EAP CHAIR: “EAP is a recent milestone along the ‘green infrastructure continuum’. The lynch-pin concept for EAP is the ‘natural commons’,” stated Tim Pringle
Note to Reader:
Reproduced below from the 2019 Annual Report is the Report from the Chair (Tim Pringle) of the Ecological Accounting Protocol (EAP) Initiative. To download a copy of the 2019 Annual Report, click here.
Tim Pringle was the founding Executive Director of the Real Estate Foundation of BC (REFBC), and served in that capacity for 20 years.
EAP is a major milestone in a journey that had its’ genesis when Tim Pringle convinced the REFBC Board of Governors to adopt a philosophy that “use and conservation of land are equal values”. It took him a year to make the case and achieve this outcome. From that point forward (1994), the REFBC funded work in the stewardship and conservation sectors that showcased how to implement this guiding philosophy.
A BC Strategy for Community Investment in the Natural Commons
Local governments have existing tools in the form of policies and legislation for ‘maintenance and management’ (M&M) of ecological assets, which are used for infrastructure services. What they lack are a pragmatic methodology and meaningful metrics for effective decision-making and implementation.
Like constructed infrastructure assets, ecological assets provide services to support quality of life and property enjoyment. Local governments need ‘real numbers’, not imputed values, which will enable informed community investment decisions for M&M.
But there is no common method of identifying ecological services or determining the budget required for M&M.
EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, has a philosophy, strategy and valuation methodology. EAP is a recent milestone along the ‘green infrastructure continuum’. The lynch-pin concept for EAP is the ‘natural commons’.
EAP is about applying existing tools more successfully to protect and manage ecological assets. Testing, refining and mainstreaming EAP is a 3-stage program.
- Stage 1 demonstrated EAP relevance to local government.
- Stage 2 resulted in working definitions and consistent application of EAP methodology.
- Stage 3 mainstreaming is to be implemented in 2020 and 2021, subject to the Partnership receiving confirmation of grant funding in December 2019 for a 2-year program.
Mainstreaming would comprise six more EAP Demonstrations, for a grand total of ten, that cover a broad range of land use situations within the Georgia Basin (Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver) – urban, suburban, semi-rural and rural.
The vision for the Stage 3 program is to create a ‘self-help’ way of doing business in the local government context. Local governments would then deploy solutions themselves, and rely less without reliance on outside service providers. Peer-based learning and sharing ultimately holds the key to mainstreaming EAP.