FLOWnGROW WORKSHOP: “To protect watershed health, engineered infrastructure ought to fit into natural systems, rather than the other way around,” asserts Tim Pringle

Note to Reader:

The Ecological Accounting Protocol (EAP) is an economic tool to make real the notion of ‘watersheds as infrastructure assets’. Local governments would use EAP to develop a more complete financial picture. At FLOWnGROW, Tim Pringle introduced the vision for EAP to an Okanagan Basin audience. He is the Past-President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC; and the Chair, Ecological Accounting Protocol Initiative.


Ecological Accounting Protocol:
An Idea Whose Time Has Come

“The members of the presentation team at FLOWnGROW shared a theme, and that is: humans live on a globe with fragile conditions for life,” wrote Tim Pringle in providing his reflections on a takeaway message from the workshop.

2013-AGM_Tim-Pringle_headshot1_120p“Mankind lacks understanding of the spirit of nature and water. This inadequacy can be seen at the local scale in the failure of people to understand the innate capability of plants to survive dry conditions.”

“At the global scale, the full implications of mankind’s role in influencing climate change passes by most politicians and citizens.”

“At least we in the Partnership for Water Sustainability must stay committed to putting nature first and showing how that can be done.”

Guiding Principles

“There are some philosophical principles that guide us,” Tim Pringle remarked when he provided the audience with context for his presentation.

“Foremost is that water is an ecosystem. It supports all of the living ecology that we treasure for various reasons, and which underpins our settlements.”

“If we don’t have that water ecology, we won’t have our human settlements.”

“The other principle that guides us is that we know that practitioners have knowledge and ability to do things on the ground in a more successful, sustainable way than we often see.”

“The question is why hasn’t it happened? The Ecological Accounting Protocol is meant to address that question.”

To Learn More:

Below is the video of Tim’s presentation (24 minutes).

Historical Perspective

In his presentation, Tim Pringle provided a first-hand historical perspective on the genesis and evolution of green infrastructure approaches in British Columbia.

As the first (1988-2008) Executive Director of the Real Estate Foundation for BC, Tim Pringle played a pivotal role in providing seed funding that supported innovation and enabled leadership in the local government setting.

A Water-First Approach

“Tim Pringle’s presentation on ecological accounting was well-received, based as it is on the assumption that water ecology is the driving force of all living systems,” continues Eric Bonham, founding member of the Partnership for Water Sustainability, and moderator for Workshop Module A. He also provided a closing Eric Bonham_2012_120pcomment.

“Designing with nature is both timely and effectivem and ecological accounting is the effective tool to take us there. Ecological accounting once truly embraced, could significantly influence our approach to planning our communities assuming a designing with nature ethic.”

To Learn More:

Download Ecological Accounting Protocol: An Idea Whose Time Has Come to view a PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation by Tim Pringle.