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ecological accounting process

    BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2022 / FINANCIAL CASE FOR STREAMS: “Township staff are working on a long-term Ecological Services Initiative program. The Ecological Accounting Process analysis will be used to establish the baseline funding for payment to farmers,” stated Melisa Gunn, Agricultural Planner with the Township of Langley in the Metro Vancouver region, when she explained the rationale for including Bertrand Creek in the Partnership for Water Sustainability’s EAP program


    “To move the Ecological Services Initiative project forward, the Township of Langley was looking for a process that used real numbers to understand how to develop fair and equitable payments to farmers to enhance areas on their properties. Through the EAP work, the concept of ‘Riparian Deficit’ in the natural commons area highlights the shared responsibility of rural and urban landowners to maintain Bertrand Creek, an important asset in the Township. In the future, we can use EAP to expand the program to other watersheds,” stated Melisa Gunn.

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    FINANCIAL CASE FOR STREAMS: “EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, is remarkable in its simplicity and is pragmatic. EAP starts with an understanding of the parcel because that is how communities regulate and plan land use. It is the parcel level where you get the information that you need to change practice to protect natural assets,” stated Tim Pringle, EAP Chair, at the time of release of Beyond the Guidebook 2022


    “The vision for EAP set the challenge: develop a practical methodology, one that would be relevant to local government managers and the community, for determining the monetary value of drainage infrastructure and other services drawn (or adapted) to some degree from ecosystems. Initially, we saw EAP as a tool – that is, the EA Protocol – that would help practitioners calculate the opportunity cost of balancing ecological services with drainage infrastructure. However, the first demonstration applications revealed that the term EA Process more accurately describes the challenge of working with multiple intervenors,” stated Tim Pringle.

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    BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2022 / FINANCIAL CASE FOR STREAMS: If we know how to do a much better job of protecting ecological features and stream systems in our communities and on our landscape, then why aren’t we doing a better job? Why are streams still degrading?


    The process is in motion to operationalize a transition strategy over a 3-year period and initially embed the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) program in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI). “We believe that incorporating students from Vancouver Island University and other universities will support understanding and experience within municipal governments on the importance of EAP, and simply understanding EAP. Fortunately, most of VIU’s Master of Community Planning, and Master GIS students find themselves working within municipal governments,” stated Graham Sakaki.

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    ARTICLE: “The Ecological Accounting Process – A BC Collaborative Initiative” (Water Canada magazine, May-June 2022)


    “I reached out to Kim Stephens of the Partnership for Water Sustainability BC with an invitation to share more about the people, policy, and projects in BC, through penning an article for Water Canada magazine and sharing of relevant information. I am very keen on showcasing real world water projects, and the people whose lives they impact, with our national audience. The Ecological Accounting Process is a topic the Water Canada audience would really benefit from and that is why we featured it in the May-June 2022 issue,” stated Jen Smith, magazine editor.

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    DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Synthesis Report on Ecological Accounting Process, a BC Strategy for Community Investment in Stream Systems” (released June 2022)


    “Now that we have landed on the Riparian Deficit concept, we are able to reflect on the two issues which provided context for the journey: first, engineering measures are insufficient for stream and riparian protection; and secondly, the link to municipal asset management has not been clear. To reach the destination, we had to address and show how to overcome four challenges: one, a lack of measurable metrics; two, confusion over what is an asset versus a service; three, ignorance about how to quantify the financial value of natural assets with real numbers; and four, numerous one-off projects that fail to build improved asset management practice,” stated Tim Pringle.

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    DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: How Much Should Communities Invest in Protection of Stream Systems?” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in June 2022


    “Local governments need real numbers to deliver green infrastructure outcomes. It is that basic. Rhetoric is insufficient. EAP metrics are neither hypothetical nor speculative. They are grounded in the BC Assessment database. EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, is a foundation piece for Asset Management for Sustainable Drainage Service Delivery,” stated Kim Stephens. “Until now, local governments have lacked a pragmatic methodology and meaningful metrics. For those wishing to move from stopgap fixes to long-term solutions, EAP gives them a road map.”

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    DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Natural asset management… cutting through the rhetoric” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in May 2022


    “In 2015, the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) was an idea. The methodology and metrics recognize the importance of the stream in the landscape. It has been a 6-year journey to test, refine and mainstream the EAP methodology and metrics through a building blocks program of applied research. EAP is one of the ‘twin pillars’ for Asset Management for Sustainable Drainage Service Delivery. Water Balance Accounting, pillar number one, addresses changes on the land draining to the stream. Ecological Accounting, pillar number two, addresses changes within a stream corridor. Integration of the two is the goal,” stated Tim Pringle.

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    DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British  Columbia: Asset management is an awkward term and confuses everyone” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in April 2022


    By focusing on the distinction between a “plan” and a “strategy”, the article by Wally Wells goes to the heart of OUTPUT-oriented versus OUTCOME-oriented approaches. That is the takeaway message. He has drawn attention to the need to retrain elected representatives to look at “plans” differently and think about risks and consequences for the community because of a Council doing or not doing things. “For decades we have trained our elected officials how to think and what to do with a plan. But now, with the Asset Management Plan, we want them to do something completely different,” stated Wally Wells.

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    DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Local Governments Need Real Numbers to Deliver Green Infrastructure Outcomes” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in March 2022


    “The message about ‘getting it right’ is a good summary of the green infrastructure goal of EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process. But it goes far beyond that thought. Not only do local governments have to make the financial case for stream restoration, they also actually now have to do it! But, the Partnership team wondered, what is the look ahead for readers of Construction Business magazine? The editorial challenge was to make a bridge from the regular construction world to the Partnership’s watershed world. An invitation to the reader of the article became a desired goal,” stated Ray Fung.

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    DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Sustainable Service Delivery for Watershed Systems” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in March 2022


    “At the Workshop, I explained that implementation of asset management along with the associated evolution of local government thinking is a continuous process, not a discrete task. Some local governments are advanced. Some are just starting out. Over time, capacity and expertise will increase for asset management. We are saying the same thing for integration of natural assets. Local governments, over time, will progress. A desired outcome is that they will eventually incorporate natural capital into their asset management processes,” stated Glen Brown.

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