RDN Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Program

    DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Accounting for Stream Systems in Asset Management”, released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in June 2021

    “The EAP methodology reflects the understanding that landowners adjacent to the stream corridor and setback zone (30 metres on both sides of the stream) and the broader community share responsibility for and benefit from the condition of the stream as well as the financial and ecological value of the land it occupies. The study’s intent was to pilot the EAP in the context of the Millstone River, an important ecological feature in the Nanaimo region, to test the methodology and take away learnings for further refinement in future applications,” stated Julie Pisani.

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    REPORT ON: “Millstone River – A Natural Commons in the Regional District of Nanaimo: Operationalizing the Ecological Accounting Process for Financial Valuation of Stream Corridor Systems within an Asset Management Plan” (Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC; released March 2021)

    “The research and analyses confirm that in recent decades the community has gained an understanding of the Millstone River corridor as a natural commons or ecological system offering a range of uses or services. Changes to official plans and regulations provide measures to improve maintenance and management of these natural commons. The combination of Natural Commons Asset metrics and riparian assessment has provided starting point for building early support for investment in restoring riparian woodlands and native vegetation,” stated Tim Pringle.

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    FINANCIAL VALUATION OF STREAM CORRIDORS AS ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS:“A central idea of the EAP methodology is that a stream is a land use. If the stream did not exist, the land it occupies would be in the same use as nearby development. A stream is a land use because the area of the setback zone is defined in regulations,” stated Tim Pringle, Chair, Ecological Accounting Process Initiative (May 2021)

    EAP satisfies a local government need for a financial methodology and metrics for valuation of ecological assets. Most importantly, EAP interweaves the financial, social and ecological perspectives within a single number. This number is defined as the Natural Commons Asset (NCA) value. “The EAP methodology focuses on the historical and current land use practices that have changed landscapes, modified hydrology, and have led to present-day community perceptions of the worth of the stream or creekshed and the ecological services it provides. A whole-system understanding is the starting point for developing meaningful metrics,” stated Tim Pringle.

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    SHORT-TERM GRATIFICATION VS INTER-GENERATIONAL LEGACY: “If we truly want our governments to shift from short-term to longer term thinking, as voters we must then be prepared to support – and re-elect – those politicians who bring in such policies and legislation, even if those initiatives negatively impact us personally today,” stated Joan Sawicki, a former Speaker of the BC Legislative Assembly and Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks during the period 1991 through 2001

    “Not many people understand the decision-making process that politicians and public employees go through in attempts to address ‘the public interest’. Voters often send mixed messages. While it is perfectly legitimate to hold politicians’ “feet to the fire”, there is some justification to do the reverse as well! It is sometimes too convenient to blame politicians for the short term thinking hole that we are in. In a representative democracy, politicians can only lead where people are prepared to follow,” stated Joan Sawicki.

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