“Good things happen when nature is part of the equation,” writes Michele Molnar about the Town of Gibsons Eco-Asset Strategy

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Nature is a Fundamental Component of a Municipal Infrastructure System

Local governments are faced with three interconnected issues. The first is to manage more effectively infrastructure and assets that underpin quality of life and economic productivity in an era of scarce resources. The second is to contain costs, taxes and risks.  The third is to maintain community resilience in the face of challenges, including climatic variability and extremes.Emanuel Machado_2014_4_120p

“The Town of Gibsons has developed and is implementing an Eco-Asset Strategy which recognizes the role of nature as a fundamental component of the municipal infrastructure system, leading to a greater understanding of the value of ecosystems services and improved financial and operational management plans of the community’s natural assets,” reports Emanuel Machado, Chief Administrative Officer.

Manage Risk and Save Costs

“The David Suzuki Foundation, with a team of B.C. Institute of Technology students, is developing the business case for the town’s creeks and woodlands as part of Gibsons’ Eco-Asset Strategy. We are building a model to estimate the replacement, maintenance and monitoring costs of ecosystem services that mimic built infrastructure. The model is designed so that other municipalities, regardless of their size, can copy this approach,” wrote Michele Molnar.

“By incorporating both kinds of infrastructure, Gibsons is not only managing risk but is also saving costs and adding flexibility to its management approach.”Michele Molnar_Suzuki Foundation_120P

Michele Molnar is an Environmental Economist and Policy Analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation. She leads the Lower Mainland Natural Capital Project, which focuses on the conservation of natural capital using various tools of ecological economics, policy analysis, and public outreach. She also teaches Introduction to Ecological Economics at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

To Learn More:

To download and read the complete article posted by the David Suzuki Foundation, click on Good things happen when nature is part of the equation.

To read an article about the Town of Gibsons, click on Leading Change in British Columbia: “Bring nature into the DNA of decision-making to build resilient communities,” says Emanuel Machado, Town of Gibsons CAO