DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCE: “The essence of why collaboration works is that it increases the impact for everyone – and that’s the social lens for EAP,” explained Tim Pringle, EAP Chair, after the Partnership for Water Sustainability released ‘An Introduction to the Ecological Accounting Process’ at the Parksville 2019 Symposium (April 2019)


Funded by the governments of Canada and BC, the capacity-building program branded as Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management is designed to inform and educate local governments and stakeholders about the whole-system, water balance approach. The program includes the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) to value the ‘water balance services’ provided by nature. 

At the Parksville 2019 Symposium, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC released a 4-page booklet titled An Introduction to the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP). This handout supported a panel presentation by Tim Pringle, EAP Chair.

What is EAP?

“The ecological accounting process (EAP) provides metrics that enable communities to appreciate the worth of natural assets.  These resources provide numerous public benefits in the form of ecological services,” explains Tim Pringle, Chair, EAP Initiative.

“EAP also calculates the dollar value of the land occupied by the natural commons, thus providing a basis for budgeting maintenance and enhancement expenditures.  The natural commons has a corollary – the constructed commons.”

Why We Need EAP

“EAP provides a means to measure the worth and value of ecological services which communities draw or expect to secure from the natural commons,” continues Tim Pringle.

“Water pathways, hydrology, is the engine that powers ecological services. Thus, maintenance (prevent degradation) and management (enhancement) of ecological services requires a watershed or creekshed view.  As John Henneberry of the University of Sheffield in England notes, nature cannot be sliced and diced to suit land development.”

How EAP will Help Local Government

“The worth of ecological services remains obscure in land use practices,” concludes Tim Pringle. “In our history of land use, the constructed commons has had complete financial cost accounting (Public Sector Accounting Handbook, section PS3150) as assets valued by purchase price, acquisition and installations costs, and outlays for betterments.  The section does not apply to natural resources; “for flora and fauna occurring naturally, or in their natural state, they are by definition a natural resource, or biological resources, and therefore excluded.

“EAP addresses this imbalance by focusing on the philosophy that use and conservation of land are equal values and ought to be measured equally.”


To download a copy of the booklet that was released at the Parksville Water Stewardship Symposium in April 2019, click on An Introduction to the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP).

To view the presentation by Tim Pringle, click on YOUTUBE VIDEOS: Worth of Ecological Services – “What are the commons? Those are places in the community that everyone has a right to access, and draw value from. There are two kinds of commons – natural and constructed,” stated Tim Pringle, Chair of the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) Initiative, at the Parksville 2019 Symposium