GUIDANCE DOCUMENT: “Primer on Integrating Natural Assets into Asset Management” builds on foundations established by two initiatives – EAP, Ecological Accounting Process; and MNAI, Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (released by Asset Management BC, September 2019)
Note to Reader:
Launched in 2015, Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework sets a strategic direction for local government service delivery. It refocuses business processes on how constructed and natural assets are used to deliver services, and support outcomes that reduce life-cycle costs and address risks.
- Climate Change and Asset Management
- Integrating Natural Assets with Asset Management
- The Role of Operations & Maintenance in Asset Management
- Land Use Planning and Asset Management
In the introduction to the Primer on Integrating Natural Assets with Asset Management, it states that the Primer “builds on the foundations established by these initiatives”: 1) Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan; 2) EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, a program of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC; 3) the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI).
Sustainable Delivery of Core Services
The BC Framework Primer opens with this perspective: “The sustainability of core service delivery is a concern for local governments across Canada. Rather than continuing to attempt to do more with less, local governments have an opportunity to do things differently – and achieve better results – by including natural assets in asset management processes.”
The Primer emphasizes that: “By considering natural assets within asset management processes, local governments can decrease capital, operations, and maintenance costs; increase levels of service; enhance their ability to adapt to climate change; and reduce the community’s unfunded liabilities – all while protecting or enhancing the multitude of other benefits that natural asset bring to communities.”
The Primer introduces EAP and MNAI with this statement: “Significant strides have been made in natural asset management in British Columbia and across Canada. Several initiatives have built on each other, forming a foundation for local governments to increase their consideration of the potential of natural assets.”
Understanding Natural Assets as Ecological Systems and Services
Establishing the Context: “Local governments have long had environmental protection tools in place; however, their scope is limited. These tools typically focus on protecting natural assets for a narrow set of environmental functions, rather than managing them for the role that they play in the delivery of core services,” the Primer explains.
“Integrating natural assets into asset management processes does not replace these tools; however, doing so leads to a full understanding of the role of natural assets in sustainable service delivery and how local governments can integrate the protection, maintenance, and enhancement of these assets into strategic and operational decision-making.”
Genesis of EAP and MNAI: “The two initiatives are outcomes flowing from the tireless determination of two pioneers, MNAI Chair Emanuel Machado and EAP Chair Tim Pringle, to transform how local governments view ecological systems and the services they provide. Development of both MNAI and EAP began around 2015,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.
“EAP and MNAI represent two points along a ‘green infrastructure continuum’. They are recent evolutions in an ongoing process in BC which dates back three decades. EAP and MNAI share the philosophy that communities can do a much better job of understanding, using and protecting the ecological services available to them in the local landscape.”
To Learn More:
To read the complete story, click on GUIDANCE DOCUMENT: “Primer on Integrating Natural Assets into Asset Management” builds on foundations established by two initiatives – EAP, Ecological Accounting Process; and MNAI, Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (released by Asset Management BC, September 2019)