DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCE: “The purpose of EAP is to enable local governments to establish values for the ecological services of streams and the land occupied by the stream,” states Tim Pringle, Chair, Ecological Accounting Process (September 2020)

Note to Reader:

In 2016, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia embarked on a 3-stage program for testing, refining and mainstreaming the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) as a tool to support Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery in the local government sector. By the end of 2021, ten demonstration applications will have been completed in five regional districts on the east coast of Vancouver Island and in the Metro Vancouver region.

Local governments have existing tools in the form of policies and legislation for ‘maintenance and management’ (M&M) of ecological assets, which are used for infrastructure services. What they lack is a pragmatic methodology and meaningful metrics to support decision-making and implementation.

EAP provides local governments with a methodology and metrics that have not previously been available. The context for application of EAP is in 1st order sub-watersheds – that is, “creeksheds” – in an urban setting. 

To learn more, download A High-Level Overview of EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, a 2-page synopsis of key inf0rmation.

Natural assets support the delivery of core local government services, while doing so much more

“Natural assets support the delivery of core local government services, while doing so much more. EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, is a multi-year program in British Columbia that is facilitating the move from awareness to action that accounts for ecological systems and services. What do you wonder about the EAP? In response to queries from the curious, the Partnership for Water Sustainability has prepared a 2-page downloadable resource that paints a picture of the EAP methodology in general terms. It is written to inform a high-level and introductory conversation,” states Tim Pringle, EAP Chair.

For three decades, Tim Pringle has worked tirelessly to pioneer, develop and evolve a guiding philosophy, pragmatic strategy and meaningful metrics for valuing the services provided by nature; and for establishing budgets for maintenance and management.

Why EAP?

“In Canada and elsewhere there is a resurgence of conservation and stewardship activity in recent decades.  Much of it focuses on lakes, rivers, streams, aquifers and other water assets.  Its proponents include non-profit organizations, foundations, local governments, provincial ministries and others,” explains Tim Pringle.

“For many, the mission of this endeavour concerns protection of these natural assets by preventing degradation and enhancing functioning condition. Practitioners want to find effective strategies and successful maintenance and management practices.”

Application of EAP

“The EAP approach focuses on BC communities and their rural and urban settled areas where streams occur as ecological systems. 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 may provide.”

Methodology and Metrics

“Actually translating policy objectives into tangible outcomes requires that local governments have a methodology and metrics for valuing ecological assets and services in an asset management strategy,” continues Tim Pringle.

“Once you have a number for better maintenance and management of ecological assets, what do you do with that number? Putting it into play requires an understanding of how local government processes work.”

Provincial Context

In September 2019, Asset Management BC released the Primer on Integrating Natural Assets with Asset Management[1]. The Primer opens with this context and then introduces EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process:

“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.”

Asset Management BC is co-chaired by UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities), and the BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

To Learn More:

DOWNLOAD a copy of A High-Level Overview of EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process