STORY BEHIND THE STORY OF EAP, THE ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS: “The asset management planning and the community planning frameworks resemble each other; planning is planning is planning. Collaboration can strategically and proactively ensure the ongoing essential reliable levels of services,” stated Christine Callihoo, community climate resilience and adaptation planner
Note to Reader:
A vision for fully integrated and sustainable service delivery in BC: Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework points the way to a holistic and integrated approach to asset management. Nature, and the ecosystem services that it provides, are viewed as a fundamental and integral part of a community’s infrastructure system. This is not to suggest that all ecosystem services provide a municipal function. The ultimate vision for fully integrated Sustainable Service Delivery is that communities would protect, preserve, restore, and manage “natural assets” in the same way that they manage their engineered assets.
Asset management + Natural assets + Climate change adaptation = Community resiliency
“Community resilience is defined as the sustained ability of a community to utilize available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations while continuing to deliver critical community services,” stated Christine Calihoo. She is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University.
Christine Calihoo teaches community planning, climate adaptation, community resiliency with a specific focus upon integrated asset management (including natural assets and climate change).
Community planning = Asset management planning
“The goal of enabling and supporting community resiliency also brings to the fore the role of land use and community planning; the very profession that develops the policy and plans that either enable or impede the resiliency we seek.”
“With the changing climate, natural hazards may increase in frequency, duration and level of impact. The exposure of people, property and other community assets (systems) to natural hazards can result in disasters, depending on the impacts.”
“The track record of urban settlements being perpetuated in hazardous areas with little abatement has resulted in an increase in vulnerability of our assets which results in the degradation of these assets and interruptions in the expected levels of service. Therefore, the call to encourage registered professional planners to come together with asset managers becomes an understandable priority.”
“Further, in reviewing both the asset management planning framework and the community planning framework, one readily notes that these frameworks resemble each other; planning is planning is planning. And to that end, the incorporation of climate change into business as usual is clarified by way of the planning process: Asset management + Natural assets + Climate change adaptation = Community resiliency.”
To Learn More:
Read an article by Christine Calihoo titled It is all about the provision of services: So why not strategically incorporate natural assets and climate change? It was published as the featured story in the Summer 2021 edition of the Asset Management BC Newsletter. The above statements are extracts from the article.
Adapting Sustainable Service Delivery to Climate Realities
“A constant challenge for planning is not to prevent past events, but instead is to use past experiences to inform and create flexible strategies for the present and the future. Furthermore, this need for flexibility is not restricted to the immediate scope of the problem at hand; but must also consider the broader juggling of evolving local government priorities and service demands,” states Robert Hicks, Senior Policy and Process Engineer, City of Vancouver.
“This leads to the challenge of assessing problems with sufficient complexity to arrive at flexible and resilient solutions. while at the same time not being overwhelmed and paralyzed by over-analysis. When the climate is changing, an over-arching goal would be to build in resiliency that addresses risk. There is no silver bullet.”
To Learn More:
Read the Part B of the EAP Synthesis Report which is titled: Story Behind the Story of Sustainable Drainage Service Delivery
To understand the complete story of EAP, download a copy of Ecological Accounting Process, A B.C. Strategy for Community Investment in Stream Systems (2022). This Synthesis Report is a distillation of over 1000 pages of case study documentation into a storyline that is conversational and written for a continuum of audiences that includes land use practitioners, asset managers, stream stewards, and local government decision-makers.