DEMONSTRATION APPLICATION OF ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS: Bings / Menzies Creek in the Municipality of North Cowichan, completed in 2022


EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, is a pragmatic ‘made in BC’ approach to valuation of the ecological services supplied by a stream (one of our most common ecological systems). Think of it as a decision support tool for use by the community and local government.

EAP addresses this question: How do communities decide how much to invest in the natural commons? The EAP methodology and metrics enable a local government to  determine the WORTH of the natural commons, with ‘worth’ being the foundation for an annual budget for maintenance and maintenance of ecological assets.

EAP addresses loss of riparian integrity

“Viewed through the EAP lens, the strategic importance of the Bings / Menzies Creek project as a building block is that it culminated in the concept of the Riparian Deficit as the environmental equivalent of the Infrastructure Liability (gap or deficit). This is a powerful outcome,” stated Tim Pringle, EAP Chair.

“AP is about ensuring that streams survive in an urbanizing setting. The riparian deficit concept adds balance to the asset management conversation by giving equal weight to the environmental protection perspective and associated financial case for stream systems.”

Why the term ‘Riparian Deficit’?

“EAP interweaves financial, social, and ecological perspectives within a single number – the Natural Commons Asset Value – to establish the financial case for a stream corridor system. This foundation has two primary metrics or measures: the NCA financial value is expressed as $ per km of stream; the annual M&M budget is 1% of the NCA value consistent with accepted practice for constructed assets.”

“The NCA value is a measure of the Riparian Deficit which is a measure of the “loss of riparian integrity” due to land use intrusion into the regulated streamside setback zone.”

“Riparian Deficit is an effective way of encapsulating the underlying uniqueness of the EAP theory, methodology and metrics. It is used to interpret the full implications of the NCA financial value. Because EAP uses BC Assessment financial values for parcels, the resulting NCA number reflects social and ecological values.”

To Learn More:

Download and read a copy of the entire  Synthesis Report on EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, A B.C. Strategy for Community Investment in Stream Systems (2022), the 4th in the Beyond the Guidebook series of guidance documents.

Or, cut to the chase and read the 2-page extract titled Stage 3 (Mainstream) – Bings / Menzies Creek  in the Municipality of North Cowichan.

The 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.