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Presentations

URBAN DESIGN & THE PACKAGE OF ECOLOGICAL SERVICES: “The ‘Comox story’ is indeed a blueprint for what the phrase hard work of hope means in practice,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability, when he met with Comox Town Council to present the 8th in the Watershed Case Profile Series (September 2019)


“For the past decade, elected representatives and staff in the Town of Comox have quietly and without much fanfare been on a journey,” states Kim Stephens. “The Town’s journey is ongoing, and involves building blocks. This Watershed Case Profile takes stock of milestone moments along the way, with a focus on lessons that can be replicated. The Partnership has identified the Town of Comox as a ‘beacon of hope’ because of the precedents it has established when implementing the twin pillars of the whole-system, water balance approach to land development.”

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ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS: “Looking through the ‘worth lens’ culminated in a fundamental shift in philosophy regarding how to value natural assets in Comox,” stated Marvin Kamenz, the Town’s Municipal Planner, in his presentation at the Parksville 2019 Symposium – watch on YouTube!


At Parksville 2019, Marvin Kamenz elaborated on three building blocks in the evolution of the Town’s incremental process for implementing changes in development practices: lower Brooklyn Corridor, North East Comox, and new areas tributary to the middle Brooklyn Corridor. “The Town of Comox recognizes that ecological services are core municipal services,” stated Marvin Kamenz. “For the middle reach of Brooklyn Creek, we changed the approach to stormwater management in mid-project to focus on the protection and enhancement of the ‘Package of Ecological Services’.”

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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


“EAP offers some insights on the importance of considering the natural commons as systems that residents, property owners and local governments rely on, but understand only to a limited extent,” stated Tim Pringle. “The commons are those resources in the community that are shared by and available to all residents and property owners. From a human settlement point of view, the reality of the commons provides a way to understand the social realities of managing ecological systems. EAP helps communities calculate what ecological services are worth.”

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ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS: “EAP provides a methodology to establish what it is worth to the community to invest in ongoing maintenance and management of a creekshed,” stated Kim Stephens when he updated Metro Vancouver elected representatives about successes flowing from inter-regional collaboration (Sept 2018)


“On behalf of the Metro Vancouver Utilities Committee, I invited Kim Stephens to provide us with an update on inter-regional collaboration through the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative,” stated Mayor Darrell Mussatto, Chair. In 2017-2018, federal-provincial funding enabled the Partnership to complete two demonstration applications of the Ecological Accounting Process on Vancouver Island.

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YOUTUBE VIDEO: “The Town of Comox is a leader among municipalities in taking care of a ‘creekshed’ and enjoying a package of ecological services provided by it,” stated Tim Pringle when he debriefed Council about the Brooklyn Creek Demonstration Application of the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP)


“This demonstration application of the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) has endeavoured to establish what the Brooklyn Creekshed may be worth from the point of view of investments made in the lower catchment by the Town of Comox and other intervenors / managers. As well, this demonstration application of a systems approach provides context for identifying future opportunities to access more ecological services from the middle and upper catchments of the creekshed to serve human demands as well as the intrinsic needs of nature,” stated Tim Pringle.

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YOUTUBE VIDEO: “The worth of a creekshed is a package of ecological services made possible by the hydrology,” stated Tim Pringle, Chair, Ecological Accounting Process (EAP), an initiative of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia


“EAP would help stakeholders / managers determine whether or not they should change practices and adopt new strategies regarding the ecological systems in the stream corridor, riparian zone and the entire watershed. EAP would contribute to a range of stakeholder interests and needs,” stated Tim Pringle. “Taking action would depend on what they think the creekshed is worth. The next step is doing. A strategy is the path to success, and becomes our primary interface with the world.”

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Early outcomes of ‘Ecological Accounting Process’ showcased at Blue Ecology Workshop (November 2017) – “This unique approach accounts for the ecological services made possible by watershed hydrology,” said Tim Pringle, EAP Chair


“Initially, we saw EAP as a tool (i.e. ‘the protocol’) that would help practitioners calculate the opportunity cost of balancing ecological services with drainage infrastructure. However, our thinking has evolved over the past year. Testing the approach through two demonstration applications has resulted in this defining conclusion: EAP is a process, not a protocol. Thus, we are rebranding EAP as the Ecological Accounting Process,” stated Tim Pringle.

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“The Ecological Accounting Protocol is the lynch-pin for achieving Sustainable Watershed Systems through a whole-system, water balance approach,” stated Kim Stephens at a meeting of Metro Vancouver’s Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group (Nov 2016)


“The emphasis in using the Ecological Accounting Protocol (EAP) would be on adaptive management design, rather than a prescriptive approach,” stated Kim Stephens. “The essence of EAP is that ‘Optimum Infrastructure Design = Watershed Health’. Optimum implies preserving hydrologic integrity plus achieving best opportunity-cost outcomes in the long-term. The watershed defines what goes into EAP.”

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ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROTOCOL: “To protect watershed health, engineered infrastructure ought to fit into natural systems, rather than the other way around,” stated Tim Pringle at the FLOWnGROW workshop (Nov 2016)


The Protocol is an economic tool to make real the notion of ‘watersheds as infrastructure assets’. “There are some philosophical principles that guide us,” stated Tim Pringle. “Foremost is that water is an ecosystem. It supports all of the living ecology that we treasure. The other principle is that we know that practitioners have knowledge and ability to do things on the ground in a more successful, sustainable way than we often see.”

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