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Published Articles

ARTICLE: “An outcome of relationship building by MABRRI is that the process connects VIU students to regional project partners. As a result, we gain valuable research and work experience,” stated Ariel Verhoeks, graduate student, when commenting on how the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute, located at Vancouver Island University, is collaborating with the Partnership for Water Sustainability (Waterbucket eNews, January 2021)


The Partnership for Water Sustainability’s vision is to nest EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, within a university program for training the next generation of land use professionals. “Because MABRRI establishes meaningful partnerships that encourage involvement of students attending Vancouver Island University, research projects benefit from the interdisciplinary strengths of students. Collaboration is mutually beneficial. We students benefit because the projects provide us with research experience that is relevant to us,” stated Ariel Verhoeks.

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ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: “Local governments require a methodology and metrics to operationalize ‘maintenance and management’ (M&M) of stream corridor systems under the umbrella of their Asset Management Plans,” stated Tim Pringle, Chair of the Ecological Accounting Process Initiative, in an article published in the Winter 2021 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter


“A central idea of the EAP methodology is that a stream system has a ‘package of ecological services’.  This concept refers to the combined range of uses desired by the community. Three key words capture the essence of what the phrase ‘range of uses’ means, namely: drainage, recreation and habitat. This is plain language that elected Councils and Boards understand,” stated Tim Pringle. “The EAP methodology has evolved as we have learned from, and adapted, each successive case study application. Each situation is unique, but the approach is universally applicable.”

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ARTICLE: “An outcome of EAP evolution is the identification of an eco-terminology framework that is appropriate and relevant to municipal asset management,” stated Tim Pringle, the pragmatic visionary leading EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process initiative underway in British Columbia (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Winter 2020)


“Asset management professionals need to be aware of bias that may be implicit in traditional terminology for evaluation of ecosystem approaches. Bias comes into play in one or more of the following three ways. First, whether one breaks the ecological system into its parts, or looks at the system as a whole. Secondly, whether the analytical focus is solely on financial values, or also takes into account social values. Finally, whether the guiding philosophy for valuation primarily is influenced by academia and scientific arguments, or by how the community uses the natural commons (stream corridor),” stated Tim Pringle.

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ARTICLE: Sustainable Service Delivery in a Changing Climate – “EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, provides metrics that enable communities to appreciate the worth of natural assets,” states Tim Pringle (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Fall 2019)


“Traditionally land development is implemented under criteria set out in local government bylaws and other legislation. So-called proven practices of development follow a usual sequence: the community plan, zoning, institutional uses, parks and public spaces, and infrastructure including roads and drainage. This traditional approach does not appreciate hydrology and the streams it supports as systems. EAP addresses this specific deficiency,” explains Tim Pringle.

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ARTICLE: “At the Parksville 2019 Water Stewardship Symposium, Tim Pringle will speak to the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) in the context of restorative development. His focus is on how to make it straightforward for communities to calculate “THE WORTH” of ecological services and incorporate this information in financial plans,” foreshadowed Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia (Asset Management BC Newsletter, February 2019)


“The ‘worth’ of a creekshed (i.e. small watershed) is defined in terms of a package of ecological services made possible by the hydrology. More specifically, hydrology means the three pathways by which rain reaches the stream and ecological services refers to the benefits that streams provide to us. This includes flood and erosion regulation, nutrient cycling, habitat, groundwater recharge, etc. The way we have historically developed and drained land has disconnected hydrology from ecology,” stated Kim Stephens.

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ARTICLE: A pillar of Sustainable Watershed Systems, the Ecological Accounting Process has the potential to transform how communities make decisions about creekshed restoration (an op-ed published in the Vancouver Sun (June 2, 2018)


Hydrology is the engine that powers ecological services. Thus, integration of the Partnership for Water Sustainability’s work within the BC Framework should accelerate implementation of the whole-system, water balance approach at the heart of the Partnership’s ‘Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management’ program. “The Ecological Accounting Process, EAP, establishes what the definable benefits of ecological services derived from creekshed hydrology are, what they may be worth to stakeholders, and how they may be maintained and enhanced,” wrote Tim Pringle.

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ARTICLE: “The Ecological Accounting Protocol for valuing watersheds as infrastructure assets is the lynch-pin for driving change. EAP deals with the monetary value of renewable services provided by natural assets,” stated Kim Stephens (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Summer 2017)


“Under the EAP framework, the reference to natural assets means ecosystems of watersheds. The EAP methodology focuses on drainage and water balance services because this is of direct relevance to local government decision-making. The vision for EAP is that adoption of the guiding philosophy and approach would contribute significantly overall to local government plans for asset management, the sustainability of watershed natural assets, as well as administrative and financial capacity of local government,” stated Kim Stephens.

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Ecological Accounting Protocol – A Tool to Calculate the Opportunity Cost of Drainage Infrastructure


“The EAP approach begins by first recognizing the importance of a stream in a natural state and then asking: how can we maintain those ecological values while allowing the stream to be used for drainage,” states Jim Dumont. Benefits of the whole-system approach would include less flooding, less stream erosion, and more streamflow during dry weather when needed most.

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ARTICLE: What Gets Measured Can Be Managed – “Over the past year, we have improved the logic of the Ecological Accounting Protocol,” wrote Tim Pringle, EAP Initiative Chair (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Winter 2017)


“The Ecological Accounting Protocol is about specific values (pricing) – not imputed, generalized values,” wrote Tim Pringle. “Since cost-avoidance, at least perceived cost-avoidance, motivates much of the decision-making process about infrastructure, and development in general, why has the obvious role of natural assets been omitted to date? The Ecological Accounting Protocol suggests it is the lack of measurement.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2011: The Most Efficient Infrastructure is ‘Design with Nature’ – Start With Water Sustainability (President’s Perspective – an article by Tim Pringle foreshadowed development of the Ecological Accounting Protocol)


“Designing with nature is efficient. It amounts to using income from natural capital rather than drawing down the resource,” wrote Tim Pringle. “The key principle is that settlement and ecology are equal values. This condition is prerequisite for designing with nature and it supports better control of the life-cycle costs of providing infrastructure for the built environment.”

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