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TREECONOMICS: “We can now calculate the exact value of a tree, from shade to beauty. Doing so could be the best way to protect them – and plan the forests of the future,” wrote Simon Usborne in the NewScientist


“Scientists have long known that trees have far more to offer us than pleasant feelings. Around the turn of the century, organisations like the World Bank and the UN Environment Programme pushed for a rigorous valuation of the merits not just of trees, but of rocks, rivers, soils and sediments too. The result was the landmark Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of 2005, which put a price on the services humans gain from nature,” wrote Simon Usborne.

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THE ECONOMY REALLY NEEDS MORE TREES BECAUSE: “There’s growing recognition of the crucial role of urban green spaces in helping reduce chronic, non-communicable physical and mental health problems,” wrote Ross Gittins, Economics Editor for the Sydney Morning Herald


“Academics at the universities of Melbourne and Tasmania examined 2.2 million messages on Twitter and found that tweets made from parks contained more positive content – and less negativity – than tweets coming from built-up areas,” wrote Ross Gittins. “Why are people in parks likely to be happier? Because parks help them to recover from the stress and mental strain of living in cities, and provide a place to exercise, meet other people or attend special events.”

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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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DESIGN WITH NATURE: “People often think of urban landscapes as concrete dystopias, but the future may reside in cities that can sustain both people and nature,” wrote John Lieber in an Op-Ed published by The Revelator (Dec 2018)


“I’m excited about the future of cities for people, plants and animals. I’m grateful for all the unsung heroes who have created a foundation for green cities through science, education and implementation,” wrote John Lieber. “I’m encouraged to be playing a part in facilitating it by working with governments, developers, architects and builders to implement green infrastructure and create green strategies. The future of urban ecology is not dark but bright.”

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Improving Wellbeing through Urban Nature: “We aim to find out more about how Sheffield’s natural environment can improve the health & wellbeing of city residents” – Dr Anna Jorgensen, Lead Researcher


“My research interests focus around the ways in which different people experience, interact with, understand and represent landscape; and the desire to see a more holistic and environmentally friendly approach to planning and designing urban greenspace and green structure,” stated Anna Jorgensen. “My aim is often to challenge professional ideas about what might be publicly acceptable, and to test/explore established theoretical frameworks from different academic disciplines that are relevant to my field of enquiry.”

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VALUATION OF NATURE’S SERVICES: “Quantifying and valuing nature are complex tasks. Undertaking them alters our conception of nature. As a result of it, nature appears more fragmented,” wrote Professor John Henneberry (University of Sheffield) in a ‘think piece’ published in The Conversation (Dec 2018)


“Over the last decade, an industry has developed that values different aspects of nature in different ways,” wrote John Henneberry. “Nature appears more fragmented because we have to slice it into categories and dice those categories into bits before we can value bits of those bits. The sum of these parts is far short of the whole and does not capture the interconnectedness and holism of nature. In addition, our view of nature is biased to those aspects of it that can be measured and particularly to those that can be valued.”

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“A core message of restorative development is that we can decrease our destructive footprint while at the same time increasing our restorative footprint,” stated Storm Cunningham, author of The Restoration Economy & global thought leader


“During the last two decades of the twentieth century, we failed to notice a turning point of immense significance,” wrote Storm Cunningham. “New development – the development mode that has dominated the past three centuries – lost significant ‘market share’ to another mode:restorative development. How could we miss a story like that? The major driver of economic growth in the twenty-first century will be redeveloping our nations, revitalizing our cities, and rehabilitating and expanding our ecosystems.”

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OPINION PIECE: “British Columbia is one of the last places on the planet where it is still possible to transcend the climate debate and create a better world,” wrote Bob Sandford, EPCOR Chair, Water Security, United Nations University (Vancouver Sun, September 2018)


“This past summer (2018), if you wanted to know what climate change will mean to your future, all you had to do was be outside to see what is to come. The entire Northern Hemisphere was impacted by extreme weather – drought, forest fires or flooding,” wrote Bob Sandford. “BC is at a moment of truth. Will BC adapt? Water defines B.C., and the rhythms of water are changing. We have the knowledge and tools to restore balance to the water cycle. Can we, will we? Most importantly, will we get it right?”

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“Sometimes the scale of change seems overwhelming. But little changes, carried out by a lot of people is a positive move in the right direction as we adapt to living on a changing world,” says Bob McDonald, host of Quirks & Quarks on CBC Radio, on commenting on a new report from the Intact Centre titled Too Small to Fail


“The biggest contributor to flooding is the fact that excess water from heavy storms has nowhere to go,” wrote Bob McDonald. “As our urban areas grow, we have covered what was once porous forest floor or plant-covered land with pavement, sidewalks, driveways and patios. One solution is to make the urban landscape more porous, so the water can sink into the ground rather than accumulate on the streets and in basements. It is a harsh reality that we need to adapt to a changing planet.”

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Kus-kus-sum Restoration on the Courtenay River on Vancouver Island: K’omoks First Nation, City of Courtenay and Project Watershed Make History for Greener Planet


“Restoring this cultural and historically significant site is a vision KFN shares with Project Watershed and the City of Courtenay. KFN’s interest in the site is largely based on its strong cultural significance,” stated Chief Councillor Nicole Remple, K’omoks First Nation. “Being stewards of the lands and waters, it is inherently our duty to restore and assist in the rehabilitation of the natural habitat of the salmon and various marine and wildlife in this area. It is our hope for the future that our skilled Guardian Watchmen participate in the restoration and maintenance of the site for our future generations.”

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