Municipalities play vital roles both in protecting and preserving natural capital and ecosystem services and in providing citizens with core services. Some municipalities are linking these imperatives by developing a quantifiable financial and operational understanding of core municipal services (e.g. storm water management) that are provided by natural capital (e.g. forests and wetlands).
The Municipal workstream of the Natural Capital Lab aims to support, amplify and enhance these municipal efforts through two projects:
The first project will support the integration of natural capital in asset management software and record keeping systems. Municipalities across Canada take a variety of approaches to record and manage their assets, and some have begun to include natural capital in the scope of their activities. However, the degree to which the software and record keeping systems are suited to recording details of natural capital assets varies. The project will research, identify and develop ways to upgrade or enhance existing systems, with a potential outcome being municipalities being able to more readily accommodate and integrate natural capital.
The second project will develop detailed case studies of municipalities that are integrating natural capital into various types of decision-making. Five of these case studies will focus on the current Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI) pilot projects in British Columbia and Ontario. MNAI is a core partner of the Natural Capital Lab. Additional case studies – potentially another five – will be selected through the Natural Capital Lab’s networks and partners.
Potential outcomes of this project include a strengthened understanding in local governments of “good practice” to support and stimulate additional natural capital projects and activities in more Canadian municipalities.
Immediate next steps include interviews and research to identify partner municipalities for both projects and identification of resource availability and needs for project implementation.
Mike Puddister, Deputy CAO & Director Watershed Transformation, Credit Valley Conservation Authority
Vince Deschamps, Registered Planner and Ecologist, Deschamps Consulting
Susan Todd, Principal, Solstice Sustainability Works Inc.
Michelle Sawka, Project Manager, Green Infrastructure Ontario
Sara Wilson, Principal Consultant, Natural Capital Research and Consulting
Monica Sood , Principal, Strategy, Risk and Performance Management, Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Canada
Nasha Spence, Environmental Accounting Manager, City of Saskatoon
Roy Brooke, Director, Municipal Natural Asset Initiative
Tatiana Koveshnikova, Senior Project Coordinator of Ecological Goods & Services, Credit Valley Conservation Authority
Jeff Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Green Analytics
Stephanie Thorne , Accountant, South East Regional Service Commission
James Bornemann, Geomatics Analyst, South East Regional Service Commission
Thomas Bowers, Senior Research & Policy Analyst, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
Michelle Molnar, Environmental Economist and Policy Analyst, David Suzuki Foundation
Nelson Chan, Chief Financial Officer, Capital Regional District and Capital Regional Hospital District