LEADERSHIP & GOVERNANCE BREAKOUT: Ecological Governance – Managing A Community’s Natural Capital
Gibsons’ natural capital assets, and the ecosystem services they provide, are a fundamental and integral part of the Town’s infrastructure. Natural capital assets provide clear advantages over engineered (or grey) infrastructure. They are cheaper to operate and maintain, if not degraded; may provide “free” ecosystem services; do not depreciate, if properly managed, and are carbon neutral, or even carbon-positive.
Gibsons is one the first Canadian municipalities to explore managing the natural capital such as green space, aquifers, foreshore area, and creeks, using infrastructure and financial management concepts that are systematically applied to managing engineered assets. The rationale is that the services provided by these systems, in the form of rainwater management, flood control, and water purification, have tangible value to the community as, or more, effective as engineered infrastructure.
The Town of Gibsons will share its experience in developing their Eco-Assets Strategy, including:
- The economic and environmental benefits of including natural assets in asset management plans
- The use of principles of asset management, financial planning, and ecology to maintain the ecosystem services nature provides
- The operational changes required to accommodate the expanded focus on natural assets
Session Category : Plenary Sessions