Natural Assets Deliver Significant Benefits to Our Lives

Natural assets, including forests, wetlands, meadows and streams, sustain our lives and benefit our health and wellbeing. They:

  • Clean our air
  • Protect us and our property from flooding
  • Protect us from heat during summer
  • Provide opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking and fishing
  • Contribute to our mental and physical health

Our natural assets need to be properly managed to ensure that they can keep providing these important benefits, which we call ecosystem goods and services. This is important because:

  • Climate change and land-use change can reduce or eliminate the abilities of natural assets to provide these important services.
  • Building infrastructure to replace ecosystem services (e.g. a stormwater pond for flood protection) is very costly.
  • Some benefits, such as nature’s ability to clean our air or regulate our climate, cannot yet be replaced with any technology.

We work to measure and estimate the monetary value of these benefits to help inform the management of these assets.

Estimating Value of Ecosystem Goods and Services

Unlike commonly traded goods and services, most ecosystem goods and services do not have clear prices in the marketplace. Our work involves using various methods to estimate the monetary value of our ecosystem goods and services from natural assets. Doing so can help policymakers and citizens to better manage natural assets to ensure a flow of benefits for generations to come.

We are working with our municipal partners to build evidence and develop guidance for our natural assets. Our work continues to demonstrate that properly managing and enhancing natural assets is a critical and cost-effective strategy for sustainable growth and developing resiliency to the impacts of climate change.

Our Ecosystem Goods and Services Tools

Business Case for Natural Assets (BC4NA) Dashboard

We estimated costs and benefits of managing natural assets in two case study areas in Peel, under different risk scenarios.

Natural Credit: Value of Ecosystem Goods and Services in the Credit River Watershed

We valued ecosystem services from natural assets across the watershed.

Natural Asset Carbon Assessment Guide and Toolbox (NACAGT)

To guide and standardize the use of tools, methods, and resources for conducting carbon assessments across Southern Ontario.

Life Cycle Costing of Restoration and Environmental Management: Costing Natural Assets in Peel Region

The report and the associated spreadsheet provide costing for management and restoration activities for natural assets over their life cycles.

Natural Asset Management: Rapid Condition Assessment Methodology

We developed a simple and expedient approach for municipal staff to assess natural asset condition by collecting field data. Appendices 1-3 of the report describe the Rapid Condition Assessment Methodology developed by CVC.

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