FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2016
Green accounting is coming to Oakville
New pilot for municipality will account for natural capital and ecosystem services in financial planning
The Town of Oakville is partnering on a new pilot project that will assess natural capital and how to financially account for its community contribution to municipal services. The “Municipal Natural Asset Initiative” will provide training and tools to municipal staff and leaders to account for the services provided by natural features and ecological systems in their infrastructure asset management.
Natural capital, including forests, wetlands and rivers, and its ecosystem services are increasingly recognized as important pieces when municipalities assess their infrastructure assets and plan for the future. The pilot will focus on stormwater management.
Oakville is participating in the pilot with the collaborative involvement of staff from the Finance, Development Engineering and Environmental Policy departments. The local conservation authority will also be involved.
“Oakville residents love our greenspace. Our wetlands, our ravines, our trees, and our open space play a vital role in helping to clean our air and water,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton. “We need to record the value of these assets to be able to protect themfor future generations. The policies and practices we develop here with this innovative project will help other communities to protect their natural heritage, too.”
The pilot project, supported by an $80,000 grant from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, is a partnership of Sustainable Prosperity, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Town of Gibsons in British Columbia, and Roy Brooke and Associates.
“This project is the leading edge in sustainable infrastructure and climate resiliency for municipalities,” said Friends of the Greenbelt CEO Burkhard Mausberg. “The Greenbelt provides billions of dollars in ecosystem services each year. This pilot allows municipalities to capture those numbers in their accounting and properly value what we have in and around our Greenbelt.”
At the end of the 18-month pilot, a toolkit for other municipalities to assess and invest in their green infrastructure will be developed and shared to encourage similar projects across the province.
About the Greenbelt:
Ontario’s Greenbelt is the solution for fresh air, clean water, healthy local food, active outdoor recreation, and a thriving economy. At nearly 2 million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, keeping our farmlands, forests, and wetlands safe and sustainable. The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation works to help keep farmers successful, strengthen local economies, and protect natural features. Learn more at: greenbelt.ca.
Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
Phone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306