This report, commissioned by the Greenbelt Foundation, estimates the value derived from the natural capital of the Greenbelt, establishes a baseline natural capital accounting framework that can be maintained and built upon over time to support decision making and advocacy work related to the Greenbelt, and presents a natural capital accounting framework that demonstrates to decision makers how to identify and measure the benefits derived from natural capital. The framework developed in this study can be updated with new data, be used to capture changes over time, and inform decisions about land use management and policy.
The report uses the National Ecosystem Services Classification methodology to identify a series of ecosystem service accounts that directly benefit residents – for example bird watching, flood protection, and clean air to breathe. Key findings include:
- Recreational activities valued at $2.1B per year
- $224M per year in flood protection for private property
- $52M per year in carbon sequestration
The Greenbelt delivers $3.2 billion in ecosystem services every year, making it an irreplaceable resource critical for the future of the province.
Understanding the value of ecosystem services, who benefits from them, and how values change depending on how the landscape is managed, is important information for land use planners and decision makers responsible for managing natural assets, as well as communities benefiting from those services. The report uses the National Ecosystem Services Classification methodology to identify a series of ecosystem service accounts that directly benefit residents – like bird watching, flood protection, and clean air to breathe. By applying the latest assessment tools in natural capital valuation, the report provides a case study and template for municipalities to establish their own natural capital evaluations.