Share this blog post

How to Include NAM in Asset Management Plans

From development pressures to impacts from our changing climate, the demands put on municipalities to meet its infrastructure needs requires new, progressive solutions. Nature, specifically natural infrastructure, is our ally in building climate resilience and providing core services to our communities, such as flood mitigation and water filtration.

Natural asset management (NAM) is part of the solution to reshape our approach to infrastructure. And as Leonard Bernstein put it, “to achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time”.

NAI’s newest publication, Nature is Infrastructure: How to Include Natural Assets in Asset Management Plans, is a step-by-step Guidebook for local governments to develop each section of their natural asset management plans, and covers crucial topics, including:

  • Key terms and definitions
  • Documenting the state of natural infrastructure assets
  • Estimating the value (replacement costs) of natural assets
  • Addressing natural asset risks
  • Developing Levels of service for natural assets
  • Lifecycle management strategies
  • Funding strategies

The Guidebook also highlights specific considerations for Ontario municipalities with regards to the province’s asset management regulation O. Reg 588/17. While Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada that officially requires natural assets to be accounted for in asset management plans, recognition of the importance of natural infrastructure and NAM is growing steadily. The information provide in this guidance is applicable to local governments and watershed agencies across Canada.

By bringing NAM into mainstream decision-making, communities can take a proactive approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation, service delivery, and land use planning that takes into account the benefits from nature they may already be relying on.

Check out our previous webinar to hear from the authors and learn how this Guidebook was developed:

Getting started in NAM? Download the Guidebook , and consider applying to NAI’s Natural Asset Management Roadmap Program; through this program, your local government will develop a high-level roadmap to determine where to begin integrating NAM into your organization’s overall asset management strategies.

Nature is Infrastructure: How to Integrate Natural Assets in Asset Management Plans (2024) was generously supported by the Greenbelt Foundation and the Municipal Finance Officers’ Association of Ontario. Special thanks to the local government staff and Ontario Conservation Authorities for their contributions to this Guidebook.

Share this blog post