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Natural asset management and protecting species at risk – pilot project results

A pilot project to help local governments protect Species at Risk (SAR) while delivering core municipal services through natural asset management is complete – and ready to be tested elsewhere!

The SAR project tested an approach in the Morrison Creek Watershed within the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, B.C., and developed a model and considerations for local governments who may wish to replicate and refine the approach.

MNAI worked with multiple stakeholders to develop this project for two key reasons:

  1. Stacking values. More and more local governments are undertaking natural asset management – striving to understand, measure and manage how natural assets contribute to provide core services to their residents and businesses. This creates an opportunity to find ways to optimize, or stack, efforts so they deliver multiple outcomes – for example biodiversity, health, recreational, cultural, or aesthetic values as well as core services.
  2. Scaling SAR efforts. Efforts to enhance biodiversity and protect SAR need scale-up, not just in the Comox Valley where the federal Species At Risk Act (SARA) lists 39 species, 22 of which are threatened or endangered, but also nationally where, for example the federal government, in collaboration with provinces and territories, is developing the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming SAR Conservation in Canada. Ideally, the SAR project, with further refinement, will support these attempts to transform the protection of species and habitats.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) provided funding to MNAI to develop the approach and a report that describes the steps, analysis, and recommendations for developing and replicating the tool.

MNAI Species at Risk report 2021 cover

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