Resources for local governments

Prairie NAM Planning Guidance: Pilot Project

This Guide is part of a pilot project to assist local governments across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in addressing their infrastructure needs through natural infrastructure solutions. It provides a brief overview of natural asset management as it relates to statutory planning processes in the Canada’s Prairies, with a focus on Official Community Plans, Municipal Development Plans, and Regional Plans.

Planning with Nature in the Prairies was developed by NAI and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), supported by the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Natural Infrastructure for Water Solutions (NIWS) initiative.

To pilot this guidance, NAI and DUC are engaging with local governments in the Prairies who are currently in the process of renewing or updating their statutory plans, providing this document as well as tailored input for consideration in their draft plans. Interested local governments can reach out to [email protected] and [email protected] to get involved.

As this is a pilot version of the guidance, we invite feedback on how we can improve its contents to support planning with natural infrastructure in the Prairies. Please send comments to [email protected]

Thank you to the organizations and experts who contributed to the development of this document.

Planning with nature in the prairies Guide to integrating natural asset management in local government plans


Nature is Infrastructure: How to Include Natural Assets in Asset Management Plans

This Guidebook provides direction and insight for Canadian local governments who are seeking to undertake natural asset management through asset management planning.

This Guidebook helps close the gap between mainstream practices, infrastructure challenges, and natural asset solutions by aligning natural asset management with approaches already in place for built assets while:

  1. Using the most current and widely adopted lexicon for natural assets
  2. Recognizing that natural assets have some unique attributes and functions (e.g., much longer or indefinite lifecycles) that do not always allow them to fit neatly into the same “boxes” as built assets

Legal Primer – Natural Asset Management by Local Governments in Canada

A resource for local governments and elected officials, this primer highlights potential legal issues and liability for local governments, as well as legal tools to help ensure nature and the services it provides are protected. With analysis of current environmental governance in four sample provinces — Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Ontario — the legal primer provides practical, relevant information on environmental governance related to natural assets and management of nature’s services in Canada.

MNAI Legal Primer Natural Asset Management by Local Governments in Canada cover
Developing Levels of Service for Natural Assets - report cover

Developing Levels of Service for Natural Assets: A Guidebook for Local Governments

Local governments in Canada are responsible for providing their citizens and businesses with sustainable, cost-effective services such as transportation, parks and recreation, drinking water, and protection from flooding. Local governments are beginning to understand that natural assets like forests, rivers, lakes, wetlands and parks can make big contributions towards delivering these services, underpin a community’s quality of life, and help meet global challenges like biodiversity protection and building resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Now what? Guide to next steps

Congratulations on completing your natural asset inventory! Inventories are an essential first step in the full natural asset management project. They provide details on the types of natural assets a local government relies upon, some details of their condition, some risks they face, but not a sense of asset services or their values.

This What now? Guide to next steps walks local governments through how to progress from your preliminary inventory to a full natural asset management project.

Now What? Guide to next steps
Towards a Collaborative Strategy Municipal Natural Asset Management: private lands

How to include private lands/landowners

This Project Overview document outlines the findings of, and lessons learned by, six local governments as they investigated how natural assets are benefiting their communities, how to increase resiliency under future climate scenarios, and what economic value is being derived from these natural assets. While the focus was on water quality and quantity benefits, numerous other benefits were also identified for future analysis.

How to navigate and implement O. Reg. 588/17: a 13-step framework for Ontario municipalities

Ontario is the first province in Canada to regulate asset management planning at the municipal level. To help municipalities navigate and implement O. Reg. 588/17 as it relates to integrating natural assets and natural asset management, MNAI has developed this report that explains the strategic opportunities and advantages of adopting natural asset management, how to develop the strategy, a 13-step framework that municipalities can easily follow, and finally case studies as examples.

Advancing & Integrating Municipal Natural Asset Management through Asset Management planning in Ontario
Advancing Municipal Natural Asset Management through financial Planning & Reporting - Gibsons-summary

How to include natural assets in financial planning and reporting: Town of Gibsons

Advancing Municipal Natural Asset Management Through Financial Planning and Reporting: Learning from the Town of Gibsons’ Experience

How to find infrastructure funding opportunities

Advancing Municipal Natural Asset Management Through Infrastructure Funding Opportunities

Advancing Municipal Natural Asset Management through Infrastructure Funding Opportunities - summary