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Call for Expressions of Interest

Next intake: first quarter 2021

For most local governments, natural asset management journeys begin with building an inventory of existing natural assets. Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI) is pursuing several funding opportunities that would allow us to subsidize multiple local governments across Canada to develop their natural asset inventories starting this fall. If your community is interested in developing your natural asset inventory, please fill out the expressions of interest form at this link and send it to us. MNAI will use the information you provide as part of a selection process (subject to funding confirmation).

At a basic level, a natural asset inventory includes:

  • a list of natural assets that provide services to a local government, e.g. wetland, stream, forest
  • an understanding of what services those natural assets provide
  • the geographic boundaries of the natural assets
  • an understanding of the condition the natural assets are in and risks (both natural and human-caused) they may face

The inventory helps communities build an understanding of the natural assets they rely on, the extent of that reliance, and, importantly, provides the foundation for all other aspects of natural asset management including valuations, modelling, planning and implementation steps.

MNAI and natural asset inventories

MNAI has helped multiple local governments across Canada complete inventories as the first step to a full natural asset management initiative. However, local governments are also increasingly undertaking inventories as a stand-alone practice because they are relatively quick to complete [some can be completed in weeks], inexpensive, require limited capacity, and provide an opportunity to get started with natural asset management with limited risk.

What will local governments get out of this?

Selected local governments should anticipate the following activities and outputs.

Activity 1:  MNAI conducts launch webinar with community / communities to understand and document their context and interests in natural asset management and explain the process and scope.

Output: brief documentation of webinar discussions and results.

Activity 2:  MNAI conducts adapted Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) readiness scale assessment with community / communities to determine their state of asset management maturity.

Output: completed readiness assessment.

Activity 3: MNAI shares natural assets management data needs checklist with the community / communities and requests that they (a) complete the checklist and (b) provide MNAI with the data in a timely manner.

Output: completed data needs checklist.

Activity 4: MNAI develops review and analysis using the data provided by the community / communities and develops feedback / analysis on the suitability, needs and gaps related to natural asset management. MNAI will also provide support to communities to help them fill in any data gaps.

Output: completed Inventory Template that includes inventory or inventories and condition and risk identification using data the communities have provided.

Activity 5: Analysis webinar to present community with inventory of natural assets, explain its maintenance, and discuss potential future next steps in natural asset management process.

Output: completed MNAI inventory based on discussion. MNAI also provides the community electronic format: a completed asset registry, dashboard, and instructions for upkeeping the inventory.

Activity & output 6: MNAI will develop a brief roadmap identifying potential next steps for the community to move from inventory phase to full natural asset management project.

Some fine print

MNAI will assess expressions of interest according to a variety of factors including geographic distribution and the extent to which the local governments demonstrate a commitment to pursuing natural asset management.

We encourage applications from groupings of local governments that are conducting inventory projects in a single watershed. If selected, local governments will be expected to contribute $2,500 (or approximately 10-15%) of inventory project costs.

A key scope consideration is that MNAI focuses specifically on natural assets that do or could provide services from which the local government benefits, and considers all other benefits to be co-benefits. Therefore, natural assets that may provide value primarily in terms of birdwatching, sports fishing, or recreation may not fall directly within the scope of MNAI work.


Other opportunities

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP) is accepting applications from local governments and pays 80-90% of costs, to a maximum of $50,000. Natural asset inventories are eligible. If you pursue this avenue and wish to discuss further how MNAI can support your efforts, then please let us know. All MAMP program processes and requirements would apply.

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