Share this blog post

Inventory Acceleration project
call for Expressions of Interest

April 2021: applications now full; thank you for your interest

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 the link at the bottom of this page 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 provides background tools and information, including a natural asset management data needs checklist, and requests that each Local Government complete the checklist provides MNAI with the data within three (3) weeks of receiving the data request list from MNAI.

Output: MNAI receives required data from the Local Government.

Activity 2:  MNAI leads a launch webinar with all the Local Governments in the same cohort. The initial launch meeting will allow MNAI to explain the project process, overarching methodology, scope, and other topics that are relevant to everyone.  

Output: brief documentation of webinar discussions and questions.

Activity 3:  MNAI conducts an adapted Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) readiness scale assessment with each Local Government to determine their state of asset management maturity and documents their context and interests in natural asset management.

Output: completed readiness assessment and discussion results.

Activity 4: MNAI reviews data and responds to data gaps to the extent possible. MNAI will develop a natural asset inventory, condition assessment, and risk identification. MNAI will also provide support to Local Governments to help them fill in data gaps.

Outputs: a natural asset inventory and dashboard that includes the condition assessment and, based on data the Local Governments will have provided, a list of identified risks and the assets they apply to.

Activity 5: MNAI conducts a webinar with each Local Government to tour the inventory and dashboard of natural assets, explain its maintenance, and discuss potential future next steps in the natural asset management process.

Outputs: brief documentation of webinar discussions and questions. 

Activity 6: MNAI develops a brief summary report that also identifies potential next steps for the Local Government to move from a preliminary inventory to a full natural asset management project.

Output: roadmap.

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.

Share this blog post