Valuing Natural Resources: Gibsons Eco-Asset Strategy



Logo_TGibsonsThe town of Gibsons, B.C. has committed to operate, maintain, and replace natural assets. It is the first municipality of its kind in North America to give natural assets (forests and wetland), the same consideration as capital assets, and be actively seen as valuing natural assets. Gibson’s is eager to share its Eco-Asset Strategy and benefits with other municipalities.

The idea that the environment should be assigned an economic value is a topic close to David’s heart, and he has written and talked extensively about the imbalance of economy and ecology in a number of his books, and in his speeches, including the speech he gave last December, when his grandson, Tamo Campos, was arrested for protesting Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion.

The natural services rendered by a tree, including exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen in the air, prevention of soil erosion, influence on weather and climate by transpiration, and provision of habitat for other species, have no economic worth, whereas cutting the tree down for lumber or pulp does. So human intrusion and exploitation contribute to the global economy, whereas nature’s activities in keeping the planet habitable are “worthless.”

The David Suzuki Reader

In The Legacy, David talks about our own dependence on clean air, water, soil, energy, and other natural resources, and how “the economy is built on extracting raw materials from the biosphere and pouring wastes back into it without regard to those services”. And in The Sacred Balance, David talks about how we undervalue these natural resources, and exclude them from economic calculations, despite the fact that “estimates of the annual cost of “services” performed by nature, such as cleansing air and water, pollinating plants, inhibiting erosion and flooding, building topsoil and so on, comes to the tens of trillions of dollars”.

How do you value natural resources?
Do you think your own town should adopt similar policies? Gibsons is eager to talk about the benefits!


Tree: A Life Story

“Only God can make a tree,” wrote Joyce Kilmer in one of the most celebrated of poems. In Tree: A Life Story, authors David Suzuki and Wayne Grady extend that celebration in a “biography” of this extraordinary—and extraordinarily important—organism. A story that spans a millennium and includes a cast of millions but focuses on a single tree, a Douglas fir, Tree describes in poetic detail the organism’s modest origins that begin with a dramatic burst of millions of microscopic grains of pollen.

12 Principles for Living Sustainably

David Suzuki’s Green Guide cuts away the stress and confusion of living sustainably by breaking down the complex impact that our modern lifestyle has on the environment.

Wisdom From an Elder on Earth Day

David Suzuki provides some wisdom on Earth Day about our humble beginnings and how our future depends on our connection to nature.


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