Natural Assets

Natural assets, such as wetlands, streams and forests, are valuable natural resources that provide multiple benefits to communities. 

​These assets provide a wide variety of ecosystem services including flood and drought mitigation, protection from coastal erosion, recreation and tourism benefits, among many others (see infographic).

Given those principles, Plan360 aims to manage climate change-related impacts, such as flooding, by including natural assets into its planning practices.

Natural Assets

Partnership with the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative

The Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI) is a not-for-profit enterprise working together with local governments across Canada to valuate the services provided by natural assets and include them alongside traditional asset management strategies. Currently, many local governments do not include natural assets in their asset management strategies.

Plan360 completed three pilot projects with the MNAI and local stakeholders to advance natural asset management in the region:

  • The project in Riverview’s Mill Creek aimed to identify key natural assets providing flood reduction services within the watershed. Identifying and valuing the ecosystem services provided by these assets is allowing for the minimization of stormwater management infrastructure costs associated with increased development in the area.
  • Riverside-Albert relies on a consistent flow of surface water provided by the Arabian Vault Brook watershed to service the community’s municipal water supply needs. The goal of this project was to understand key management actions that maintain and improve the natural area's ability to provide a long-term water supply through climate change and forestry and tourism pressures.
  • Pointe-du-Chêne is a low-lying coastal community that is vulnerable to flooding and will be even more so in the future with sea-level rise. Through this pilot new methods were tested to value different coastal natural asset strategies that can reduce coastal flooding and erosion.

As storm frequency increases, which threatens floodplains and coasts largely populated by New-Brunswickers, natural assets will provide many financial and social benefits, which is an important part of addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation for those communities.

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* Available in French only.