Guidance

This is the ONES inventory of guidance materials that our members believe to be relevant to ecosystem services in Ontario.  Click on a specific item to access its full record, including any comments about it from ONES members.  If you uploaded a specific item, you will also be able to edit it. If something is missing, please click here to grow the ONES inventory of guidance materials.

Each item in the inventory below is categorized as one or more of:


Business and industry

A Guide to Biodiversity Conservation

Document by the Canadian Business and Biodiversity Council

This Guide has been prepared to advise Canadian businesses of all sizes, and from all sectors, on how they can benefit from reducing the adverse effects of their operations on biodiversity, and participate in its conservation and sustainable management, regardless of whether they use biological resources directly or not.

Approach for reporting on ecosystem services: Incorporating ecosystem services into an organization’s performance disclosure

In cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and consultancy CREM, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has been assessing opportunities to translate emerging thinking around ES into sustainability reporting indicators and approaches that can be used as a starting point by organizations in all sectors.

Assessment of Potential Biodiversity Market Partnerships in Ontario

Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) is a non-profit organization based in Ontario that manages the rehabilitation of ecological services in communities across Canada and participates in the Canadian voluntary compensation market. Due to the challenges of adopting Payments for Ecological Service, AMOVEO, a student organization at the University of Waterloo, partnered with ALUS in 2012 to examine the industries that could be potential target markets for ALUS’ ecological services program. Recommendations were also made to assist in developing ALUS’ operations and to provide assistance when targeting potential investors.

Ecosystem Services Toolkit: Completing and Using Ecosystem Service Assessment for Decision-Making - An Interdisciplinary Toolkit for Managers and Analysts

The Ecosystem Services Toolkit is a technical guide to ecosystem services assessment and analysis that offers practical, step-by-step guidance for governments at all levels, as well as for consultants and researchers. The approach is fully interdisciplinary, integrating biophysical sciences, social sciences, economics, and traditional and practitioner knowledge. It provides guidance on how to consider and incorporate ecosystem services analysis in a variety of different policy contexts such as spatial planning, environmental assessment, and wildlife management, among others. It contains numerous innovative tools and resources designed to enhance users’ understanding of ecosystem services and to support analysis and decision-making. Canadian examples are featured throughout the guide.

Ontario's Five Year Climate Change Action Plan (2016-2020)

This plan describes the actions we will take over the next five years to fight climate change: to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help move us to a prosperous low carbon economy. It recognizes the tremendous economic opportunities that exist for Ontario as the world seeks to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It ensures our businesses, innovators and researchers are well positioned to develop the clean technologies and low-carbon solutions that will ensure competitiveness, maintain existing jobs and create new ones.

Recognition Prohibitions and Urban Forests

Sections PS 1000, PS 1201: Recognition Prohibitions and Urban Forests

A summary of a discussion by the Public Sector Accounting Group (of the Public Sector Accounting Board – PSB) on the barriers and opportunities of treating urban trees and forests as municipal assets. (starts on page 15)

Communications

Assessment of Potential Biodiversity Market Partnerships in Ontario

Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) is a non-profit organization based in Ontario that manages the rehabilitation of ecological services in communities across Canada and participates in the Canadian voluntary compensation market. Due to the challenges of adopting Payments for Ecological Service, AMOVEO, a student organization at the University of Waterloo, partnered with ALUS in 2012 to examine the industries that could be potential target markets for ALUS’ ecological services program. Recommendations were also made to assist in developing ALUS’ operations and to provide assistance when targeting potential investors.

NATURE IS PRICELESS — SO LET’S VALUE IT

The natural capital concept is not a sell-out. It’s a way to shine light on, and cultivate appreciation for, the invisible benefits of nature.

Ontario's Good Fortune: Appreciating the Greenbelt's Natural Capital 2016

This report provides an estimate of the final ecological services provided by the Greenbelt’s natural capital.

The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in Ontario (TEEBO)

This report identifies over 50 key questions about the economics of ecosystem services and biodiversity. Answers to these questions draw upon the latest insights and initiatives that are relevant to Ontario and the Ontario Biodiversity Strategy. The result is a report that addresses: 1) the economic valuation of nature’s benefits that are mostly unpriced; 2) the accounting of these values so they can be measured and managed along with traditional economic information; 3) the conservation of these values using innovative approaches known as economic instruments.

Video simplifying the idea of ecosystem services

Quoted from YouTube:
The Ecosystem Services concept is a powerful tool for the protection of the environment that is still in it’s early stages of implementation. In this video we offer an example of where it has worked extremely well.

Where Money Grows

Why more cities need to add up the economic value of trees

Markets and metrics

Ecosystem Services Toolkit: Completing and Using Ecosystem Service Assessment for Decision-Making - An Interdisciplinary Toolkit for Managers and Analysts

The Ecosystem Services Toolkit is a technical guide to ecosystem services assessment and analysis that offers practical, step-by-step guidance for governments at all levels, as well as for consultants and researchers. The approach is fully interdisciplinary, integrating biophysical sciences, social sciences, economics, and traditional and practitioner knowledge. It provides guidance on how to consider and incorporate ecosystem services analysis in a variety of different policy contexts such as spatial planning, environmental assessment, and wildlife management, among others. It contains numerous innovative tools and resources designed to enhance users’ understanding of ecosystem services and to support analysis and decision-making. Canadian examples are featured throughout the guide.

Fostering the Provisioning of Ecosystem Services by Private Landowners

The past decade has witnessed a burgeoning interest within scholarly and applied circles in the re-casting of environmental amenities as commodities for trade, marketable in much the same way as a loaf of bread or a quart of strawberries. With the ostensibly growing foothold of the ‘ecosystem services’ (ES) paradigm, the public good nature of environmental stewardship has been thrust into the limelight. The newly-emergent perspective holds thus: given that individual landowners are expected to bear the responsibility of meeting heightened standards of environmental protection through additional expenditures or foregone development opportunities, and yet society at large reaps the benefits, they should be remunerated by society.
This thesis explores the governance arrangements that would serve to foster the provisioning of ES by private landowners. A heuristic framework is first developed, offering a means of systematically contemplating critical issues influencing the viability and performance of ES governance alternatives. Set in eastern Ontario, the empirical portion of the research assesses the interests of landowners, and program and policy professionals, for different ES governance mechanisms. In brief, interests were varied, with an openness to a range of arrangements. Notably, preferences tended toward arrangements exhibiting cooperative and collaborative leanings, and away from those with competitive underpinnings. These understandings inform the elaboration of a set of high-order design features envisioned as preconditions in a governance ‘architecture’ supportive of the provisioning of ES. The findings suggest that a more open embrace of hybridity in institutional arrangements may offer a way forward as ES governance alternatives continue to be conceived. They also point to the need for a re-imagining and re-constituting of relationships such that they truly embrace the principles of mutual regard, reciprocity, and trust; such ‘relations of regard’ may serve to realize a renewed social contract between those working the land, and those looking on from beyond the farm (or woodlot) gate. Consistent with this suggestion, the findings underscore the need for a greater sensibility to the diverse motivations that inspire the provisioning of ES. In contemplating prospects for reflexive governance approaches to enhance the provisioning of ES, the findings suggest reason for cautious optimism.

Recognition Prohibitions and Urban Forests

Sections PS 1000, PS 1201: Recognition Prohibitions and Urban Forests

A summary of a discussion by the Public Sector Accounting Group (of the Public Sector Accounting Board – PSB) on the barriers and opportunities of treating urban trees and forests as municipal assets. (starts on page 15)

The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in Ontario (TEEBO)

This report identifies over 50 key questions about the economics of ecosystem services and biodiversity. Answers to these questions draw upon the latest insights and initiatives that are relevant to Ontario and the Ontario Biodiversity Strategy. The result is a report that addresses: 1) the economic valuation of nature’s benefits that are mostly unpriced; 2) the accounting of these values so they can be measured and managed along with traditional economic information; 3) the conservation of these values using innovative approaches known as economic instruments.

Value transfer research and analysis

Comprehensive wealth in Canada: Measuring what matters in the long run

This study reviewed Canada’s comprehensive wealth performance over the 33-year period from 1980 to 2013. This timeframe extends well beyond business and political cycles, ensuring that the results reveal trends free from the ebb and flow of markets and policies.

Comprehensive wealth focuses on the role of people, the environment and the economy in creating and sustaining well-being. Complementing indicators like gross domestic product (GDP) and addressing issues the can’t capture on their own, comprehensive wealth measures are key to successfully guiding Canada through the 21st century and beyond.

Comprehensive wealth measures human capital, natural capital, produced capital, and social capital.

The report’s focus on natural capital is on natural capital stocks, which supply ecosystem goods, and not also natural capital funds, which supply ecosystem services. The report draws attention to the drawdown of natural capital (stocks) which usually implies a drawdown in natural capital (funds).

The report says: “Due to a combination of physical depletion and changing market conditions, the value of Canada’s minerals, fossil fuels, timber and agricultural land per person declined by a startling 25 per cent between 1980 and 2013. More recent data signal an even greater decline due to the steep drop in global oil prices. A series of climate and ecosystem indicators compiled for the study point to declines in other forms of natural capital.”

Ecosystem Services Toolkit: Completing and Using Ecosystem Service Assessment for Decision-Making - An Interdisciplinary Toolkit for Managers and Analysts

The Ecosystem Services Toolkit is a technical guide to ecosystem services assessment and analysis that offers practical, step-by-step guidance for governments at all levels, as well as for consultants and researchers. The approach is fully interdisciplinary, integrating biophysical sciences, social sciences, economics, and traditional and practitioner knowledge. It provides guidance on how to consider and incorporate ecosystem services analysis in a variety of different policy contexts such as spatial planning, environmental assessment, and wildlife management, among others. It contains numerous innovative tools and resources designed to enhance users’ understanding of ecosystem services and to support analysis and decision-making. Canadian examples are featured throughout the guide.

Ecosystems valuation analysis on off-site benefits from protected areas

In May 2013, Spatial Informatics Group submitted a report to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources which presented an ecosystems valuation analysis on the off-site benefits from protected areas’ ecosystem services in Ontario. Two approaches were used in this study. The value transfer approach was used to assess the North Shore area. Four ecosystem service models were developed using the ARIES (ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services) approach to assess the Algonquin Provincial Park and Lake of the Woods region. Recognizing the socio-economic, biophysical and recreational aspects of different lands under park management, the findings from this report confirm that the models developed for this study could be transferred or adapted to similar contextual settings. It was concluded that the ecosystem services framework is a very valuable tool for assessing and measuring the contributions of parks and protected areas and for evaluating the potential impacts of alternative management scenarios.

Estimating Ecosystem Services in Southern Ontario

This study uses a spatially explicit ecosystem service valuation technique to estimate ecosystem service values and geographic variation in the values for southern Ontario. It also discusses the current challenges with research in ecosystem services valuation and how ecosystem services could support decision-making in policy and planning.

Fostering the Provisioning of Ecosystem Services by Private Landowners

The past decade has witnessed a burgeoning interest within scholarly and applied circles in the re-casting of environmental amenities as commodities for trade, marketable in much the same way as a loaf of bread or a quart of strawberries. With the ostensibly growing foothold of the ‘ecosystem services’ (ES) paradigm, the public good nature of environmental stewardship has been thrust into the limelight. The newly-emergent perspective holds thus: given that individual landowners are expected to bear the responsibility of meeting heightened standards of environmental protection through additional expenditures or foregone development opportunities, and yet society at large reaps the benefits, they should be remunerated by society.
This thesis explores the governance arrangements that would serve to foster the provisioning of ES by private landowners. A heuristic framework is first developed, offering a means of systematically contemplating critical issues influencing the viability and performance of ES governance alternatives. Set in eastern Ontario, the empirical portion of the research assesses the interests of landowners, and program and policy professionals, for different ES governance mechanisms. In brief, interests were varied, with an openness to a range of arrangements. Notably, preferences tended toward arrangements exhibiting cooperative and collaborative leanings, and away from those with competitive underpinnings. These understandings inform the elaboration of a set of high-order design features envisioned as preconditions in a governance ‘architecture’ supportive of the provisioning of ES. The findings suggest that a more open embrace of hybridity in institutional arrangements may offer a way forward as ES governance alternatives continue to be conceived. They also point to the need for a re-imagining and re-constituting of relationships such that they truly embrace the principles of mutual regard, reciprocity, and trust; such ‘relations of regard’ may serve to realize a renewed social contract between those working the land, and those looking on from beyond the farm (or woodlot) gate. Consistent with this suggestion, the findings underscore the need for a greater sensibility to the diverse motivations that inspire the provisioning of ES. In contemplating prospects for reflexive governance approaches to enhance the provisioning of ES, the findings suggest reason for cautious optimism.

Natural Credit: Estimating the Value of Natural Capital in the Credit River Watershed

The value of the natural capital of the Credit River Watershed is assessed using a benefit transfer approach to estimate the flow of benefits from the ecological services provided by the watershed. The research also uses two case studies, urban development and reforestation and naturalization, to demonstrate how natural capital valuation can be used to inform decision-making.

Natural Heritage Reference Manual for Natural Heritage Policies of Ontario's Provincial Policy Statement, 2005

The manual provides technical guidance for implementing the natural heritage policies of Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), 2005, specifically the recommended technical criteria and approaches for being consistent with the PPS in protecting natural heritage features, areas, and systems. In addition to providing details of the PPS policies, the manual describes each of the natural heritage features and areas identified in PPS policies including identification and evaluation procedures, discusses municipal planning techniques and tools to consider when establishing protection approaches, and provides guidance for assessing the potential impacts of development and site alteration on natural heritage features and lands and performance indicators.

Ontario Nature's Report on Biodiversity Offsetting: First-Year Results

With the support of Metcalf Foundation, Ontario Nature initiated a project on biodiversity offsetting in July 2013 to explore the issues, risks and benefits of biodiversity offsetting with a diverse group of stakeholders and its implications in a policy context. This report presents the first-year results of this project.

Ontario's Five Year Climate Change Action Plan (2016-2020)

This plan describes the actions we will take over the next five years to fight climate change: to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help move us to a prosperous low carbon economy. It recognizes the tremendous economic opportunities that exist for Ontario as the world seeks to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It ensures our businesses, innovators and researchers are well positioned to develop the clean technologies and low-carbon solutions that will ensure competitiveness, maintain existing jobs and create new ones.

Ontario's Good Fortune: Appreciating the Greenbelt's Natural Capital 2016

This report provides an estimate of the final ecological services provided by the Greenbelt’s natural capital.

Procedures for the valuation of ecosystem services in federal environmental assessment (Draft)

Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 (CEAA 2012), Environment Canada (EC) is responsible for reviewing project proposals submitted for environmental assessment (EA) and providing advice to decision‐makers respecting the potential effects of these proposals on Canada’s environment. As part of this work, from time to time, EC’s Economic Analysis Directorate (EAD) conducts valuation of proposals’ potential effects.

This document is part of a three‐part project to help EAD improve its valuation work, including helping EAD expand its methods of valuation and improve how it deals with ecosystem services (ES). The first part of this project was a literature review of key issues and challenges in the valuation of ES in the EA context. The second step of this project was a workshop involving experts in valuation [including a member of ONES] to gather guidance on methods. The third part of this project is this document.

The economic value of natural capital assets associated with ecosystem protection (in Aurora)

The purpose of this report is to conduct an initial baseline estimate of the benefits provided to residents of Aurora from the existing stock of natural capital in the Town. From this baseline analysis, economic costs associated with changes to the features related to natural capital can be factored into future land use decisions and other Town initiatives.

The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in Ontario (TEEBO)

This report identifies over 50 key questions about the economics of ecosystem services and biodiversity. Answers to these questions draw upon the latest insights and initiatives that are relevant to Ontario and the Ontario Biodiversity Strategy. The result is a report that addresses: 1) the economic valuation of nature’s benefits that are mostly unpriced; 2) the accounting of these values so they can be measured and managed along with traditional economic information; 3) the conservation of these values using innovative approaches known as economic instruments.

The living city report card: An assessment of the Greater Toronto Area

The living city report card assesses the state of environmental measures such as carbon emissions, air and water quality, waste management, land use and biodiversity across the Greater Toronto Area. It features a special commentary on ecosystem services, specifically the importance of natural infrastructure in existing and proposed communities in providing benefits such as adding life to the city and softening the built form, as well as reduced health care costs.

Water Valuation Guidance Document

The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) commissioned this guidance document to help establish how water valuation can assist in addressing water management issues and be integrated into decision-making. This document provides guidance for determining the economic value of water, including an overview of various valuation methods, and accounting for the use of the water and ecosystem services provided or supported by water resources.

Webinar: An Introduction to the National Ecosystem Services Classification System

Webinar: An Introduction to the National Ecosystem Services Classification System

Start date: 2016/01/14 – End date: 2016/01/14
Location: online

Join the National Ecosystem Services Partnership at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions for the first in a two-part webinar series that provides an overview of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ecosystem Services Classification System tool and its relationship to the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System, .

The EPA’s Charles Rhodes and Dixon Landers will discuss similarities and differences between these two tools.

When: 1-2 p.m. ET Jan. 14

Where Money Grows

Why more cities need to add up the economic value of trees

Valuation techniques

Analysis for Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative: Lake Erie Cost of Algae Scoping Report

In Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government will invest $16 million in the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative for a four-year period to address the recurrent toxic and algae issues in Ontario’s Great Lakes. For the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative, Environment Canada retained Midsummer Analytics to provide insight on the factors and methodologies for evaluating the impacts of algal blooms in the Lake Erie Basin and to study the impacts on the ecosystem goods and services delivered by Lake Erie.

Ecosystem Services Provided by Forests in Canada: Case Studies on Natural Capital and Conservation

This report calculates the natural capital value of forests that are located on properties that are conserved by Nature Conservancy of Canada through the TD Forests program. The report includes two main parts:

1. The first part provides general background on Canada’s forests and approaches to natural capital valuation.

2. The second part presents case studies for each of Canada’s eight forest regions. Each study provides an introduction to the forest region and explores the natural capital value of at least one conserved forest property.

This assessment uses a “defensive expenditures” approach. Monetary valuation of the benefits used the value of the Social Cost of Carbon that is used by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Ecosystem Services Toolkit: Completing and Using Ecosystem Service Assessment for Decision-Making - An Interdisciplinary Toolkit for Managers and Analysts

The Ecosystem Services Toolkit is a technical guide to ecosystem services assessment and analysis that offers practical, step-by-step guidance for governments at all levels, as well as for consultants and researchers. The approach is fully interdisciplinary, integrating biophysical sciences, social sciences, economics, and traditional and practitioner knowledge. It provides guidance on how to consider and incorporate ecosystem services analysis in a variety of different policy contexts such as spatial planning, environmental assessment, and wildlife management, among others. It contains numerous innovative tools and resources designed to enhance users’ understanding of ecosystem services and to support analysis and decision-making. Canadian examples are featured throughout the guide.

Ecosystems valuation analysis on off-site benefits from protected areas

In May 2013, Spatial Informatics Group submitted a report to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources which presented an ecosystems valuation analysis on the off-site benefits from protected areas’ ecosystem services in Ontario. Two approaches were used in this study. The value transfer approach was used to assess the North Shore area. Four ecosystem service models were developed using the ARIES (ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services) approach to assess the Algonquin Provincial Park and Lake of the Woods region. Recognizing the socio-economic, biophysical and recreational aspects of different lands under park management, the findings from this report confirm that the models developed for this study could be transferred or adapted to similar contextual settings. It was concluded that the ecosystem services framework is a very valuable tool for assessing and measuring the contributions of parks and protected areas and for evaluating the potential impacts of alternative management scenarios.

Measuring Unpriced Values: An Economic Perspective and Annotated Bibliography for Ontario

The report addresses how economists deal with society’s preference for unpriced values and describes several approaches to valuing unpriced goods and services. Included in the report is a discussion of economic theory for cost-benefit analyses with respect to unpriced values, identification of value categories and a summary of unpriced values studies that were undertaken in Ontario. The report also considers issues relevant to future unpriced valuation studies in forestry.

Ontario's Good Fortune: Appreciating the Greenbelt's Natural Capital 2016

This report provides an estimate of the final ecological services provided by the Greenbelt’s natural capital.

Procedures for the valuation of ecosystem services in federal environmental assessment (Draft)

Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 (CEAA 2012), Environment Canada (EC) is responsible for reviewing project proposals submitted for environmental assessment (EA) and providing advice to decision‐makers respecting the potential effects of these proposals on Canada’s environment. As part of this work, from time to time, EC’s Economic Analysis Directorate (EAD) conducts valuation of proposals’ potential effects.

This document is part of a three‐part project to help EAD improve its valuation work, including helping EAD expand its methods of valuation and improve how it deals with ecosystem services (ES). The first part of this project was a literature review of key issues and challenges in the valuation of ES in the EA context. The second step of this project was a workshop involving experts in valuation [including a member of ONES] to gather guidance on methods. The third part of this project is this document.

Water Valuation Guidance Document

The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) commissioned this guidance document to help establish how water valuation can assist in addressing water management issues and be integrated into decision-making. This document provides guidance for determining the economic value of water, including an overview of various valuation methods, and accounting for the use of the water and ecosystem services provided or supported by water resources.

Where Money Grows

Why more cities need to add up the economic value of trees

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