March 10, 2015
For the first time it has been estimated that the Howe Sound watersheds provide an estimated annual value of $800 million to $4.7 billion in ecosystem services. The David Suzuki Foundation’s Environmental Economist Michelle Molnar has spent the last couple of years estimating…..
“the economic value of the ecosystem services provided by the land and marine ecosystems and their uses within the region. Although many ecosystem services do not appear on the market, balance sheets or decision-making frameworks, they are essential for life, societal well-being and our economies. Breathable air, drinkable water, nourishing food, minerals and raw materials are just a few “ecosystem services”. Without understanding this value, critical natural systems could be lost at great cost to communities today and into the future. Understanding these values can set the stage for building an economy that maintains and cares for our world.”
The report Sound Investment-Howe Sound Ecosystem Assets is a comprehensive study of the region and inventory of land/water cover. Values are estimated by beach, estuary, forest, lakes and rivers, marine, riparian buffer, wetland and eelgrass beds. We are very excited about this report as this valuation can play a role in guiding future development by incorporating the study results into planning documents. It can also assist municipalities with infrastructure management and guide local research. Thank you to the authors and funders of this document. We now hope this new methodology for studying the socio-economic impacts of new projects in Howe Sound will be recognized before it is too late.