The Town of Gibsons was North America’s first community to experiment with strategies to integrate natural assets into asset management and financial planning. They started in 2009 by valuing the aquifer that filters and stores water to supply the town and future projected populations with clean drinking water and are now working on a project that will consider natural assets in the entire watershed through the Source to Sea Project.
Gibsons learned through experience that, while there are hurdles and limits to including natural assets in financial planning and reporting, these challenges should not be overestimated.
Section 3.1 of their report Advancing Municipal Natural Asset Management: The Town of Gibsons’ experience in financial planning and reporting provides a succinct explanation of how Gibsons was able to include natural assets in their financial statements while still complying with Public Sector Accounting Board guidelines and without capitalizing the natural assets.
Annex 1 of the document is an excerpt from Gibsons’ financial statements referencing natural assets.