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Specifications for natural asset inventories
This is the first edition of CSA W218, Specifications for natural asset inventories.
CSA Group acknowledges that the development of this Standard was made possible, in part, by the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change.
This Standard was prepared by the Technical Committee on Natural Asset Inventories under the jurisdiction of the W1000 Natural Resources Strategic Steering Committee, and has been formally approved by the Technical Committee.
This Standard has been developed in compliance with Standards Council of Canada requirements for National Standards of Canada. It has been published as a National Standard of Canada by CSA Group.
This Standard provides minimum requirements for the development and reporting of a natural asset inventory, which is the first step towards natural asset management. This Standard is designed to be sufficiently flexible that it can be applied in any jurisdictional context. It can also be used to include not only natural assets within a given jurisdictional boundary but also those in adjacent jurisdictions that provide important services.
This Standard provides
a) minimum requirements for natural asset inventories,
i) including data gathering and processing requirements;
ii) inventory structure requirements;
iii) documentation requirements; and
iv) requirements for maintaining and continually improving a natural asset inventory; and
b) although not mandated by this Standard, minimum requirements for completing a condition assessment for natural assets, should the user(s) decide to complete one.
This Standard is intended to be implemented in alignment with the asset management approach for built infrastructure of the authorities having jurisdiction and/or recognized regional, national, or international practices, including ISO 55001.
Note: Users of this Standard are reminded that additional natural asset inventory design, methodological, and reporting requirements might be specified by federal, provincial/territorial, municipal or other authority, or by a project owner, depending on the larger objectives. This Standard should not be considered a replacement for the requirements contained in any
a) applicable federal/territorial or provincial statute;
b) regulation, license, or permit issued pursuant to an applicable statute; or
c) contract that an owner has with a contractor
1.2.1 Primary users
Primary users include, but are not limited to,
a) asset management practitioners, including Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people) responsible for the management of natural asset inventories. This includes, but is not limited to, people working in the public sector, regional authorities, communities, governments, watershed management organizations, conservation authorities, and consultants engaged to assist with the development of natural asset inventories;
b) land managers responsible for the ongoing management of natural assets; and
c) others with a role in the delivery of services supported by natural assets.
1.2.2 Secondary users
Secondary users include, but are not limited to,
a) financial institutions wishing to define and invest in the protection and management of nature and its services;
b) users and developers of ESG ratings;
c) professionals interested in the advancement of ecosystem-based management, disaster risk reduction, and nature-based solutions to societal issues; and
d) others with an interest in the sustainable delivery of ecosystem services.
The requirements of this Standard apply to the development and reporting of natural asset inventories. Information contained in a natural asset inventory can influence decisions on the management of natural assets, including the protection, conservation, enhancement, and restoration of natural assets. Application of the requirements outlined herein is intended to provide a robust basis for subsequent natural asset management activities; enable the development of effective asset management strategies, programs, and plans; and enhance confidence in decision-making.
The application of this Standard is intended to be aligned, as appropriate, with the requirements of ISO 55001.
1.4 Additional considerations
This Standard does not provide detailed requirements relating to
a) ecosystem services assessments;
b) evaluation of natural assets;
c) methods for ranking, rating, or scoring the condition of natural assets;
d) risk assessment associated with natural assets; and
e) development of a natural asset management plan.
Note: High-level descriptions are provided for some of the above activities as they can influence the development of the natural asset inventory (see Clause 0.2).
The AHJ, whether it is a local government, a not-for-profit, or a community-driven group, should work with any adjacent or regional agencies having authority, as it is recognized that natural assets provide services within larger systems than those generally under the authority of a single entity.
In this Standard, “shall” is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy to comply with the Standard; “should” is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required; and “may” is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the Standard.
Notes accompanying clauses do not include requirements or alternative requirements; the purpose of a note accompanying a clause is to separate from the text explanatory or informative material.
Notes to tables and figures are considered part of the table or figure and may be written as requirements.
Annexes are designated normative (mandatory) or informative (non-mandatory) to define their application.