Green Analytics' Latest Asset: The Natural Asset Delineation Tool
Published:
November 8, 2023
Author:
Hugh Alvarez

What is the Natural Asset Delineation (NAD) Tool?

Built by our team of experts, the NAD tool is a custom tool that uses GIS to process numerous open-source datasets to generate a natural asset inventory. A natural asset inventory describes the location, extent, types, and condition of natural assets in an area. The assets are defined using land cover data for a defined area. Green Analytics' NAD tool can be used to establish a natural asset inventory for any location or area of interest in Canada.

Why is it Important?

As environmental and climate issues become more prevalent and intense, understanding the extent, location, and diversity of natural assets along with the ecosystem services those assets deliver has become increasingly important. Wetlands store water during floods, forests provide carbon storage, and even simple open green spaces, such as parks, provide urban heat mitigation. This is especially relevant for cities, towns and municipal districts, as understanding the extent of ecosystem services as well as the location of natural assets can build the business case for improved environmental management leading to informed decisions on zoning, construction planning, and resource management.

The challenge however is that natural asset inventories are informed by land cover data and not all towns and cities have a comprehensive and continuously maintained land cover dataset or the means to create one. Some cities may have datasets recording river and lake extent, a regional district may have forest data across its extent, or a country may even have data on agriculture crops, but few sources will have a single dataset or source of data that fully classifies all land cover in high detail for a given area.

Some sources, like the Environmental Research Systems Institute’s (ESRI) sentinel land cover data, the European Space Agency, and the Government of Canada, may have raster datasets of satellite imagery that provide a classification of land cover for an area, but these are often meant for large areas with more generic categories, and are less suited for identifying the much more detailed, intricate differences of land cover within any single area at the city or town level. Recognizing this gap, Green Analytics has been creating natural asset inventories for towns, regional districts and cities across Canada for over 10 years. We continue to build on this success with the NAD tool, a means to create a comprehensive inventory for any location in Canada, to serve as a starting point for understanding a location’s natural assets and ecosystem services.

What Does it Bring to Green Analytics?

The NAD tool provides GA with the ability to efficiently create a natural asset inventory anywhere in Canada, using national scale, freely available data from a variety of sources. In doing so, a basic starting point for natural asset management is established. Green Analytics is able to quickly identify areas of interest for natural asset management and get an approximate feel for the extent and types of natural assets within an area of focus. By extension, this gives us a sense of what ecosystem services might be relevant to a particular area.  

Interested in natural asset inventories or establishing a natural asset management plan? Contact our team to learn more about our services.  

Understanding Carbon Modelling: A Vital Tool for a Sustainable Future

Carbon modelling of natural systems and anthropogenic activities is necessary to estimate the overall greenhouse gas emissions of the planet. Carbon modelling provides valuable data and insights into where and how we can reduce emissions.

a
b
November 1, 2023
Eric Neilson

Green Analytics' Latest Asset: The Natural Asset Delineation Tool

The NAD tool is a custom tool that uses GIS to process numerous open-source datasets to generate natural asset inventories across Canada. Built by our team of experts, the NAD tool provides GA with the ability to efficiently create a natural asset inventory anywhere in Canada, using national scale, freely available data from a variety of sources.

a
b
November 8, 2023
Hugh Alvarez
How can we help you?
Contact Us