NCC Lands: The dollar value of their ecological goods and services

Received from the National Capital Commission, December 6, 2016:

The National Capital Commission’s green and agricultural spaces worth five billion dollars

 The National Capital Commission’s 55,000 hectares of green and agricultural spaces provide an average of $332 million of environmental benefits per year including air quality control, water filtration, climate regulation, carbon storage and habitat protection, according to a study released today by the David Suzuki Foundation and the NCC.

The study, entitled “Natural Capital: The Economic Value of the National Capital Commission’s Green Spaces”, captures the total economic vitality of the NCC’s green spaces, and was conducted by the team of Jérôme Dupras, professor at the Département des sciences naturelles of the Université du Québec en Outaouais, and researcher at the Institut des sciences de la forêt tempérée.

The study applied well-established methods to calculate the value of “ecosystem services” and used them to estimate the total economic value of 13 identified ecosystem services provided by the NCC’s green and agricultural spaces, including direct monetary benefits from wood and agricultural products, as well as indirect environmental and health benefits.

In total, the study concludes that the communities of the national capital region receive benefits worth an average of $332 million per year or $ 5 billion, when considering a net present value over twenty years, from the NCC green spaces.

The study’s lead author will join the NCC and the David Suzuki Foundation to discuss his findings at the NCC’s Capital Urbanism Lab on Wednesday, December 7 at 6:00 pm.

Quick Facts

Average value provided by NCC ecosystems: $ 332 million per year  

(low range  $ 188 million per year, high range $ 829 million per year)

Annual value by type of NCC ecosystems:

            Wetlands $ 59,394/ha/year  |  Urban forests $ 9,352/ha/year  |  Rural forests $ 4,183/ha/year

            Prairies and grasslands $ 3,338/ha/year  |  Croplands $ 1,363/ha/year  |  Freshwater systems $ 137/ha/year

Total land area of NCC green spaces:  55 000 ha

NCC green spaces are:

            Forests 72%  |  Agricultural lands 10%  |  Urban areas 8%  |  Wetlands 5%  |  Freshwater 5%


“The National Capital Commission’s green spaces are a defining feature of Canada’s Capital, and are a significant source of economic value to our communities. This study demonstrates the importance of the NCC’s stewardship of the parks, forests, agricultural land, freshwater and wetlands in the region to the environmental and economic sustainability of our Capital region.”

            —Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer, NCC

“The beauty of the 55 000 hectares of green spaces under the stewardship of the NCC is there for everyone to see and enjoy. This “Natural Capital” study adds to our understanding of the benefits of ecosystems to our quality of life and is a reminder of the value of our environment to the well-being of future generations.” 

            —Karel Mayrand, Director General, Quebec and Atlantic Canada Region, David

                Suzuki Foundation

“Our team has used well-established methods to calculate the value of 13 ecosystem services. The results will give planners and decision-makers important tools to inform the protection of our ecosystems and land use planning.”

            —Jérôme Dupras, lead author of “Natural Capital”, professor at the Département des sciences naturelles of the Université du Québec en Outaouais, and researcher at the Institut des sciences de la forêt tempérée.


The 50-page report is here (6.8 MB).  It was presented at an NCC Urbanism Lab on December 7, 2016. Link to the video:

Other links: