Mark Anielski has completed numerous analyses of well-being impacts and completed several community and First Nations well-being assessments and prepared Well-being Balance Sheets that inform budgeting and decision making oriented towards better lives and improved welll-being.

• Business Case Analysis for Conservation Projects and Environmental Capital Investments in Ontario’s Greenbelt region. Forthcoming report completed for the Friends of Greenbelt Foundation of Ontario. December 2019.

• SSN Cultural Heritage Study Highland Valley Copper Mine. Analysis prepared for Secwempc Nation (B.C.) with Carol Anne Hilton, Indigenomics Institute. July 2019.

• Research Related to Boreal Caribou Restoration Economics in British Columbia. Study prepared for the David Suzuki Foundation. 2019.

· Well-being Cost-Benefit and Impact Analysis for Oak Hills Community League (Edmonton) Recreational Infrastructure Investment (2019)

· Analysis and development of a fiscal relationship between First Nations and Government of British Columbia over forestry rent/royalty revenue sharing. Prepared for the B.C. First Nation Forestry Sector Council: (as senior advisor, Indigenomics Institute, 2019).

· Well-being Impact Investment using the Genuine Wealth Model. Technical white paper prepared May 2019 with Robert Dellner of the Centre for Integral Finance and Economics (London).

• An Economy of Well-being: Common Sense Tools for Building Genuine Wealth and Happiness. New Society Publishers (Gabriola Island, B.C.) in-print, publishing date March 2018.

• Soul Print: The Well-being Chain and Cryptocurrency for Well-being. Technical white paper that explores a model and tools for measuring well-being and the development of a blockchain technology platform, prepared by Mark Anielski May 2018.

· Town of Valleyview (Alberta) Community Well-being Assessment 2019. Prepared for the Town of Valleyview (Alberta) (2018-19).

· Socio-economic Assessment of the Alberta Special Areas Water Supply Project. Analysis and Report prepared for Alberta Transportation, September, 2018.

· Natural Capital Value Risk Assessment of Site C Dam, Peace River, B.C.. Completed an economic and ecological value at-risk analysis and accounting of the proposed Site C dam, including estimates of losses of traditional use value to First Nations. 2018.

• Natural Capital Analysis of forest natural capital assets (timber, plants, medicines, food, fuel, and bioproducts) and economic and cultural well-being of the Muckleshoot Tribe (Washington) and their Tomanamus Forest. Completed for Hancock Resources Group and Manulife Inc. for the Muckleshoot Tribe (Washington). 2018.

• Forest Carbon Accounts and Valuation for Little Red River Forestry Ltd. Forest Management Unit F23. Prepared for Little Red River Cree (First Nation) Forestry Ltd. 2018.

· Well-being Index for the Commune of Arue, Tahiti Arue, Tahiti (French Polynesia). (2017-2019)

· Natural Capital Asset Assessment for O’Chiese First Nation (Alberta) to Guiding Economic, Resource and Energy Development. Prepared for the O’Chiese First Nation, 2017

· Habitat for Humanity Financial Capital Sustainability Analysis and Strategy using a well-being impact investment analysis lens. Prepared for Habitat for Humanity (Edmonton), 2017.

· Affordable Housing Well-being Impact Analysis Framework for Edmonton’s Capital Region Housing Corp. Prepared for the Capital Region Housing Corp. Edmonton. 2017.

• Alberta Affordable Housing Grant Program Evaluation. Analysis with SHS Consulting of the cost-benefits and well-being impacts (return on investment) of Alberta’s $1.2 billion Affordable Housing program. May 2017.

· City of Saskatoon, Ecological Footprint Analysis for City of Saskatoon and Neighbourhoods (December 2015), Valleyview Sate of Well-being Report. Well-being assessment and report prepared for the Town of Valleyview, Alberta. September 2017.

• Natural capital valuation and business feasibility study for housing development for the Little Red River Cree First Nation (Alberta). Prepared as part of Anielski Management’s strategic counsel to Little Red River Cree First Nation for financial self-determination. 2016.

· An Evaluation Framework for Measuring Impacts of Ending Poverty in Edmonton. Prepare for the City of Edmonton, End Poverty Edmonton initiative. 2016.

• Town of Valleyview (Alberta): Well-being Assessment and Well-being-based Asset Management System development (2016-17). Prepared for the Town of Valleyview, Alberta.

• A Jubilee Fund for Cincinnati. A conceptual white paper for the creation of a local community-asset based fund to support affordable housing and other local business sustainability initiatives prepared for the Cincinnati Jubilee and Economics of Compassion initiative. May 2016.

• Timber value (economic rent) and carbon asset valuation, traditional use, and ecological values impact assessment for TransCanada Pipeline development on Alexis First Nation traditional territory. Analysis prepared for the Alexis Nakota Sioux First Nation (Alberta) (2014-16).

· Well-being Workplace Measurement System for Volvo of Edmonton. Unpublished methodological handbook for measuring workplace well-being completed for Volvo of Edmonton. May 2016.

· A Natural Capital-based Earth Dollar: The Ottawa Watershed Case Study. A white-paper prepared for the Algonquin Nation (Quebec) to explore the conceptual design of a natural-capital asset-backed cryptocurrency linked to the Ottawa (Adawe) watershed of Quebec. September 2015.

· A Genuine Return on Investment: The Economic and Societal Well-being Value of Land Conservation in Canada. Prepared by Mark Anielski, John Thompson and Sara Wilson for Ducks Unlimited Canada. February 2014.

• A Well-Being Return on Investment Assessment of the BC Construction Association Connector Models. Report prepared for the BC Construction Association. September 2013.

• Evaluation of Natural Capital and Ecological Goods and Services at Risk Associated with the Proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. Prepared for Northern Gateway (Enbridge) for the National Energy Board Hearings. July 2012.

• Wicihitowin Community Well-being Plan and 2011-2014 Strategic Plan. Prepared for the Wicihitowin Circle of Shared Responsibility, Edmonton. Alberta. May 25, 2011.

• Assessment of ecological goods and services values and economic development trade-off analysis for the study of the landscape values, costs and benefits associated with Parks Canada’s East Arm of Slave Lake National Park Proposal. Prepared for Parks Canada on behalf of the Lutsle K’e Dene First Nation. 2010-2011.

• City of Saskatoon Ecological Footprint Analysis. Prepared for the City of Saskatoon. February 2011.

• Town of Oakville Ecological Footprint Analysis. Prepared for the Town of Oakville. April 2010.

• Economic Activity and Ecosystem Services in the Battle River Basin. Prepared for the Battle River Watershed Alliance in partnership with Watrecon Consulting. March 2010

• Economic Activity and Ecosystem Services in the North Saskatchewan River Basin. Prepared for the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance in partnership with Watrecon Consulting.

• Environmental Footprinting for Alberta Agriculture Literature Review and Analysis. Prepared for Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. August 31, 2010.

• The Edmonton 2008 Genuine Progress Indicator Report: The State of Economic, Social and Environmental Wellbeing for the City of Edmonton. Prepared for The City of Edmonton. September 2009.

• The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth. New Society Publishers. May 2007; Second printing May 2009.

• The Real Wealth of the Mackenzie Region. Study prepared for the Canadian Boreal Initiative. January 2009.

• Counting Canada’s Natural Capital: Assessing the Real Value of Canada’s Boreal Ecosystems. Study prepared with Sara Wilson for the Canadian Boreal Initiative in cooperation with the Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development. January 2009 (first edition 2005).

• Integrated sustainability and well-being indicator accounting systems for sustainability performance measurement and policy evaluation in China. Presentation to the Chinese National Academy of Sciences and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. Cheng De, China. August 26, 2005.

• Greening National Accounts: International Practices in Pluralistic Environmental Accounting and the Measurement of Sustainable Development. Presentation to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, Beijing, China. November 23, 2004.

• The Ecological Footprints of Canadian Municipalities and Regions. Prepared for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with Jeffrey Wilson. September 2004.

• Santa Monica’s Sustainability Indicators Reporting System. Report prepared by Anielski Management Inc. for the City of Santa Monica, April 22, 2004.

• Alberta Traffic Safety Progress Report: Indicators and Trends. Report prepared for the Alberta Motor Association. September 2004.

• BC Sprawl Report 2004: Economic Vitality and Livable Communities. Study prepared for Smart Growth BC in collaboration with Ray Tomalty and Don Alexander, Vancouver, BC. March 2004.

• JAK Members Bank: An Assessment of the Sweden’s No-Interest Bank. Analysis and paper prepared for Van City Capital Corp. January 2004.

• First Nations Socio-Economic Assessment: Jumbo Glacier Resort Project: A Genuine Wealth Analysis. Prepared by Anielski Management Inc. in partnership with Heather Johannesen, Heather and Shelagh Huston for the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and the Ktunaxa Nation (British Columbia). December 16, 2003.

• “The Meaning of Wealth.” Article in Connections Magazine. 2003.

• Measuring the Genuine Wealth of Communities. Anielski Management Inc. 2003.

• The State of Inuit Well Being in Nunavut. Report prepared for the Nunavut Social Development Council and the Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. March 1, 2003.

• A Sustainability Accounting System for Canada: An Assessment of the State of Sustainable Development Accounting and Indicator Reporting at the National, Provincial, Municipal-Community and Corporate Level. Research paper prepared for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, June 15, 2002.

• A Conceptual Framework for Monitoring Municipal and Community Sustainability in Canada. Research paper prepared for Environment Canada with Mark Winfield of the Pembina Institute, June 17, 2002.

• “Is the Alberta Advantage Sustainable?: The Alberta Genuine Progress Indicators.” Paper presented at the Thirty Sixth Annual Meeting of the Canadian Economics Association: June 1, 2002, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.

• Towards a Measurement of Ecological Integrity. Paper prepared for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. November 15, 2001.

• “GPI: Sustainability Trends 2000, Alberta” in Bringing Business on Board: Sustainable Development and the B-School Curriculum ed. Peter N. Nemetz. Volumes 27-29, 1999-2001. The University of British Columbia, Vancouver: JBA Press: pp. 595-614.

• “Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) Accounting: Relating Ecological Integrity to Human Health and Well-Being.” Paper with Dr. Colin Soskolne in Just Ecological Integrity: The Ethics of Maintaining Planetary Life, eds. Peter Miller and Laura Westra. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield: pp. 83-97. 2001.

• "Measuring the Sustainability of Nations: The Genuine Progress Indicator System of Sustainable Well-being Accounts." The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics: Ecological Sustainability of the Global Market Place, August 2001, Montreal, Quebec.

• Alberta Sustainability Trends 2000: Genuine Progress Indicators Report 1961 to 1999. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development with M, M. Griffiths, D. Pollock, A. Taylor, J. Wilson, S. Wilson.. April 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Blueprint: The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) Sustainable Well-Being Accounting System. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Time Use Accounts. Report #8. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development with Amy Taylor. September 2001

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Economy, GDP and Trade. Report #1. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Edmonton, Alberta. September 2001

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Personal Consumption Expenditures, Disposable Income, and Savings. Report #2. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Edmonton, Alberta. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Money, Debt, Assets and Net Worth. Report #3. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Edmonton, Alberta. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Income Inequality, Wealth, Poverty and Living Wages. Report #4. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Edmonton, Alberta. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Public and Household Infrastructure. Report #5. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development with Amy Taylor, Edmonton, Alberta. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Human Health and Wellness. Report #9. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Edmonton. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Suicide. Report #10. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Edmonton, Alberta. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Substance Abuse – Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco. Report #11. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Edmonton. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Autocrashes and Injuries. Report #12. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Edmonton. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Gambling. Report #15. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Edmonton. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Democracy. Report #16. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Edmonton. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Intellectual and Knowledge Capital. Report #17. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Edmonton. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Forests. Report # 20. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development with Sara Wilson, Edmonton. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Water Resource and Quality. Report #24. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development with Wilson, S., M. Griffiths. September 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Accounts: Ecological Footprint. Report #28. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development with Jeffrey Wilson. September 2001.

• “Advantage or Illusion: Is Alberta’s Progress Sustainable?” Encompass Vol. 5, No. 5, July/August 2001.

• The Alberta GPI Environmental Accounts (1961-1999). Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development. Paper prepared with Sara Wilson for the National Round Table on the Economy and the Environment. April 2001.

• The Genuine Progress Indicators (GPI) Accounting Project: Charting a Sustainable Future for all Canadians. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development. Paper prepared for the National Round Table on the Economy and the Environment. January 2001.

• Fertile Obfuscation: Making Money Whilst Eroding Living Capital. Paper presented at the 34th annual Canadian Economics Association conference, June 2-4, 2000,Vancouver, B.C.

• Analysis of U.S. Ecological Fiscal Reform Activity. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development. Discussion paper with D. Herbert, A. Taylor and D. Pollock for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, May 2000.

• Yukon Sustainable Progress Indicators: Framework, Indicators and Implementation Approach for Reviewing the Yukon Economic Strategy. Prepared with Barbara Campbell, and Larry DuGuay for The Yukon Council on the Economy and the Environment by the Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development. March 31. 2000.

• Misplaced Concreteness: Measuring Genuine Progress and the Nature of Money. Proceedings of the Third Biennial Conference of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics Nature, Wealth and the Human Economy in the Next Millenium, August 1999, Regina, Saskatchewan.

• 1999. The US Genuine Progress Indicator – 1998 Update. Prepared with Jonathan Rowe for Redefining Progress, San Francisco. March 1999.

• The U.S. Genuine Progress Indicator: Summary Report. Redefining Progress, San Francisco. ( 1999.

• The 1998 U.S. Genuine Progress Indicator Methodology Handbook. Redefining Progress, San Francisco.

• Alberta’s Experience with Accountability Legislation: Lessons Learned. Paper presented at the “Results-Based Accountability in the Public Sector, Crown Corporations, Boards and Commissions” Conference, Ottawa, February 22-23, 1999.

• “Natural Capitalism” in Assault on the Rockies, edited by Ian Urquhart, Rowen Books, Edmonton. 1998.

• In Search of the Carbonic Truth: Carbon Accounting. Presented at the Parkland Institute Conference Global Village or Global Pillage: Rethinking Citizenship in a Corporate World, November 14, 1998 session titled “Beyond Kyoto: Natural Resource Policy and the Environment.”

• “The H.M.S. Alberta Advantage and Icebergs.” POST - The Magazine of the Parkland Institute of Alberta. May 1998.

• “Natural Capitalism - Exposing the Economic Growth Myth.” Encompass - Alberta’s Magazine on the Environment. July 1997.

• Is Alberta Running Out of Nature’s Capital - Physical and Monetary Accounts for Alberta’s Oil, Gas and Timber. Paper presented on March 5, 1997 at the Institute for Public Economics, University of Alberta, Edmonton.

• Accounting for the Sustainability of Alberta’s Forests - the 1995 Timber Resource Account. Alberta Treasury, (unpublished paper). 1996.

• Resource Accounting II: from theory to application - Alberta’s timber account in 1991. Paper presented at the Conference on Forestry and Environment, Economic Perspectives II, Banff, Alberta, October, 1994.

• Natural resource accounting - measuring and achieving sustainable development. In Environmental Issues and Management in Energy and Mineral Production. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Environmental Issues and Management of Waste in Energy and Mineral Production, R.K. Singhal, A.K. Mehrotra, K. Fytas, and J-L. Collins eds. Calgary, Alberta, September 1-4, 1992.

• Resource accounting: indicators of the sustainability of Alberta’s forest resources. Paper presented at the Second Meeting of the International Society for Ecological Economics, Stockholm, Sweden, August, 1992.

• Accounting for carbon fixation by Alberta’s forests and peatlands. Paper prepared for the Second Meeting of the International Society for Ecological Economics, Stockholm, Sweden, August, 1992

• Natural resource accounting: operationalizing sustainable development for Alberta. Paper presented at the Conference on Forestry and Environment, Japser, Alberta, March 9-12, 1992.

• Forest economic rents in Alberta: efficient and equitable treatment. Masters of Science Thesis, Department of Rural Economy, University of Alberta, Edmonton. September 1991.

Opaskwayak Cree Nation State of Well-being Assessment

April 1, 2021

The Opaskwayak Cree Nation based in northern Manitoba (adjacent to The Pas) is the first First Nation in Canada to have adopted the Genuine Wealth assessment model for measuring and governing the well-being of this First Nation. A well-being-based approach to decision making and budgeting will put Opaskwayak on a good path towards establishing a vibrant economy of well-being.

The Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) 2020 Well-being Report provides a portrait of the current well-being conditions of the people, culture and lands of OCN. Similar to financial statements, the Well-being Report provides critical information on the state of OCN’s human, social-cultural, built, natural and economic assets that contribute to the well-being of the Nation.

A community Well-being Survey was conducted between April and November 2020 that asked OCN adults and youth to self-assess their quality of life, happiness, health, economic and work life, OCN culture, and the quality of their relationship with others. The results provide a different picture of well-being that shows subjective well-being using a range of well-being indicators presented in a beautiful medicine wheel of well-being graphical image. Based on the survey results for life-satisfaction, the people of Opaskwayak would have ranked #3 amongst the world’s happiest nations in 2020 after Finland and Iceland and Switzerland, and ahead of 15th ranked Canada.

The OCN Well-being Report represents a well-being check-up about how people are feeling about their overall quality of life and well-being. Measures of well-being will guide OCN’s community strategic plan and future planning and annual budgeting that will focus on improving quality of life for the Nation.

K’omoks First Nation State of Well-being Report 2021

March 25, 2021

The K’ómoks First Nation based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia will be the first non-treaty First Nation to have conducted a comprehensive well-being assessment of the Nation’s human, social-cultural, natural, built and financial/economic assets. The well-being assessment, which includes a comprehensive subjective well-being survey, will help shape the first Treaty of its kind in Canada that is based on a First Nations set of laws, values and the attributes of well-being that are uniquely indigenous. The Well-being Report will be completed in April 2021 serving as another benchmark well-being assessment for First Nations in Canada.

Economic Case Analysis for Natural Infrastructure Investment in Ontario’s Greenbelt Region

January 1, 2021

Economic Case for Natural Infrastructure Greenbelt Conservation Projects Dec 2019 establishes a comprehensive business case for three proposed restoration projects through evaluating the expected future ecosystem service values (ESVs) that are estimated using original analysis in addition to building off previous Greenbelt and Ontario research. The project used advanced natural capital accounting protocols to make the business case for the conservation of areas of the Greenbelt in Ontario.

The case studies include:

Saltfleet Conservation Area: The Hamilton Conservation Authority is creating a new conservation area located above the Niagara Escarpment in the Upper Stoney Creek and Upper Battlefield Creek watersheds in the east end of the city.

Brock Lands Restoration: The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority will restore over 400 hectares of land at the former Brock Landfill sites to be used for recreation.

Lake Scugog Enhancement Project: Lead by the Kawartha Conservation Authority, this project is intended to support the lake’s important local tourism and recreational economy by addressing water quality, nutrient budgets, invasive species, wildlife habitat and recreational amenities in and around the lake.

High-level findings from the three case studies:

  • The Saltfleet Conservation Area could provide up to an estimated $1.5 million in ecosystem services per year.
  • The Brock Lands Restoration could provide an estimated $3.1 million per year in ecosystem services.
  • The Lake Scugog watershed, which has a total area of about 54,000 hectares could provide an estimated $220.9 million per year.

A critical component of strengthening the region’s resilience to the impacts of climate change is the investment in natural assets as infrastructure to help manage some of the largest threats including flooding, water quality issues and rising temperatures

Well-being and happiness indices and policies for South Korea

September 27, 2019

In the fall of 2019, Mayor Park Won-soon of Seoul, South Korea invited a number of international distinguished guests and experts to a high-level strategic meeting to explore various pathways for establishing South Korea as a functional model of an ecological civilization as proposed by Dr. John Cobb Jr. I was invited to present my proposed economy of well-being model and budgeting system that would include the establishment of happiness and well-being indicators and policies for South Korea in alignment with the aspirations for an ecological civilization.

Well-being Cost-Benefit Impact Analysis for Oak Hills Community League (Edmonton) Recreational Infrastructure Investment (2019)

June 1, 2019

The Oak Hills Community League contracted Anielski Management Inc. to complete a well-being return on investment and business case analysis (full life-cycle value accounting) of a proposed $1-1 million to $3 million community league building and site development. Well-being impacts of the project would be measured in terms of the social, economic and environmental aspects. Changes in the well-being of our community and other Edmontonians who enjoy the benefits of this well-being Hub would be determined in change in perceptional well-being from our investment in community assets.

The design, scope and budget for the community Hub buildings and well-being programs was based on a comprehensive community-wide household well-being survey and value assessment of what types of structures, recreation and personal development programs would generate improved well-being values for our community. This data is instrumental to determining the economics as well as the Well-being Return on Investment of our community asset investment.

The perceived well-being indicators were used to established a baseline of well-being conditions and feelings before the project and would be re-evaluated once the project was completed. The survey also asked individuals to identify specific attributes of the proposed community hall facility they would like use if the structure was built thus estimating future demand and thus perceptional value of the building and grounds.

This would be one of the first building projects of its kind to use a well-being-based approach to the design, building and operations of community infrastructure that would enable the community league to demonstrate a Well-being ROI (return on investment) of their capital investment to the main beneficiaries of the project (namely the households in the community who will use the new community hall, pathways, skating rinks, community gardens etc.). Moreover, the Well-being ROI analysis was considered unique in the eyes of capital grant funders such as the City of Edmonton and the Government of Alberta.

Mark Anielski, led the Oak Hills team in terms of well-being baseline assessment which revealed that improvements in neighbourliness, sense of belonging the community, knowing neighbours on a first name basis, physical well-being, walkability and community connectedness could result as a measurable impact on well-being.

This was one of the first projects of it’s kind in which Mark Anielski would complete an economic cost-benefit analysis and financial efficiency analysis with a professional architect (Douglas Sollows) with a ‘well-being-by-design’ approach to the design and budgeting of project.  Sollows Architect Inc., had previously helped design the new Laurier Heights Community League hall, has rendered a conceptual site and facility plan with cost estimates that we feel are fairly priced at just under $2 million.

The Oaks Hills hall project analysis included:

  • Business case analysis for the proposed community project.
  • Project concept pre-design drawings and functional program scope.
  • Project capital cost estimates and budget, including potential funding sources and targets.
  • Annual operating costs and revenue estimates for long—term sustainability.
  • Public/community input from community survey, open house and on-going public engagement plan.

The purpose of the Community Hub project is to design and build a community gathering place (community asset) that will help improve well–being and neighbourliness in our community in southwest Edmonton.

Research Related to Boreal Caribou Restoration Economics in British Columbia. Study prepared for the David Suzuki Foundation. 2019.

June 1, 2019

This study commissioned by the David Suzuki Foundation examined the economic, ecological and indigenous value proposition for restoration of critical caribou populations in Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. My study showed that if restoration is to be successful, ambitious restoration targets will need to be set in forest management policies. The report is titled the Research related to boreal caribou habitat restoration economics in British Columbia.

Anielski’s analysis shows that restoration of disturbances such as seismic lines, if housed within a range-scale restoration framework, can be a viable economic prospect for northern British Columbia.

According to my report, restoration in fragmented boreal caribou habitat has the potential to create and replace jobs in northern rural municipalities and First Nations. This could pivot many forest-based livelihoods toward repairing overly fragmented caribou ranges. As identified in all three reports, a diversified economy is more stable than one that depends solely on one or two resource extraction activities; a restoration economy has the potential to diversify resource-extraction economies.

Further, ecological restoration also has the potential to advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, by repairing opportunities for them to practice their cultures and traditional livelihoods where these have been compromised or abrogated by ecological degradation and destruction.

Moreover, many Indigenous communities believe that “traditional knowledge of boreal ecosystems will help to ensure restoration of industrial lands to a healthy and sustainable boreal forest ecosystem.”

My report highlights flaws with the current economic models that oversee resource management decisions. As recent news about the billion-dollar price tag for orphaned well cleanup in the province reveals, B.C. has failed to ensure that companies pay sufficiently up front for restoration costs incurred through their practices. If the costs for restoration obligations and offsetting funds to pay for restoration were required on both government and industry balance sheets, the current issue of who should pay for restoration would not be in play. In the absence of such a system, costs for restoration are ultimately passed on to the public and future generations.

Ultimately, restoration initiatives will need to be funded by both industry and government, both of which have made billions of dollars from resource extraction in caribou habitat.

I acknowledge that, for boreal caribou to survive in B.C., there will have to be deferrals on further incursions into their undisturbed habitat; management policies pertaining to boreal forest restoration will have to be accompanied by commitments to preclude future habitat disturbances unless sufficient levels of suitable habitat are maintained.

I found that the existing industrial footprint in boreal caribou ranges in B.C. is sufficiently large to support ongoing industrial activities. I also calculated substantial employment benefits from large-scale restoration of seismic lines within caribou habitat:

There are potentially real and significant benefits from restoration of at least the seismic linear disturbance that compare even more favourably to the current forestry and logging employment in B.C. on a per hectare of land use basis…. [E]mployment benefit estimates of caribou habitat restoration, when compared to current forestry sector employment for BC, suggest that the potential benefits of restoration might outweigh the opportunity costs to these traditional resource industries over at least a 20-year restoration period.

My conclusions were, “Estimates of the potential scale and scope of a restoration economy, properly financed…will ultimately result in new employment, better economic opportunities for Indigenous Peoples, improved environmental conditions (i.e., reduced environmental liabilities) and overall improvement in economic resilience for both Indigenous and other communities in northeastern B.C.”

My conclusions are consistent with the Powers report for Alberta caribou habitat restoration, which determined, “Managing lands for caribou recovery can grow the economy in the Bistcho-Yates caribou range lands of northwest Alberta.”

My report also touches on the quality of restoration initiatives in the province. He notes that industrial-led reclamation efforts focus primarily on quantitative, not qualitative (i.e., ecosystem interdependence, connectivity, trophic cascading, etc.) indicators of success. In contrast, the report profiles Indigenous-led restoration initiatives that are adopting restoration of traditionally known plants that uphold regional patterns of biodiversity. Traditional ecological knowledge can also be used to identify priority areas for habitat restoration.

Take-away messages

  • As important as restoration is, it’s vital to maintain current intact habitat in caribou ranges.
  • Range-scale restoration of legacy industrial disturbance is critical.
  • Funds should be posted by industry and government to cover their respective restoration obligations.
  • Investments should be made in Indigenous-led restoration initiatives, as these have the potential to advance reconciliation.

Secwempc Nation (B.C.) An SSN Cultural Heritage Study of Economic, Ecological and Cultural Well-being Impacts of the Highland Valley Copper Mine

June 1, 2019

This socio-economic, cultural and well-being impact study examines the potential positive and negative well-being impacts to the Secwempc Nation in central British Columba of the proposed expansion of the Highland Valley Copper Mine. The study was conducted with Carol Anne Hilton of the Indigenomics Institute.

This report builds upon on the foundational concept of the integral nature of place and Secwempc identity. It is at this intersection of culture, social, economic and ecological uses that this report aims to locate the development and relationship of the proposed mine to the Secwempc peoples continued existence and responsibility over time.

This cultural heritage study exists within the tensions of today’s experience of economic and ‘progress and development.’  The last 150 plus years has been an accumulation of the effects of the collision of the experience of the oncoming economic pursuit of monetary gain and resource extraction and the derogation of Sewempc sense of inherent responsibility and identity. This SSN Culture Heritage Study (CHS) is centered within this experience.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a key international instrument that outlines the foundation of the right to continue as peoples. Article 3 recognizes Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination, which includes the right “to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

Through this proposed project within the SSN territory, the Sewempc people are exercising this right to self-determination, including the right “to freely determine our political status and freely pursue our economic, social and cultural development.” Moreover, the Sewempc people are exercising the right to economic inclusion that should contribute to improving the conditions of the economic, social and cultural well-being.

In authoring this report, both authors bring specific insight into Indigenous economies, well-being metrics and economic design. Through the lens of the development of Indigenous economies, the SSN worldview provides significant insight into this culture heritage study.

It is a foundational concept to SSN governance and business that the onus of any economic development initiative or project, like the Highland Valley Copper mine, must demonstrate impact or return on investment to the Sewempc people that is in harmony with the land and the capacity of natural ecosystems to flourish and remain resilient. The end outcome of a project must be alignment with Sewempc’s well-being in the short and long term. This CHS report is based on this core premise.

Indigenous economy must be understood as an intersection between the people, animals, plants and resources. Indigenous economics is about ensuring the long-term well-being of current and future generations. The expression of the cultural and heritage changes must be accounted for in a linear and non- linear description of reality of the SSN people, through responsibility to place and commitment to future generations.

The grasslands at the Highland Valley Copper mine site represent far more than ‘empty space’ to be developed and extracted from the homelands of the Secwempc people. Instead, this space retains worlds of knowledge of medicines, plants and animals and holds within it the centralized relationship to land and identity. The land provides the economic, ecological and cultural benefits important to Secwempc identify, values, traditional use and economy.

This report is centered within the context of the current proposed Highland Valley Copper Mine site and project development process.  The proposed project has the potential to provide a stream of economic benefits but must be first viewed through the lens of Secwempc economic worldview and the right to continue as people as well as to provide the information to support SSN decision- making for generational responsibility and stewardship.

The demonstration of ‘economic value’ has typically been demonstrated solely from a mainstream western worldview which reduces value to only monetary equivalents. This report aims to highlight the connection between systemic loss of traditional lifestyle and establish a framework to measure the SSN well-being impacts and ‘values’ of the proposed project. It is essential to understand how these impacts and values do or do not align with the systems of Secwepemc cultural and traditional values as well as how these have been affected across time and how these can be expected to further impact through the development of this proposed project.

The well-being economic, ecological and cultural impacts of the proposed development and project must be outlined in terms of understanding historical well-being conditions and serve as a cultural and heritage baseline for assessing the potential improvement in well-being conditions for the Secwempc people and way of life. The pathway for quantifying traditional use lifestyle loss can now be demonstrated as economic loss over time for SSN.

This report frames SSN experience of loss as the foundation to begin to outline a value and impact pathway for the proposed project’s cultural and heritage study.   Framed within environmental, social, cultural and economic value, this study frames human well-being impacts (benefits and losses) that are aligned in Secwempc values and experience. This information will be integral to connecting Secwempc cultural impacts of the historical, current and future value of the project itself.

Singapore: Building enterprises and a nation based on well-being

April 6, 2018

In April 2018 I was invited to give a keynote address titled What’s Our Bottom Line: Wealth, Winning or Well-being at Singapore’s iconic Fullerton Hotel, which is owned by Singaporean billionaire Philip Ng of the Far East Organization. Philip’s private real estate enterprise builds and operates some of the most beautiful office buildings, hospitals and hotels in the world. I conducted two lunch-and-learn workshops with senior executive of the $40 billion Far East Organization on the subject of building well-being-based enterprises and workplaces. We also explored how well-being could become integrated into building design whereby workers would experience higher levels of overall well-being.

In addition to my meetings and consultation to the Far East Organization, I conducted a two hour workshop on the nature of money and our relationship with money as a guest of Singapore’s Biblical Graduate School of Theology (BGST) which provides graduate studies in theology. They would be my wonderful hosts.

Singapore impressed me as a working model of an economy of well-being, with its remarkable infrastructure, productive and passionate people, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, its superb public housing model. Singapore is a model of a flourishing economy