Natural Capital: The economic value of NCC green spaces

The study concludes that communities in the National Capital Region receive benefits worth an average of $332 million per year from the NCC’s green spaces.

National Capital Greenbelt

National Capital Greenbelt

The NCC protects and conserves more than 55,000 hectares of federal land in the National Capital Region. Much of the land we care is green space:

  • forests (72%)
  • agricultural lands (10%)
  • urban areas (8%)
  • wetlands (5%)
  • freshwater (5%)

Economic value of our green spaces

Natural Capital: The economic value of National Capital Commission green spaces, a study conducted in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation, estimates the total economic value of our green spaces at $5 billion over 20 years. The NCC’s green spaces provide direct monetary benefits, such as from wood and agricultural products, as well as benefits not measured according to traditional market metrics, including:

  • air quality control
  • water filtration
  • climate regulation
  • carbon storage
  • wildlife habitat
  • erosion control

Wetlands, such as Mer Bleue, are our most valuable green spaces due to the ecosystem services they provide. The benefit of climate regulation alone from our wetlands is valued at $2.86 million per year. Here is a breakdown of the annual economic value for each type of NCC green space:

  • Wetlands: $59,394 per hectare
  • Urban forests: $9,352 per hectare
  • Rural forests: $4,183 per hectare
  • Prairies and grasslands: $3,338 per hectare
  • Croplands: $1,363 per hectare
  • Freshwater systems: $137 per hectare
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