The main responsibility of local authorities is the provision of services to citizens. To achieve this, natural resources and monetary resources combine - the cost of a new truck, for example, is not only the purchase price but the impact on the air from the extra carbon dioxide emissions. A new road costs not only money, but biodiversity in the green space converted to asphalt.
Through facilitating intelligent resource allocation, ecoBUDGET allows both environmental values and monetary values to work together in building a sustainable society.
Amongst the benefits of environmental budgeting is that it allows politicians to understand the impact their decisions have on the environment in a quantifiable way. It allows them to prioritise natural resources to be conserved and makes resource management more integrated and efficient within the authority.
Accountability in political decision making is also supported through natural resource budgeting and evaluation.
The ultimate aim of ecoBUDGET is to keep environmental spending within limits set by the local authority’s Master Budget. The Master Budget identifies short term and long term targets that must be reached. Once approved by the Council, these targets become politically binding.
The Aims of ecoBUDGET
EcoBUDGET aims to build a comprehensive political management approach to local sustainability. The tool presents the state of the environment to politicians and the public and through this enables decision makers and the administration to set priorities for environmental protection.
Furthermore the tool aims to limit pollution and the use of natural resources in the community, to plan and control the consumption of environmental goods throughout the budgeting period, and to integrate instruments for sustainable management of all resources - financial, human and natural.
The overarching aim of ecoBUDGET is to provide a periodical budgeting process for natural resources and environmental quality.