Now Reading
B.C. needs to take more action in adaptation for climate disasters, says federal report

B.C. needs to take more action in adaptation for climate disasters, says federal report

Part of the Trans-Canada Highway was submerged by flood water during last November’s severe flooding in the Fraser Valley and around the province.

The Canada in a Changing Climate report says ‘immense’ resources will be needed to adapt to the climate crisis in B.C., and planning should involve more Indigenous-led solutions

Article content

According to a federal report, climate-crisis-related disasters and food security problems will continue to plague B.C. and the province should take more Indigenous-led action to adapt.

Advertisement 2

Article content

The British Columbia chapterThe Canada in the Changing Climate: Regional Perspectives Report was published Wednesday and examines climate adaptation as well as the gaps in preparing to face more climate-related disasters.

The report states that climate-change impacts have already affected the agricultural sector of British Columbia. This includes flooding, heat, drought, wildfires and heat. All levels of the food system have been affected, creating problems in production and distribution and increasing costs for consumers.

According to the report, these trends are expected continue in the long-term.

Craig Brown, one lead author of the report, and the climate change lead at Vancouver Coastal Health, stated that B.C. Although the province is making an effort to keep up with climate change’s rapidly changing challenges, there is still much to be done.

Advertisement 3

Article content

“There’s a certain amount of adaptation that’s underway. But we know that much more investment and action is needed to meet the extent of those future risks,” he said.

“I think what we can safely say is that, from the knowledge that we have at our disposal, the costs are going to be immense. And the level of resources being dedicated towards them at the time of publication does not appear to be sufficient.”

Climate-related catastrophes in the province have increased the need for emergency management. The report notes that there are still many gaps in planning and implementation.

B.C. B.C. is currently looking at crops that can adapt to warmer climates in northern regions, such as cherries. Brown said that more needs to be done in order to determine the B.C. Due to the dangers of flooding, wildfires or drought, farmers should plant different types of crops in different regions.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Critical to the development of these plans are Indigenous knowledge systems that date back thousands of years, yet have been “underrepresented in climate-change initiatives to date” in B.C., the report notes.

This limited inclusion has been acknowledged by B.C., but “much more work is needed” to provide opportunities for Indigenous communities to contribute to planning, especially where climate change is affecting their food source, such as declining salmon stocks.

“There’s a real opportunity here for even more collaboration, more figuring out of our all of our roles,” said Brown.

Indigenous leadership is “essential for effective adaptation” in B.C., he said, noting that a First Nations climate strategy and action plan in B.C. After the finalization of the report, it was released last month.

Advertisement 5

Article content

B.C. The report also states that B.C. must update its methods of collecting climate data in the province. Planning can be made more difficult by the lack of monitoring stations in the northern regions or at high elevations. There are also gaps in groundwater monitoring and many communities don’t have the most up-to-date flood maps.

Brown stated that the chapter highlights the need for more nature-based adaptation strategies, such as using marshes and beach restoration to capture carbon and protect sea level rise, and not just building bigger seawalls.

Advertisement 6

Article content

While the report doesn’t provide cost estimates on what is needed to deal with B.C.’s risks, it does conclude that significantly more resources will be needed for adaptation.

B.C. B.C. has been working closely with the federal government to develop a national adaptation strategy that will ensure communities are ready for the impacts of climate changes. The strategy is now open for public comment. letstalkadaptation.ca until July 15.

ticrawford@postmedia.com


You get more news, less ads, and faster loading time.Unlimited, ad lite access to the Vancouver Sun (the Province, National Post, and 13 other Canadian news websites for only $14/month/ $140/year Register now through the Vancouver SunOr The Province.

    Advertisement 1

Comment

Postmedia is committed in maintaining a lively, civil forum for discussion. We encourage readers to share their opinions on our articles. It may take up to an entire hour for comments to be approved before they appear on the site. We ask that you keep your comments respectful and relevant. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Guidelines for the CommunityFind out more about how to adjust your property. Email settings.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.