Climate Change Adaptation in BC: Helping Local Governments and Stakeholders Stay Afloat as the Tide Rises




“It is about meeting the challenge of our and our children’s lifetimes,” says Deborah Harford

“Climate change will radically affect the ecosystems we rely on, and knows no political boundaries, requiring local governments to think collaboratively about shared watersheds and coastlines, and stretching already overloaded human and financial resources,” states Deborah Harford, Executive Director of the Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT) at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia.

“ACT works with stakeholders across the board to understand the whole spectrum of needs and values, identify knowledge and resource gaps, develop practical responses, and propose opportunities for strategic adaptation approaches.”

“For instance, ACT is working with West Coast Environmental Law to help Metro Vancouver’s coastal municipalities understand and develop responses to issues associated with sea level rise, plus many local organizations on changing floodplains and social and economic vulnerability.” 

“Climate change impacts require us to think about connections between physical hazards, economic resilience, health risks, environmental goods and services, food security and freshwater challenges on a local, regional, national and global scale.”

“Development of effective policy responses and resources for everyone—from decision-makers, urban and social planners, engineers, and developers to health professionals, emergency responders, the public and the business community—is therefore essential if we are to meet these challenges in ways that sustain us and future generations.”

“For instance, BC’s Water Act is 100 years old. We desperately need it to be updated to address the impacts we will face in the next few years,” concludes Deborah Harford.



To read the complete story posted on the Water-Centric Planning community-of-interest, click on Climate Change Adaptation in BC: Helping Local Governments and Stakeholders Stay Afloat as the Tide Rises.

ACT is the only university-based think tank initiative in North America dedicated to climate change adaptation. Working in conjunction with leading experts, ACT studies the problems posed as well as potential solutions, and identifies policy opportunities while developing adaptation resources.


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