Communities Adapting to Climate Change Initiative makes way for new programming
Since 2008, communities throughout the Columbia Basin have been planning for a changing climate with help from the Trust’s Communities Adapting to Climate Change Initiative (CACCI).
Fourteen Basin communities have received support and over 30 innovative projects have demonstrated pioneering work around climate adaptation. For example, Revelstoke was one of the first communities to consider future climate in its source water protection plan. Nelson and Castlegar assessed the vulnerability of their stormwater infrastructure. Kaslo developed a framework to track the impacts of climate change on local watersheds.
The District of Elkford is particularly notable as it was the first municipality in BC to address climate adaptation in its Official Community Plan. Its approach was even included in a United Nations guidebook that assesses various climate adaptation options. The District has since created a new bylaw for subdivisions and other land developments that deals with stormwater flows affected by changing climate conditions. It is also improving its dikes.
“By working with CACCI, we have developed three goals when it comes to managing stormwater,” said Dean McKerracher, Mayor of Elkford. “The first is to reserve and improve the environment and natural resources for present and future generations. The second is to reduce the risk of health hazards, loss of life and property damage. The third is to conserve social and financial resources by treating stormwater as a resource rather than a waste product.”
All Basin communities have benefited from many innovative adaptation tools and resources, from leading-edge climate science to a model climate-resilient bylaw—including the recently released Indicators of Climate Adaptation in the Columbia Basin report. CACCI partnered with the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) to develop a suite of indicators to measure community progress on climate adaptation. Funded by Natural Resources Canada and the Trust, the indicator suite complements RDI’s State of the Basin monitoring initiative. Learn more about all the tools and resources at adaptationresourcekit.squarespace.com.
“We wish to thank all the communities, individuals and organizations that helped make CACCI a success,” said Neil Muth, Columbia Basin Trust President and CEO. “Not only have the efforts improved the resilience of participating communities, but they have been recognized provincially, nationally and internationally for their innovation and achievements.”
Although CACCI is now complete, the Trust will continue its work on climate change issues, aiming to build awareness, provide information, support science and develop tools that help communities and the Basin at large adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is one of five priorities in the Trust’s Environment Strategic Plan 2014–2019, and the organization is developing new approaches to address climate change issues.