Wed, 06 Jul 2022

May 18, 2022                   Ottawa, Ontario                          Natural Resources Canada 

The effects of climate change are being felt throughout British Columbia. Extreme weather events such as flooding, drought and wildfires have a significant impact on the province's economy and on the health and well-being of its population. Indigenous communities have been disproportionately impacted by climate change and have seen impacts on their traditional foods, medicines and ways of living. Now is the time to work together and build climate change responses that address current and future problems.

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced the release of the British Columbia chapter of the Canada in a Changing Climate: Regional Perspectives Report to help support adaptation to climate change and strengthen resilience in British Columbia.

This new chapter highlights that British Columbia's water resources will see significant changes as the climate warms, with flooding causing some of the most damaging and costly impacts. It also underlines that climate change is profoundly affecting British Columbia's forests and the communities and infrastructure located in forested regions. The risk of disturbance from fire and pests is increasing due to climate change, affecting forest productivity, wildlife habitat, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Climate change is also already impacting food production in British Columbia.

On the other hand, climate change adaptation activities are present across most sectors and settings in B.C. This work continues to mature, supported by improved access to climate data, decision-support tools, funding, supportive institutions and collaboration. The Province has also been working with the Government of Canada and other partners on the development of the country's first National Adaptation Strategy, a whole-of-society blueprint for coordinated action across the country, to ensure communities and Canadians are prepared for the impacts of climate change. The Strategy is open for public consultation at until July 15.

Furthermore, Indigenous Peoples are uniquely impacted by climate change and also uniquely resilient as a result of Indigenous knowledge systems. Successful climate change adaptation is more likely when co-created with Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous-led adaptation efforts are emerging across many traditional territories in what is today known as British Columbia, and these efforts often consider climate change adaptation alongside strengthening Indigenous governance and environmental stewardship.

The report is a part of Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action, Canada's National Knowledge Assessment of how and why Canada's climate is changing, the impacts of these changes and how we are adapting. The assessment reports raise awareness and understanding of the key issues facing our country and provide information to support sound adaptation decisions and actions.

By ensuring British Columbians have access to credible, evidence-based information, this resource will enable them to make more informed decisions to prepare for and respond and adapt to climate change impacts.

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