RDKB to host forum on building resilience to climate change in the Boundary

The climate is changing. Warmer temperatures, rising oceans, and shrinking glaciers are on the top of people’s minds, but how will climate change affect our communities in the Boundary, and what can we do to adapt?

On the evening of September 26 in Christina Lake, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) will be hosting a provocative and proactive discussion, “Flood, Fire & Famine: Forum on Building Resilience to Global Climate Change in the Boundary.”

“Climate change impacts will likely be severe in the Boundary and across southern BC,” said Graham Watt, Coordinator of the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan for the RDKB. “Most of our forests could turn to grass and scrub in our lifetimes or our children’s lifetimes, and longer growing seasons combined with less available water will stress water supplies and aquatic ecosystems over the coming decades.”

The Forum will be hosted by Grace McGregor, Chair of the Kettle River Stakeholder Advisory Committee and RDKB Area ‘C’ Director. A panel of experts on climate, food systems, economics, ecosystems and watersheds (Greg Utzig, Roly Russell, Sandy Mark, Ryan Durand and Graham Watt) will share information on climate change impacts in the Boundary, and lead group discussions about how to build regional resilience to climate change.

“We know that this is an issue that will affect the whole world as well as every corner of the Boundary,” said McGregor. “How can we work together to develop regional solutions to these challenges?”

“We look forward to seeing what kinds of ideas and initiatives participants want to discuss – everything from water conservation to tourism development to ecosystem restoration will be on the table,” said Watt. “What we’ll need is new understanding, and new energy, to develop the relationships and capacity to implement the solutions discussed at the forum.”

The Regional District is inviting people from multiple sectors, including public works staff, members of business, industrial, forestry, stewardship and tourism organizations, and First Nations. There are also a number of spaces for the general public who can register at https://boundaryclimateresilience.eventbrite.ca/ .

This forum is a free event made possible by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and RDKB Electoral Area ‘C’. It includes a dinner featuring local food. Contact Graham Watt (plan@kettleriver.ca) for more information.

Draft Agenda:

  • 6:30 – Welcome (Grace McGregor)
  • 6:35- 7:30 – Dinner featuring food from local producers
  • 6:40-7:10 – Keynote Presentation: What is climate change and how will it affect life in southern BC? (Greg Utzig, Conservation Ecologist & Soil Scientist)
  • 7:10-7:45 – Four lenses for climate change resilience in the Boundary: Food systems, water resources, ecosystems and economics (Roly Russell, Graham Watt, Ryan Durand, and Sandy Mark)
  • 7:45-8:00 – Questions for panel
  • 8:00-9:00 – Group discussions on resilience challenges and strategies in the Boundary
  • 9:00-9:30 – Sharing of highlights (Graham Watt to facilitate)
  • 9:30 – Closing (Grace McGregor)
View of the Grand Forks valley in December 2011. Winters will bring less and less snow to the valleys because of climate change (Graham Watt)
View of the Grand Forks valley in December 2011. Winters will bring less and less snow to the valleys because of climate change (Graham Watt)