Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute to help municipalities adapt to climate change

The project will help local leaders to integrate climate change adaptation into new or existing plans and systems

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Bee sitting on clump of yellow flowers.

The Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute at Selkirk College has been supporting climate adaptation in the region since 2014 where staff and students have been providing important research and capacity building support. — Sharon Stoddart photo

With the announcement of a federal grant, Selkirk College staff and students are now working with municipalities around the region to help develop plans to deal with the consequences of climate change.

Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) at Selkirk College is proud to announce it will be working with nine municipalities in the Kootenay and Boundary region in their efforts to strengthen their resilience to the effects of climate change.

RDI has been chosen by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to help these communities in the areas of climate change assessment and capacity building in support of local climate change adaptation efforts. Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change, so it is important they are developing plans and implementing actions to become more resilient.

Through contemporary peer learning networks focused on climate change resilience activities and training specific to this region, the project will help local leaders to integrate climate change adaptation into new or existing plans and systems. Participating municipalities will work with their peers toward similar goals using innovative approaches and solutions to the challenges they face.

Climate adaptation graphic.

Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute at Selkirk College will be working with nine municipalities in the Kootenay and Boundary region in their efforts to strengthen their resilience to the effects of climate change. — Photo courtesy Selkirk College

“In April 2019, the Board of Directors of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) declared a climate action imperative in recognition of the global and local state of climate crisis,” says Sangita Sudan, RDCK’s General Manager of Development Services. “The opportunity to participate in this new collaborative partnership focused on increasing local government’s capacity to address key climate risks and impacts such as flood, wildfire and extreme weather couldn’t be more timely.”

Selkirk College Staff and Students Advance Innovation

The RDI has been supporting climate adaptation in the region since 2014 and is pleased to receive $239,000 in federal funding to continue this work.

“Selkirk College’s Applied Research & Innovation Centre, which houses the RDI, is pleased to continue to support climate adaptation efforts in the region through research and capacity building support,” says Dr. Terri MacDonald, Director of Applied Research & Innovation at Selkirk College. “These types of initiatives create valuable experiential learning opportunities for our students as they work alongside our community partners and faculty advisors to advance innovation in our region.”

The RDCK joins the City of Nelson, City of Cranbrook, Town of Golden, City of Kimberley, Village of Silverton, City of Rossland, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and the Regional District of East Kootenay in addressing shared climate adaptation challenges through this project.

The work with these communities is funded through FCM’s Climate Adaptation Partner grants available through FCM’s Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP). MCIP, delivered by FCM and funded by the Government of Canada, is a five-year, $75-million program designed to support and encourage Canadian municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

Find out more about the project at the RDI website.

Learn more about the Selkirk College Applied Research & Innovation Centre and join us on Facebook.

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