MONTRÉAL, QC, May 16, 2022 /CNW/ - Building a strong and healthy future for Canadians means building homes, infrastructure, and an economy that are ready for the realities of climate change. To do that, Canada needs a coordinated national response.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, launched a public consultation to develop Canada's first National Adaptation Strategy, a whole-of-society blueprint for coordinated action across the country, ensuring communities and Canadians are prepared for the impacts of climate change. The Minister launched the consultations at a virtual adaptation conference attended by over a thousand participants, including provinces, territories, leaders of National Indigenous Organizations, as well as climate adaptation experts, industry representatives, and members of the public.
To kick off the public consultations, the Government published a discussion paper that sets out guiding principles as well as goals and objectives for five key areas of focus: Health and Well-being, Natural and Built Infrastructure, Environment, Economy, and Disaster Resilience and Security.
Climate-readiness includes measures such as preventing the construction of homes on floodplains, increasing tree coverage in urban forests to reduce the effects of heatwaves, and using data to map and manage the risks of wildfires.
The Strategy will build on a strong foundation of action being taken across the country, such as the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), which has received a significant increase in investment, now $3.4 billion, for infrastructure projects to help communities better prepare for climate-related disasters.
Canadians, community organizations, and interested stakeholders are all invited to share their opinions by participating on the dynamic online consultation portal at https://letstalkadaptation.ca until July 15, 2022. The Government of Canada has committed to finalizing the National Adaptation Strategy by fall 2022.
To further demonstrate leadership on climate change adaptation, Canada will be hosting the seventh edition of the global biennial Adaptation Futures conference, the largest dedicated adaptation event in the world, in October 2023 in Montréal. The Government of Canada will contribute $650,000 to support the conference that is being organized by Ouranos in partnership with the World Adaptation Science Programme. It will attract leading decision?makers, policy?makers, scientists, and practitioners across the globe to share knowledge on adaptation challenges and opportunities.
"For someone like me, who has spent decades fighting to raise awareness and stop the pollution that causes climate change, adapting to the many impacts of our changing climate feels like fighting a two-front war. We can and we must do both mitigation and adaptation?play both offence and defence?for a complete effort. It takes a National Adaptation Strategy that brings everyone in Canada into the conversation, especially vulnerable populations. Once finalized, the new National Adaptation Strategy will ensure we are preparing for both today's climate and the climate of the future, and that we are taking action to protect the safety and well-being of our families, communities, and the environment."
? The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
"The evidence is clear: we need to do more to help Canadians adapt to the effects of climate change. These effects?on our safety, our society, and our economy?are undeniable and wide-ranging, from increasingly frequent and severe disaster events such as floods and wildfires, to slower onset impacts such as sea-level rise, thawing permafrost, and changing ecosystems. The National Adaptation Strategy will provide essential tools and knowledge that support a collaborative approach and will establish a shared vision and a framework for action to reduce the impacts of future climate-related disasters, helping Canadians thrive in a changing climate."
? The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources
"Floods, fires, and other natural disasters have had devastating impacts on our communities, and the reality of climate change means events like these will continue to increase in scale and frequency. The National Adaptation Strategy is central to our work in preparing for climate emergencies. Building on our Emergency Management Strategy, it will allow us to better assess the risks as we monitor, respond to, and recover from extreme weather events while building resiliency in communities right across the country."
? The Honourable Bill Blair, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
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