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New provincial plan helping Vancouver Island farmers adapt to climate change

Farmers on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands now have more support to respond to a changing climate.

B.C has created a plan to help farmers combat the struggles of climate change on their crops. 

The Vancouver Island Adaptation Strategies plan aims to tackle 11 strategies for increasing the resilience of producers in the region.

Both the federal and provincial governments will provide $300,000 in funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support projects that achieve those strategies. 

The projects will help farmers respond to four priority impact areas affecting the islands including warmer and drier summer conditions, changing pests and beneficial insects, increasing variability and shifting suitability, and extreme precipitation events.

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“B.C. farmers are resilient by nature and experience challenges daily on their farms,” said Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture. 

“We’re helping farmers plan and develop to respond to the challenges of a changing climate and how that affects their livelihood. These strategies, specifically designed for farmers on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, will help them adapt so they can continue contributing to our economy and providing the fresh local food our communities depend on.”

The planning process for the new plan, which is managed by the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative (CAI), began last summer. 

Through a series of focus groups, the process brought together 90 farmers to work with six Vancouver Island regional districts, as well as provincial and federal agencies, to identify priorities and actions for agricultural adaptation. 

A working group with up to 20 representatives from the agricultural sector and regional and provincial governments will oversee the development of priority projects and the CAI will make sure the projects follow through. 

To learn more, visit the Government of British Columbia’s website

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