Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Canadian communities adapt to climate change

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
"Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic."

There is a lot of leadership coming from the municipal sector in Canadasaid Sophie Gilbolt, director of partnerships at the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (IPSC), a research center affiliated with Western University, in Ontario.

me’catastrophic loss reduction institute Published a series of reportsOwns (A new window)Owns In recent years it highlights the adaptation efforts that cities across the country are making in the face of the increase in the number and severity of extreme weather events.

These disasters, including heat waves, wildfires, droughts, torrential rains and floods, are set to increase here as elsewhere, according to the latest work of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Evolution (IPCC), announced on Monday.

While stakeholders agree that Canada, like the rest of the world, is not doing enough to adapt to the climate of today and tomorrow, many effective initiatives have already emerged.

Protect yourself from fires

Climate change is already contributing to the intensity of wildfires as well as affected areas, asserts Intergovernmental panel on climate changea trend that is set to continue.

The cost of bushfire protection has ranged between $800 million and $1.4 billion in the past 10 years in the country, according to the federal government.Owns (A new window)Owns. Those costs have increased by about $150 million per decade since 1970.

Despite these protection efforts, wildfires can cause significant damage, as happened at Fort McMurray in 2016, where there were about $3 billion in insured losses.

However, communities are adapting, such as the Lake Logan region of British Columbia, which is touted as a leader in protecting against wildfires.

In 2004 a program was set up there to encourage homeowners to have low-cost ceiling sprinklers that could be installed free of charge by firefighters.

These devices allow buildings to get wet when a fire approaches, thus reducing the risk of ignition when debris reaches them.

where, 250 sprinklers have been installed in the complex, accounting for approximately one-third of Lake Logan homesnotecatastrophic loss reduction institute In 2020. These efforts, along with other measures, have paid off.

The area was evacuated last summer as a major wildfire approached. But the local media did not damage any buildingOwns (A new window)OwnsIt is an outcome that the firefighters attributed to community prevention efforts.

The Intergovernmental panel on climate change Refers to the structural adaptation and protection tools developed by FireSmart in Canada. It also emphasizes the importance of using controlled burning, particularly as traditionally practiced by indigenous peoples, in order to reduce fuel buildup.

There are initiatives in this direction in Canada. In 2019, for example, the Shackan Indian Band and Xwisten First Nation teamed up with the British Columbia Wildfire Service to plan and begin controlled burn operations.

Lytton, also in British Columbia, which burned down completely last summer, is still planning to rebuild. me’catastrophic loss reduction institute He advised the city in drafting its new building bylaw, which aims to make it a more resilient community to the vagaries of the climate.

The mayor and council are determined to take action to protect their community from wildfiresconfirmed by email Paul Kovacs, Directorcatastrophic loss reduction institute.

Protect yourself from flood

In Canada, floods have accounted for 40% of costs associated with natural disasters since 1970, report confirms Intergovernmental panel on climate change. This is really The most frequent natural disasters in Canadaaccording to’catastrophic loss reduction instituteThe situation is set to deteriorate, as annual rainfall will increase in most parts of the country, the expert team says.

Like many risks associated with climate change, flood risks are not evenly distributed, and Indigenous lands in Canada are disproportionately exposednote Intergovernmental panel on climate change.

The floods in British Columbia last fall came too late you didn’t think about Intergovernmental panel on climate changeBut it caused billions of dollars in damages.

The 2013 damage, which affected southern Alberta, caused an estimated 8 billion insured and uninsured damage, notes Intergovernmental panel on climate change.

However, there are many solutions put forward by the expert team, including the construction of dams, the improvement of zoning rules and the development of natural spaces.

More than 100,000 people had to be evacuated during floods in southern Alberta in 2013.

More than 100,000 people were evacuated during floods in southern Alberta in 2013 (archive).

Photo: iStock

The town of High River, Alberta was one of the communities hardest hit by the 2013 floods, with more than 13,000 people evacuated and more than 6,000 buildings damaged. This damage led to the construction of dams, relocation of neighborhoods to re-normalize and leaving a wider flow area for the Haywood River, among other mitigation measures.

In Quebec, the regional government commissioned the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) to return all flood zone maps in its sector after the 2017 floods.

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The day you develop in these areas and there are other floods that seem worse, quite frankly, you find yourself creating this problem on your own.said in an interview with Martin Dambus, chair of the Climate Change Committee of the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ) and mayor of Varennes.

Indeed, between what was done before and what has been done today, we can see that a great deal of thought has been done at the municipality level to ensure that there is no unnecessary risk.welcomed.

Indigenous communities were not excluded. The First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Institute for Sustainable Development (FNQLSDI) has produced guides to facilitate adaptation to a variety of climate risks.

In Montreal, parks are required to play a role in rainwater management and flood risk mitigation. This is the case of the Grand parc de l’Ouest, but also of smaller green spaces, such as the Pierre-Dansereau park.

The latter is designed to delay the period during which rainwater must be treated by maximizing permeable surfaces and incorporating natural storage basins, as well as making it an attractive space for citizens.

This is an excellent example where several goals can be combined into the same project, rejoiced Ms. Guilbault. And in terms of costs, the city proved that designing a park like this couldn’t have been more expensive.

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