Climate Change

In March 2019, the Islands Trust Council declared a climate change emergency, committing to take urgent and fair climate action.

Noticeable Impacts of Climate Change

In the Islands Trust Area, climate change is having the following effects:

  • More extreme storms: tree damage, power outages, infrastructure damage
  • More extreme dry spells: drought and increased fire risk
  • Warmer ocean temperatures: disruptions to the marine food web, diseases such as sea star die-off
  • Sea level rise and storm surge flooding: impacts to areas of importance and significance to First Nations, including archaeological sites, saltwater intrusion into groundwater, erosion damage to shorelines, homes and businesses, and scouring of fish spawning habitat.

Much of what we can do to enhance our resilience to climate change in the Islands Trust Area lies in preserving, protecting and restoring existing natural areas and natural processes – this requires living lightly on the land.

The forests, wetlands, eelgrass meadows, and green spaces of the Islands Trust Area play an important role by absorbing carbon dioxide and by helping species adapt to a changing climate. In 2018, just the forests alone absorbed the equivalent of carbon emissions from 40,241 cars.

What We Are Doing

  • Developing a joint Climate Action Plan for Islands Trust and Islands Trust Conservancy
  • Updating the Islands Trust Policy Statement to more effectively address climate change
  • Developing a Freshwater Sustainability Strategy
  • Mapping the extent of eelgrass beds throughout the Trust Area
  • Coordinating a Climate Action Speaker Series
  • Working with First Nations and Cultural Knowledge Holders
  • Learning about ecosystem-based approaches to climate change
  • Developing data sets of climate change indicators and climate projection studies
  • Protecting species and ecosystems at risk
  • Wetlands restoration to enhance and expand habitat for at-risk species
  • Implementing land conservation strategies that consider climate change impacts
  • Undertaking landowner stewardship education
  • Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) and GHG Emissions Reporting

Local Priorities

All local trust committees and Bowen Island Municipality have official community plan policies addressing climate change and have greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and may also have forest protection projects underway. Learn more