Climate Change in the Columbia Basin conference
- Start Date: January 17, 2003
- End Date: January 18, 2003
- City: Cranbrook, BC
To download the report for the “Climate Change in the Columbia Basin” workshop here (450 KB PDF file)
Climate change will mean much more to British Columbians than warmer temperatures. It will also mean changes in precipitation and cloud cover, extreme weather events, and changes in other aspects of climate. These changes will affect physical systems, including the movement and availability of water, and related biological systems, including ecosystem function and the distribution of fish, wildlife, forests, and grasslands. Communities and agencies in British Columbia will be able to adapt to many of the impacts of climate change. Proactive planning will often reduce costs, help communities avoid some of the potential adverse impacts of climate change, and gain some of the potential economic benefits.
The aims of this workshop were to begin the process of educating the public about climate change in southeastern British Columbia, and to begin a dialogue about how communities and stakeholders can begin adapting to a changing climate.
On Friday night, 135 workshop participants and 35 “drop-in” members of the public heard two overview talks on British Columbia’s changing climate, including the themes of past and present climate change, potential impacts of a changing climate, and why we should prepare for climate change.
On Saturday morning, seven presenters addressed the possible impacts of climate change on the water resources, aquatic ecosystems, wildlife, and forests of the Columbia Basin. In the seven breakout groups on Saturday afternoon, workshop participants discussed how climate change might affect their communities, businesses, and resource interests. These discussions were summarized in a plenary session, and the major points from the discussions form a part of this report.
The Columbia Mountains Institute is proud to have worked with the following partners in hosting this workshop:
- BC Hydro
- British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (Water Air and Climate Change Branch)
- Canadian Climate Impacts and Adaptation Research Network British Columbia
- Columbia Basin Trust
- District of Invermere
- East Kootenay Environmental Society