Delta signed up last week to participate in a pilot project looking at the potential impacts of climate change on agriculture.
Recognizing the potential significant impact of climate change on the province's agricultural sector, the B.C. Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative was established by the B.C. Agriculture Council. Delta was one of three municipalities asked to take part in the project.
The initiative looks at a number of areas, including developing the Agriculture Climate Change Action Plan; developing and implementing energy efficiency pilot projects; developing an energy efficiency assess-ment tool for B.C. farms; developing and leading the first Adaptation Risk and Assessment for B.C. agriculture; and developing a website and communications materials that serve as an information source for the agriculture sector.
"With a strong agricultural economy, and previous experience of projects relating to climate change adaptation, Delta would be a valuable participant in this pilot project," states a report from staff.
Mike Brotherston, Delta's manager of climate action and environment, said the project will help in fulfilling some of the goals set out in Delta's agriculture plan, including working with farmers to develop solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to make farms more resilient to any future impacts of climate change by investing in adaptation strategies. The plan will also look at how farmers can potentially deal with the impacts of climate change - warmer temperatures, more intense rain and other severe weather events.
"As a farming community, Delta will experience first hand the effects of climate change on agriculture," states the staff report.
Brotherston said the pilot project proposes the establishment of a local working group that will be made up of Delta residents, farming representatives, as well as staff from Delta and the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands.
Coun. Ian Paton said the Delta Farmers' Institute will also take part in the project.