On March 4th & 5th, the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) at Selkirk College, ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team) SFU, and the Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) Kootenay Rockies Chapter hosted an an exciting virtual conference on improving low carbon resilience in small and rural communities in British Columbia. The RDI Bridging Silos Conference saw exciting momentum for community-led climate action at all scales in British Columbia.

Recordings of the conference are available through Selkirk College’s website, and can be found here

This conference incorporated knowledge from across British Columbia and highlighted innovations and insights from small communities and rural regions who are embedding low carbon resilience. This two-day conference engaged staff and elected officials for local governments and Indigenous nations, community organizations, consulting professionals, the private sector, researchers, and interested members of the general public. The conference provided many opportunities for networking and active participation that built relationships and encouraged peer-to-peer learning.

Key Takeaways:

  • The size of a community will present different barriers and opportunities for implementing low carbon resilience. For small towns, partnering with surrounding communities to pool knowledge and resources can allow for projects with a larger budget and scale. For mid-sized communities, applying LCR can allow for a streamlined process of adaptation, mitigation, and other community goals. Implementing LCR can bridge departmental silos and be more efficient with limited resources.¬†
  • The co-benefits of low carbon resilience, such as improved health outcomes, can provide opportunities and inroads for sceptical staff. These same co-benefits can also open alternative funding avenues.
  • Relationships should be created with First Nations on an ongoing and reciprocal basis, rather than being limited to requesting participation in engagement processes
  • Mitigation and adaptation can be quantified at varying degrees, but it is complex to quantify and measure the effectiveness for ecological, social, and economic resilience. This is a key opportunity for future study.

View the conference recordings here

 This initiative was offered through the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program, which is delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.