How B.C. is preparing for climate change

B.C.'s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy builds on over a decade of work by leaders within government and across communities. Here are some of the programs and initiatives B.C. already has in place to help prepare for the impacts of climate change.

This page will soon be updated to reflect the new actions and initiatives in the strategy.

On this page:

Actions by climate-related risk

Fire

Wildfire

  • The Community Resiliency Investment Program assists Indigenous communities and local governments to reduce local wildfire threats through FireSmart and Crown Land Wildfire Risk Reduction
  • B.C.’s cultural and prescribed fire initiative promotes healthy forests and reduces wildfire risk
  • The Province is investing in wildfire risk reduction, reforestation, forest rehabilitation, and other efforts through the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C.
  • Through StrongerBC, the Province is investing in projects that will reduce the risk of wildfires on Crown land while creating more than 500 jobs in rural communities
  • B.C. is improving predictive services models to improve wildfire preparedness and response activities
  • The B.C. FireSmart Begins at Home manual (PDF) provides practical advice for individual British Columbians to reduce wildfire risk around their homes and properties
  • A farm and ranch wildfire guide, workbook and instructional videos have been developed to help farmers and ranchers to prepare for future wildfires

Water scarcity
Water scarcity and drought


Heat waves

  • The BC Centre for Disease Control offers guidance for communities to develop their own extreme heat response plans. 
  • HealthLinkBC provides public information on avoiding and responding to heat-related illness
  • Dairy, poultry and berry producers in the Fraser Valley have been studying ways to protect their operations from extreme heat through Climate and Agriculture Initiative BC


Ocean warming and acidification

  • B.C. and its partners in the Pacific Coast Collaborative have been monitoring and advancing research and encouraging action worldwide as part of the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification
  • A partnership of the B.C. government, B.C. shellfish growers, Vancouver Island University and the Hakai Institute is improving monitoring and developing strains of Pacific oysters that can thrive in more acidic conditions

Flooding and sea level rise


Ecosystem changes

  • Climate change considerations are integrated into park and protected areas planning, policy and infrastructure through BC Parks
  • B.C. is collaborating with Indigenous communities and others to ensure land management decisions are grounded in the best available information
  • BC Parks' Living Lab Program promotes protected areas as places to learn about climate change and manage for its impacts
  • Climate change impacts are integrated into the planning and delivery of stewardship actions through the Together for Wildlife Strategy
  • B.C. is working with Washington state to identify priority areas for conservation and developing a cross-border adaptation strategy for the Cascadia region
  • The Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast initiative is a collaboration between the Province and 17 coastal First Nations that is applying an ecosystem-based management approach to resource stewardship

​​Actions by sector

Agriculture


Forestry

  • B.C.’s seed transfer project helps forests adapt to climate change by ensuring that seedlings selected for reforestation projects are well-adapted to the future climate
  • Provincial Forest Stewardship Plans foster resilient forests and maintain future options and benefits in a changing climate
  • The Tree Species Selection project is designed to define the current and future needs for decision making on informed tree species selection decision-making in B.C. in the context of climate change
 

Communities


Buildings


Transportation

  • Climate change impacts are considered in designing and maintaining highways, and adaptation practice guidelines help ensure a resilient transportation system
  • The Province is investing more than $20 million through StrongerBC in projects across B.C. to increase the resiliency of the highway network to lessen the impacts of climate change and support economic recovery

Climate monitoring and assessment

  • The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium and UBC’s ClimateBC are making climate information and tools more widely accessible
  • B.C. is strengthening hydrological monitoring (climate, snow, surface water, and groundwater) to support decision-making for drought, flood, infrastructure planning, and ecological modelling

Education

  • Adaptation Learning Network, led by the ResiliencebyDesign Lab at Royal Roads University, is helping professionals like engineers, planners, agrologists, biologists and foresters integrate adaptation into their professional practice
  • The Master of Disaster program helps students in grades 4-8 learn about emergency preparedness and the impacts of climate change
  • PreparedBC, EMBC’s public education program, is incorporating climate change into its core materials, including the Wildfire Preparedness Guide and Flood Preparedness Guide

Emergency management

  • B.C. has adopted the United Nations’ Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction that recognizes the impact of climate change on the frequency and intensity of disasters
  • The Province is modernizing the emergency management legislation to take a more comprehensive approach by placing a focus on disaster risk reduction and enhancing climate resilience
  • Climate change considerations are included in B.C.’s emergency planning for such things as wildfires, droughts and floods
  • Disaster mitigation funding programs incorporate criteria for climate adaptation into funding applications, project design and merit-based evaluations
  • The Province has ongoing integrated operations with communities and emergency management partners before, during, and after emergency events
  • The Partners in Preparedness program supports B.C. retailers and is aimed at making it easier for British Columbians to build a household emergency kit