Cowichan, our climate is changing.
Climate change is a global issue that is affecting us at the regional level. Greenhouse gas emissions are changing the average values of temperature and precipitation, and shaping climate extremes. Hotter and drier summers, wetter winters, and more intensive storms have become the new normal. With these changes comes an increased likelihood of impacts felt throughout the region, including prolonged heat waves, wildfires, droughts, and flooding.
However, we are taking a proactive approach to prepare our region for a brighter future. Cowichan Adapts is a multi-phase program to take action on climate adaptation.
Phase 1: Climate Projections and Impacts Analysis
The Climate Projections for the CVRD report gives detailed information on how climate change will affect the Cowichan Valley. Find more details by downloading Additional Data Tables (0.5 MB), GIS raster files (11 MB) and Maps (52 MB).
Phase 2: Vulnerability and Risk Assessment
The CVRD has completed and continues to undertake assessments of areas at risk from specific hazards. Assessing the risk of natural hazards is an ongoing process.
Phase 3: Adaptation and Risk Management Strategy
The CVRD Board-approved Climate Adaptation and Risk Management Strategy outlines actions to improve our built infrastructure, enhance our health and emergency preparedness systems, enable green economic growth, and preserve local biodiversity.
Phase 4: Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Mitigation Strategy
In 2012 the CVRD completed six Regional Energy Reports detailing energy consumption and energy opportunities in the region. These reports and more information about climate mitigation in the CVRD can be found on our climate mitigation page.
Phase 5: Implementation
Cowichan Adapts is about putting plans into action. CVRD is working in partnership with local First Nations member municipalities, and communities as Cowichan Region Climate Adaptation Partners to complete projects that help us adapt.
Ensuring our region is as resilient as possible in the face of unavoidable impacts is critical to maintaining community well-being, environmental health, and a vibrant local economy for our shared future.
What is the difference between adaptation and mitigation?
Both adaptation and mitigation are essential for managing climate change risks.
Adaptation initiatives reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems to climate change effects and increase our ability to withstand impacts. Examples include determining how our community infrastructure can be built or upgraded to respond to changes in weather patterns, adding flood protection, or developing a drought management plan to ensure critical needs are met when water supplies are short. CVRD’s Environmental Services Division leads our adaptation efforts.
Mitigation initiatives reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere (which ultimately cause climate change) by changing our behaviour. Examples include building energy efficient buildings or increasing sustainable transportation.