What if, by pulling together, our island could not only withstand the increasing stresses arising from climate change, but also build a more just, healthy, and cooperative community?
That’s the vision behind the Salt Spring Island Climate Action Plan.
Transition Salt Spring is proud to announce the release of the Salt Spring Island Climate Action Plan in a live online public presentation on Tuesday, March 2nd at 6:30 pm. The presentation will feature an overview of the key aspects of the plan and what we need to do to address climate change head on here in our own backyard. The plan is intended as a positive solutions-focused roadmap with more than 250 recommendations on what we all can do to ensure a sustainable future for our island home.
“We had a truly talented team of citizen volunteers who took the job seriously, and I am very proud of the recommendations we developed together. It’s been an honour to have been involved in this project,” said Darryl Martin, who served as chair of the plan’s steering committee. The team of 30 volunteers responsible for developing the plan included engineers, ecologists, economists, business people, writers and educators. They also reviewed feedback from almost 1,000 islanders and more than 50 island organizations.
“The warnings are all around us,” said Bryan Young, chair of Transition and one of the plan’s lead authors. “We have all seen the signs—in our island’s drying soils, struggling forests, rising oceans, and falling freshwater levels.”
“There’s one key message coming out of this plan,” said Transition board member and past chair Patti Baral, “Now is the time for our community to come together around the ambitious, achievable, and urgent goal to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and prepare our community and our ecosystems from the climate changes that are unfolding.”
The Salt Spring Island Climate Action Plan 2.0 shows our community’s leaders, businesses, and residents a way forward. Because climate change impacts every sector of society, and in particular those who are already most at risk due to systemic inequalities, the plan offers bold solutions to intersecting challenges like housing, food security, and ecosystem restoration, while striving for social justice and reconciliation with First Nations.
“To get there, we need you,” says Transition program manager Darlene Gage, “We want solutions that work for everyone, so we’re calling on individuals, families, organizations, businesses, all levels of government, and local First Nations, to get involved and join us in the ‘One Cool Island Campaign’ - where we can work together on solutions and leave a legacy of justice and sustainability for all.”
“We are going to have to rebuild some of our roads—like at the top of Fulford Harbour—and relocate vulnerable areas of Ganges Village, starting with our firehall,” says Dr. Ruth Waldick, author of the plan’s climate risks sections. “But in tackling some of these urgent issues, we’ve got a chance to solve multiple problems at once.”
“The Climate Action Plan rivals the sophistication and public outreach effort of many municipal and provincial plans. I look forward to working with Transition and other island groups to implement the plan’s recommendations,” said Gary Holman, electoral area director to the CRD. Holman championed an $18,000 grant to develop the plan and conduct public engagement. This funding came from federal gas tax funding that is distributed annually to municipalities.
Join Bryan Young, Transition Salt Spring chair, local MP Elizabeth May, and Gary Holman, CRD director, in a discussion on where we go next to take positive action on the climate crisis to ensure a sustainable future for Salt Spring Island.