DURHAM: Regional Council, has in principle, approved Growing Resilience, the Durham Region Agriculture Sector Climate Adaptation Strategy. The Strategy is an addendum to the Region’s award-winning Durham Community Climate Adaptation Plan (DCCAP), released in 2016. Agriculture is one of Durham Region’s largest industries. Home to over 1,300 farms, covering approximately 47 percent of total land area, Durham’s agricultural community is already experiencing the impacts of climate change, such as risks to certain varieties of crops and yields; heat-related and other health risks for livestock and farm workers; flooding and storm water management; invasive species and pests; damage to infrastructure and structures; and concerns around electrical outages, capacity, and emergency alerting and response. “Preparing our communities to cope with and respond to the changing climate is an absolute necessity,” said John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “Durham’s agricultural sector is an essential piece of our region’s social and economic fabric. We need to continue to support the agricultural community and local food system.” The Agriculture Sector Climate Adaptation Strategy intends to strengthen and support Durham’s agricultural community in proactively addressing climate change. Growing Resilience identifies anticipated risks; presents the programs and tools to help take advantage of opportunities and benefits related to a changing climate; and outlines an action plan to help Durham’s agricultural sector remain resilient in the face of the changing climate and increasing occurrence of extreme weather events. Four broad themes addressing these risks are: Building community and research capacity. Enhancing policy support for agriculture and climate change adaptation. Increasing local awareness of agriculture and climate change adaptation. Addressing agriculture climate adaptation through partnerships, programs and initiatives in the DCCAP. An Agricultural Sector Expert Task Force led the development of the Durham Region Agriculture Sector Climate Adaptation Strategy and engaged over 150 stakeholders, including the Durham Region Federation of Agriculture and Durham Agricultural Advisory Committee. It supports and aligns with several other strategies and plans, including the Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan, Region of Durham Agricultural Strategy, the Durham Region Food Charter, and climate positions of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Visit durham.ca/ClimateChange to learn more.
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