Preparing for Climate Change in Denver, Colorado

Two weeks ago I attended the Inaugural National Adaptation Forum in Denver, Colorado. It was amazing to see over 500 people in the climate change field come together to share ideas about climate change adaptation. The energy and passion that the planners and attendees of the forum had was amazing to experience and made even the biggest hurdles that we’re likely to face seem possible to overcome.  

Climate change is greatly impacting conservation efforts all over the world, but many find it challenging to adequately address its impacts while planning for and implementing conservation campaigns. Even with the most recent scientific and technological advancements, a lot of the impacts of climate change are still unknown. This forum provided a space for organizations in all stages of climate change adaptation efforts – from establishing climate change awareness all the way to integrating long-term climate change adaptation projects – to learn from one another.

I attended sessions on adaptation planning for First Nations communities, effective landscape management in light of climate change, and how to effectively communicate climate change efforts to the public. On the second night of the forum, we were fortunate to be able to watch a screening of the film Chasing Ice, presented by the film’s director/producer, Jeff Orlowski. The film invoked many emotions in the audience and it was interesting to discuss the power of film in promoting environmental awareness and action.

At CPAWS, climate change is at the forefront of our work. We want to ensure that the areas that we work hard to protect today will be the best to protect in a climate-changed future. Currently, we are working with a First Nation in northern B.C. on preparing a climate change vulnerability assessment for their territory. This conference was a great opportunity to share what we’ve learned and learn from others as we move forward in our efforts to work with governments, partners, and the public to help keep B.C. wild.

A huge thanks to Wilburforce Foundation for providing funds to send a CPAWS representative to the forum – without their support, attending this forum would not have been possible.

At the "Tribal Adaptation Action Planning" session

Discussing "Chasing Ice" after watching the film