Food Security and Municipal Climate Action – Themes of General Meeting

At our recent general meeting participants connected on two main themes which we identified as crucial for our area – food security and municipal climate action.  With the municipal elections coming up this year, there is a group organizing a strategy to increase interest on climate issues at the local level.  Cities and towns across BC are facing rising infrastructure costs, planning challenges, and a restive population faced with homelessness, floods, fires, and overall insecurity.  Armstrong-Spallumcheen are urging their local Council to work on a climate action plan and sign on to the BC Climate Charter.  First Things First Okanagan are holding their Deep Dives on the last Thursday evening of every month, with current projects around compost solutions, anti-idling, and gas and energy projects in Penticton.  In Vernon Climate Action Now has supported the city’s Climate Action Plan approved last April, which was ironically stalled due to disasters.   

Work on sustainability education and zero waste initiatives in the Valley are also vibrant and current concerns of those in attendance. There is also interest and action on lobbying provincial and federal politicians to do more on climate action – with resources for training available through our partner organizations.

Municipal elections were identified as being top of mind and a priority.  Election strategy meetings are in preparation, if anyone is interested in attending them, email the Hub. 

On February 16th @ 7pm, WE-CAN will host another roundtable: Recruiting Climate Champions to run in in the October 2022 Local Elections.(Registration link not available yet) https://westcoastclimateaction.ca/event/recruiting-climate-champions-to-run-in-the-october-2022-local-elections/

There is an excellent brand new resource from the Climate Caucus for new councillors.  If you are considering running, email the Hub and we will share it with you.  If you are keen to get going on climate action in Kelowna, please contact us at the Hub email okanaganclimatehub@gmail.com

Here are the topics discussed by the Food Security group (thanks to David Jenkins for taking notes for this breakout):

  • Regenerative Agriculture
    • Health of the soil
    • Fungal networks
    • Natural pest management
  • Food Supply Chain
    • Better knowledge of and access to local producers
    • Reducing food waste
    • Shorten supply chains
    • Dominance by major retailers
    • Social equity
  • Support for Local Small Farmers
    • Feel isolated
      • Opportunities to connect with community – connect them with food
      • Opportunities to learn and exchange ideas
    • Overcome dominance by Big Ag
    • Access to distribution
  • Impact on Climate Change
    • Household directly / indirectly cause 75% of GHGs – of this 30% comes from food
    • Going local can have significant impact

Next meeting: Monday February 28th, 6:30pm

Breakdown of Greenhouse Gas Sources:

Some additional links on plastics:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021ENV0046-001455 (Municipalities empowered to ban single-use plastics)
https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/news/2021/12/government-of-canada-moving-forward-with-banning-harmful-single-use-plastics0.html
BC Single Use Plastic Regulations

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