During the development of the Peace Region Adaptation Strategies, participants identified the lack of accessible and agriculturally relevant weather data for the Peace region as a significant baseline data gap. Increasing producer access to weather data to support real-time, seasonal, and long-term decision-making and planning emerged as a high priority. Improved baseline weather data is also needed to inform other actions identified through the Adaptation Strategies such as strengthening monitoring for pests and diseases. As a first step, a comprehensive assessment of current weather monitoring and data availability, as well as options for improvement, was completed in the spring of 2014 (Increasing Availability of Agriculturally Relevant Weather Data). The assessment has 4 key findings:
The project is intended to support the long-term availability of improved weather data for the agricultural producers in the Peace. This will be accomplished within three major components:
The working group was formed to support and oversee the implementation of the Peace Region Adaptation Strategies. The working group includes representation from a number of Peace region agricultural organizations including the BC Grain Producers Association, the Peace River Regional Cattlemen's Association, the Peace River Forage Association, the Peace Region Forage Seed Association, and the BC branch of the Canadian Seed Grower's Association. The working group also includes the Peace River Regional District and the BC Ministry of Agriculture. The working group advises the project management team and provides input on the projects as they develop. Working group members help to ensure that projects are in keeping with the Adaptation Strategies and meet the needs of the stakeholders they represent.
Since 2008, the BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative has been guided by an advisory committee of agricultural producers, food processors and representatives from various government agencies. The Initiative develops tools and resources to enhance agriculture's ability to adapt to climate change.
In the spring of 2012, the Initiative completed a climate change risk and opportunity assessment for the BC agriculture sector (Adaptation Risk & Opportunity Assessment report series). Based on the findings of the Assessment, a series of in-depth regional plans are now being developed across BC. This project - Peace Agriculture Weather Monitoring and Decision Support Tools - is an immediate action identified in the Peace Adaptation Strategies.
The BC Agriculture Climate Change Adaptation Risk & Opportunity Assessment reports, and the Regional Adaptation Strategies are available at: www.bcagclimateaction.ca.
Consistent with the Growing Forward agreement with the government of Canada, and the BC Jobs Plan Agri-foods Strategy, the BC Ministry of Agriculture has the objectives of improved adaptive capacity and/or sustainability of the sector, of regions and of commodity groups, along with enhanced economic growth, employment, productivity and competitiveness. The Government of British Columbia's climate change adaptation strategy can be accessed at the following link:
The strategy has three elements:
The project activities and coordination are being carried out by Weather Innovations Consulting (WIN). WIN operates environmental monitoring and modelling projects in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Michigan, Portugal, Spain and Ukraine and does modelling/data management work in Uruguay and 14 countries in the European Union. WIN's head office is located in Chatham, Ontario. Since its inception, WIN has specialized in environmental monitoring and delivering weather-related services. WIN has a large client base that consists of businesses, government departments, and agricultural producers.