Ecosystem-based “green infrastructure” projects can help municipalities adapt to climate change impacts such as flooding and extreme heat, and offer multiple co-benefits including: emissions reductions; robust property values; cultural, spiritual, physical and mental health; water, food and energy security; water and air filtration; wildlife species survival; and recreational values. Lack of capacity can make it difficult for neighbouring municipalities to collaborate on managing for ecosystem health across jurisdictional boundaries, however. ACT has identified four major recommendations for transboundary municipal ecosystem governance: reach out and form partnerships; establish a formal collective entity; access funding and resources from municipal sources; and engage the community. This talk will explore green infrastructure examples, benefits and solutions.
As executive director of ACT, Deborah Harford is responsible for development of the initiative’s pioneering vision and its unique partnerships with the public and private sectors, as well as overall coordination and management of the program. She also directs and produces ACT’s policy recommendations for effective adaptation strategies at all levels of government, as well as communication and promotion of the program’s outcomes. Through Deborah’s efforts, ACT has created networks between local, national and international climate change research practitioners, NGOs, industry representatives, all levels of government, First Nations groups and local communities. Deborah’s work with ACT has gained her national recognition as a resource for those seeking information on climate change adaptation and practical coping strategies.