The future of a dedicated program to help farmers adapt to a changing climate is unclear with the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC’s announcement that it will no longer deliver the long-running Climate Change Adaptation Program come April 1.
The program was funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the five-year agricultural policy framework which ends March 31. The new policy framework, known as the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, will begin April 1 with a new five-year funding cycle totalling $3.5 billion.
But few details are available about what climate change adaptation programming will look like under the new framework.
In a statement to Country Life in BC, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food says it “plans to continue with and expand its focus on climate adaptation, climate mitigation and environmental sustainability through the CleanBC-supported initiatives such as the Beneficial Management Practices Program, the Extreme Weather Preparedness Program, and Farmland Advantage.”
It declined to provide details, saying only that future programming aims to be more producer-engaged with applied research and focus on climate mitigation, adaptation and overall environmental sustainability
“Specific program details regarding the Sustainable Canadian Agriculture Partnership Agreement will be announced in upcoming months,” the statement says.
In March 2022, IAFBC assumed responsibility for delivering the Climate Change Adaptation Program from the Climate & Agriculture Initiative of BC. Created by the BC Agriculture Council in 2008, CAI had delivered adaptation projects funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership on behalf of BCAC subsidiary ARDCorp and IAF for the four previous years. The abrupt change raised concerns at the time about knowledge transfer and research extension to agricultural stakeholders.
Former project manager at Climate & Agriculture Initiative of BC Foster Richardson stayed on to help with regional adaptation research projects through CCAP. An auto-reply from his address on March 24 indicated Richardson is “no longer working with the Climate Change Adaptation Program. This email address in not being monitored.”
IAFBC says CCAP resources will continue to be available on the program’s website. It referred additional questions to AgriService BC.