British Columbia

Earth Day: 3 ways you can prepare for climate change

Climate change is expected to bring more severe droughts to the Pacific Northwest, but people can build resiliency into local ecosystems, says UBC expert.

More droughts and extreme weather expected as a result of climate change, says expert

UBC expert explains how we can bolster our ecosystem to better withstand climate change. (Wendy Buelow/CBC)

Climate change is expected to bring more severe droughts to the Pacific Northwest, but people can build resiliency into local ecosystems, says a UBC plant expert. 

"You want to create a system that can bounce back to both expected and unexpected changes," said Dr. Tara Moreau, associate director of Sustainability and Community Programs at the UBC Botanical Garden.  

Here are her tips:

1. Plan for water conservation

"We know that water can be a challenge, especially here in the summer, and it's expected to worsen," said Moreau. 

"It's very important to plant trees that are not going to require constant irrigation."

2. Incorporate native plants

"A practical way is exploring native plants that are accustomed to this area."

Because native plants have adapted to local conditions, they require less watering.

They also support native animals and smaller organisms accustomed to relying on them for food or shelter. 

3. Diversify to attract bees

"Grass provides a nice place for us to sit and lie down, but it doesn't give a lot of diversity to the important native pollinators," said Moreau.  

She suggests mixing it up with both flowers and edibles.  

"We want flowers that will flower throughout the whole growing season...not just in the spring, but all the way until the end of September, October."  

Dr. Tara Moreau will lead a guided tour through the UBC Botanical Garden on April 22 to explore how climate change is expected to affect local ecosystems. It begins at 5 p.m. at the UNA Old Barn. For more information, visit their website. 

To hear the full story, listen to the audio labelled: How climate change is affecting B.C.

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