Climate Change Strategy

Otonabee Conservation’s programs support the adaptation and mitigation of climate change impacts in the Otonabee Region Watershed. Our Climate Change Strategy articulates specific actions
related to climate change.

Climate change is one of our most pressing issues. Its impacts are being felt globally due to forest fires, flooding, drought, disease, famine, and extreme weather, which have created environmental, social, economic, and public health challenges.

Locally, vulnerable populations such as seniors and those experiencing homelessness are at greater risk because of extreme temperatures, and food insecurity is becoming more prevalent as prices increase due to crop damage and the need for irrigation.

New threats such as Lyme disease are becoming more common locally and many people are looking for ways to reduce their impact to ensure a better future for generations to come.

Otonabee Conservation recognizes the importance of responding to climate change. This Climate Change Strategy is a step towards minimizing our carbon footprint and identifying tangible actions that will translate to positive results in mitigating our impact.

Our Climate Change Strategy identifies the actions we will undertake, how we will track our results, and the ways we will support the community. These first steps demonstrate our commitment to take action related to climate change, and contribute to a resilient watershed community.

About the Climate Change Strategy

The Climate Change Strategy includes four goals to guide our efforts: Educate, Adapt, Mitigate, and Implement.

Each goal identifies objectives and a series of specific actions that we will undertake to implement the strategy. 

We also identify targets to measure our progress, and to document our implementation of the strategy. We will measure our progress annually in a Report Card format and share with the watershed community.

Read the full strategy, including the global and local context for Climate change, access the downloadable copy under, ‘Downloads’ above on the right.


Goal 1 | EDUCATE

Increasing the watershed community’s understanding of how climate change impacts the watershed’s natural environment.

OBJECTIVE| Increase the broader watershed community’s understanding of the Authority’s role with the climate change agenda, and the impacts to the watershed’s natural environment due to climate change.

ACTIONS

  • Adopt a climate change lens when promoting programs & services
  • Include climate change related responsibilities in work plans and job descriptions
  • Collaborate with others to advance climate change actions across all sectors of society
  • Undertake climate change vulnerability assessments
  • Utilize monitoring data to create information about climate change impacts on the watershed
  • Incorporate climate change messaging into Otonabee Conservation’s education programs

TARGETS

Add climate change page to Otonabee Conservation Website and maintain regularly

Include climate change related info on Social Media Platforms

Model climate change actions and behaviours

Review job descriptions and amend to include climate change related responsibilities

Include climate change related activities in workplans

Be an active participant on local climate change initiatives, such as:

  • Peterborough Public Health Climate Change and Health Advisory Group
  • City of Peterborough Watershed Planning Study
  • City of Peterborough Stormwater Management Plan
  • City of Peterborough Community Climate Change Resiliency Strategy
  • Green Economy Peterborough

Facilitate discussions with municipalities and others to share best practices and success stories related to implementing climate change strategies and measures to mitigate impacts

Support climate change initiatives and processes undertaken by partner municipalities

Investigate options for undertaking climate change vulnerability assessments

Continue with data collection programs

Enhance ability to manage and share data

Identify linkages between monitoring data and climate change impacts

Incorporate climate change messaging into Envirothon, Yellow Fish Road, Spring Water Awareness Program, Discovery Days, Peterborough Children’s Water Festival Activity and other experiential education programs

Develop public information products related to climate change impacts (i.e. videos about flood preparedness)

Goal 2 | ADAPT

Actions taken in response to actual or projected climate change impacts, which reduce the effects of climate change on built, natural, and social systems.

OBJECTIVE| Reduce carbon emissions from Authority operations and increase carbon sequestration.

ACTIONS

  • Continue to advocate for the development of floodplain mapping guidelines that include climate change considerations
  • Undertake a review of all policies, strategies, and program and service descriptions to integrate and include climate adaptation
  • Promote the implementation of Low Impact Development (LID) and other techniques to reduce the impacts of impervious surface areas and improve the capture of rainfall
  • Support local municipalities in the incorporation of climate change considerations in official plans and other land use planning policies and documents
  • Work with local municipalities to update design criteria for stormwater management facilities and infrastructure (bridges and culverts) to accommodate conveyance of runoff from storms

TARGETS

Initiate policy review process to identify opportunities to integrate climate change adaptation (e.g. climate friendly procurement policy, checklist, etc.)

Initiate program/services review to identify and integrate climate change adaption

Review Official Plan Updates, Land Use Planning policies and documents, and include climate change considerations in comments

Quantify future impacts of climate change on floodplain mapping

Investigate partnership opportunities with municipalities and other partners to implement projects designed to reduce volume of water entering watercourses and Source Water Management (SWM) facilities during rainfall events to prevent flooding

Investigate partnership opportunities with municipalities to require pre/post development water balance and site level SWM

Collaborate with municipalities to develop design criteria to capture and control specific water volume and implement through LID

Participate in development of appropriate design criteria for culverts, bridges, stormwater management ponds and other infrastructure to reflect climate change impacts from runoff and extreme weather events

Collaborate with municipalities to establish new Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) curves that reflect future climate change impacts

Goal 3 | MITIGATE

Efforts to lower or prevent the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, including reducing sources of emissions and implementing measures that enhance the storage or sequestration of Carbon.

OBJECTIVE | Include climate change considerations in policy and program development and implementation; enhance local capacity to withstand the impacts of flooding from increasingly frequent and intense storm events.

ACTIONS

  • Reduce carbon emissions and fuel usage by keeping the Otonabee Conservation fleet in good running condition with regular maintenance and service
  • Consider electric or hybrid options when replacing vehicles
  • Increase use of alternatives to travel (i.e. conference calls, carpooling, telecommuting)
  • Undertake audits of facilities/operations and implement recommendations with new builds or when retrofitting existing infrastructure (i.e. energy audits, waste audits, ISO 14001, installation of energy efficient lighting, cooling, heating systems, windows, plumbing, etc.)
  • Review conservation area land management and operations through a climate change lens to implement best practices
  • Undertake and facilitate tree planting projects

TARGETS

Schedule regular vehicle maintenance

Complete repairs as required

Establish policy that vehicles can not idle for more than 1 minute (as per City of Peterborough of Idling By-Law)

Include criteria for low fuel consumption/ electric/hybrid vehicles in procurement process for new vehicles

Install electric vehicle charging stations at Administrative Office and Campgrounds

Upgrade technology to facilitate remote work and promote paperless/digital processes

Update policies to facilitate remote work/meetings

Incorporate climate change considerations into Conservation Land Management and Operating Plans

Complete energy and waste audits for operations and facilities and prioritize recommendations for implementation

Adopt energy efficient design principles for any building renovation or replacement (i.e. LEED Certification)

Ensure Conservation Area lands are actively managed to maintain a healthy forest

Implement tree planting activities

Goal 4 | IMPLEMENT

The process of putting a plan into action including a process to measure the progress of implementation, and the effectiveness of the actions to ensure the strategy is successful.

OBJECTIVE | Implement Climate Change Strategy and track progress.

ACTIONS

  • Establish, assess, and update our carbon impact
  • Measure and report our progress annually
  • Review Climate Change Strategy annually to ensure it remains current and relevant

TARGETS

Report Annually

Calculate impacts of actions to quantify reduction

Complete annual review and update of

Climate Change Strategy and actions

Include climate change in updated Strategic Plan

Develop targets and milestones to facilitate implementation

Calculate organizational carbon footprint