Canadian biodiversity expert speaks with islanders

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By DAVID DENNING

SPECIAL TO THE DRIFTWOOD

The most important piece of the puzzle for stopping drastic climate change is the part most often overlooked. The simple reality is that nature can help us avert a deepening climate crisis.

Our problem, of course, is that we continue to emit excessive greenhouse gases.

Technologies such as renewable energies and electric vehicles are partial solutions, but will not solve our climate crisis on their own. That’s true also for behavioural changes such as reducing our travel or growing and buying more of our own food locally. Carbon capture and sequestration technologies are exceedingly expensive, and have little to no promise to significantly reduce atmospheric carbon.

We need to call on nature. Healthy ecosystems, rich in biodiversity, provide one of the best and most effective ways to capture and store the excess carbon we have released to the atmosphere.

On Sunday, March 28 from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Risa Smith will provide a unique opportunity for islanders to learn about Canada’s commitments to preserve and rejuvenate our natural ecosystems, through her live zoom presentation and discussion called Using Nature’s Ways to Fight the Climate Crisis.

Smith is a world leader in biodiversity, environmental monitoring and promoting the concept of nature-based approaches to the climate crisis. She is a key advisor to the Canadian government shaping our responses to the climate and biodiversity crises, and has presented to many world conferences, including both COP 24 and COP25.

Smith is the author of Enhancing Canada’s Climate Change Ambitions with Natural Climate Solutions, a study that lays out five key approaches we can use to maximize the effects of preserving and restoring nature. In this presentation, she will examine what we must do at national, provincial and local levels to work with nature to slow and reverse greenhouse heating.

Smith is an inspiring naturalist, community leader and climate activist living on Galiano Island where she serves on the boards of both the Galiano Conservancy and the Salish Sea Renewable Energy Cooperative.

Sunday’s event is a fundraiser for both the Salt Spring Island Conservancy and the Transition Salt Spring Society.

Tickets are $10, available at EventBrite using this URL: www.tinyurl.com/RisaSmith.

Students can join for free and can obtain their tickets by emailing: info@transitionsaltspring.com

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