This year’s spring flood season and summer forest fire season have been made more worrying by the strains of the pandemic, which have reduced volunteer power for sandbagging and increased trouble for those needing to leave home due to a natural disaster. Restoring our natural environment can help mitigate some of the damage that will be done by natural disasters.
Our natural resources are crucial to the health of our economy, our ecosystems and our communities. We must prioritize protecting our water sources and mitigating fire and flood risks. These goals are opportunities for job creation in a just transition away from fossil fuels.
- Plant billions of ecologically appropriate and fire-resistant trees:
- in urban spaces to create livable microclimates;
- on steep hillsides after fires to secure hillsides and protect water quality;
- to create large fire breaks around at-risk, remote communities to save lives; and
- protect old growth forests for biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and carbon sequestration.
- Transition to a low-waste economy to reduce the use of finite resources.
- Encourage research into alternate materials to use in manufacturing.
- Reduce or ban single use plastics other than those required for public health protection.
- Accelerate the use of plastics made from biological materials.
- Reduce the impacts of climate change on shoreline communities by:
- enhancing docks and wharves to adapt to storm surges and sea level rise in consultation with fishing communities;
- building dikes to protect communities already built in floodplains; and
- preventing future building in floodplains.