Boosting Local Governments for Climate-Resilient Food Security in Canada – Food Tank

Empowering Municipalities for Climate-Resilient Food Security in Canada – Food Tank

“Canadian Webinar Emphasizes Municipal Role in Climate-Resilient Food Access and the Importance of Collaborative Efforts

The Climate Caucus, a non-profit organization in Canada, recently hosted a webinar that focused on the importance of climate-resilient food security and the role of Canadian municipalities in making food accessible. The webinar, titled “Increasing Affordability Through Municipal Climate Action,” featured speakers from the Tamarack Institute, Climate Caucus, and Guelph’s County of Wellington, who emphasized the need for collaboration and partnership in addressing this issue.

Rising Food Costs Linked to Climate Crisis

The discussion began by highlighting the alarming prediction that the average Canadian family of four will spend CAD 701.79 more on food in 2024 than they did in 2023. This increase in costs has been attributed, in part, to natural disasters such as flooding and wildfires, which are linked to the climate crisis. As a result, there is a growing recognition of the need for sustainable food systems, with municipal governments being identified as powerful agents of change in this regard.

Local Efforts in Creating a Circular Food System

The webinar also shed light on the City of Guelph’s commendable efforts in establishing a local, circular food system. With a population of 120,000, the city has shown a strong commitment to converting food waste into food security, leading to its victory in Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge in 2020. The winning project, known as “Our Food Futures,” has effectively integrated goals related to access to nutritious and affordable food, climate action and sustainability, healthy communities, business innovation, and social partnerships, as highlighted by Laura Schnurr from the Tamarack Institute. Through collaboration with various organizations, the city has been successful in collecting and distributing food waste and working with the local health organization to provide fresh produce to patients.

Prioritizing Local Food Systems and Regional Security

The speakers also discussed the implementation of a regenerative agriculture pilot program in Alberta, emphasizing the importance of supporting farmers as they transition to regenerative agriculture to enhance regional security and resistance to the impacts of climate change. They stressed that amid global challenges such as war, pandemics, and political upheaval, local food systems are crucial in meeting the food needs of communities. As part of the initiative’s success, Wellington compiled lessons from the program into a handbook for other municipalities.

The Power of Collaboration

In conclusion, the speakers reiterated the importance of collaborative efforts involving organizations, companies, indigenous leaders, and governments across Canada to ensure that communities have access to food, particularly in the face of the climate crisis. It was underscored that by bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise, significant strides can be made in strengthening food security and resilience.

The involvement of public-private partnerships, community organizations, and local governments in addressing food accessibility through sustainable and resilient systems is crucial. We need to recognize the urgency of these issues and work together to ensure the availability of fresh and nutritious food for all, both now and in the future.”



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