Role of Conservation Authorities in Mitigation and Adaptation
As local natural resource management agencies, Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities are tracking and regularly addressing impacts of climate change to water and land resources with both mitigation and adaptation measures.
Conservation Authorities contribute to greenhouse gas mitigation through their operations and increasing use of sustainable transportation within their fleet, identifying and applying energy conservation technologies and practices, and incorporating or implementing renewable energy systems (e.g. water power). Where possible green building technologies, low impact development and retrofits are also being implemented or promoted in rural and urban watersheds.
Conservation Authority program areas that mitigate greenhouse gases include reforestation, carbon sequestration (e.g. wetlands), low impact development, and partnering in carbon offset opportunities (reforestation, habitat enhancement, carbon sequestration).
Conservation Authority watershed management programs address the impacts of climate change as well as protect the ecosystem benefits we regularly rely on such as drinking water, food, and support for manufacturing and other industries. Conservation Authorities monitor, track, and report on local conditions in Ontario’s watersheds which can be used for climate change modelling and monitoring.
Watershed programs build local natural resource resiliency by protecting and improving water quality, ensuring sustainable water supplies, restoring and protecting biodiversity, and addressing low water issues.
Conservation Authorities also protect people and property from increased flooding and other natural hazards, as well as work with agencies, businesses and residents to implement a wide variety of green infrastructure and water quality, and stormwater management strategies and practices.