The government is investing in key projects to help Nova Scotia’s agriculture sector respond to climate change. The sector is a critical part of the province’s economy, providing food and jobs for Nova Scotians.
Agriculture Minister Greg Morrow announced more than $4.4 million for six projects today, September 19, in Bible Hill on behalf of Environment and Climate Change Minister Timothy Halman.
“As we continue to see the effects of climate change, it is essential for the agriculture sector to develop strategies to adapt and respond to changing conditions. Failure to do so not only jeopardizes food security, but also the long-term sustainability of farming practices,” said Minister Morrow. “These crucial initiatives underscore Nova Scotia’s dedication to a greener future within the agriculture sector. Our investments highlight our commitment to sustainable and resilient agricultural practices, advancing the province’s journey toward environmental responsibility and agricultural resilience.”
Perennia Food and Agriculture Corporation, the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia, the Agri-Commodity Management Association and Horticulture Nova Scotia will receive a total of $2.4 million to hire climate adaptation co-ordinators to develop and implement climate change adaptation strategies for their respective sectors. This funding is through Our Climate, Our Future: Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth, and advances Action 8 in the plan, which is to increase climate change adaptation capacity in communities and business sectors by supporting them in hiring their own climate change co-ordinators to help develop and implement climate change adaptation strategies.
TransCoastal Adaptations, a climate action centre at Saint Mary’s University, and its partners will receive more than $1.9 million to support a wetland restoration project – Making Room for Wetlands: Coastal Carbon Edition. The project will restore and enhance wetlands along the Bay of Fundy, benefiting nearby communities by reducing flood risks, enhancing food production, capturing greenhouse gases and improving habitats for important species.
NSCAD University will receive $112,000 for its Flaxmobile project, an effort to educate people on growing fibre flax, the plant source for linen. This project is funded by the Province’s Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund, which is administered by the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities.
We are excited to be taking on a larger role in this next phase of the Climate Adaptation Leadership Program by having a dedicated co-ordinator working with our specialists and industry to make meaningful change. It is imperative our agriculture sectors have the capacity and means to handle the impacts of our changing climate, and this program will support that and an industry that is such a vital part of our rural communities and economy.
Lynne Godlien, CEO, Perennia Food and Agriculture
This season’s weather events have greatly challenged our growers. It highlights the need for the climate change strategy already developed with the input of growers. Through this program, with a skilled climate adaptation co-ordinator on staff, we hope to provide and partner in needed programs and supports so our farms can succeed.
Marlene Huntley, Executive Director, Horticulture Nova Scotia
The cattle and sheep sectors are very excited to have the opportunity to focus on becoming resilient through climate change adaptation. We would like to thank the Department of Environment and Climate Change for their work on this project and we look forward to continuing our work together.
Kara Chisholm, Executive Director, Agri-Commodity Management Association
We’re so grateful to the Department of Environment and Climate Change for the opportunity to participate in the Climate Adaptation Leadership Program and for their significant contribution in order to execute the Nova Scotia Christmas tree and greenery climate adaptation strategy. This will allow us to continue to move towards a more sustainable Christmas tree industry here in Nova Scotia.
Brittany Frenette, General Manager, Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia
Collaboration and a multidisciplinary team have led to our success in restoring over 400 hectares of tidal wetland in Nova Scotia since 2005. This funding allows us to continue to foster these partnerships with Saint Mary’s University, the Nova Scotia provincial government and the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, and take a holistic approach in the study, design and implementation of dykeland management and habitat restoration projects. This project will provide benefits to multiple estuaries and communities surrounding the Bay of Fundy, helping to increase our resilience to climate change impacts, restore vitally important tidal wetland habitat and demonstrate effective coastal adaptation strategies available to coastal communities throughout the region.
Tony Bowron, co-founder, TransCoastal Adaptations
NSCAD University is proud to help lead industry efforts to phase out imported fossil-based fibres by promoting recycled and biodegradable alternatives that can be produced locally. Jennifer Green’s Flaxmobile project is an inspiring example of how makers in the cultural sector can work with growers in the agricultural sector to build a sustainable ecosystem within the Nova Scotian economy.
Peggy Shannon, President, NSCAD University
NSCAD’s Flaxmobile project demonstrates the significance of transitioning away from imported fossil-based fibres towards locally produced, recycled and biodegradable alternatives. The Flaxmobile, a mobile facility for education and fibre processing, will play a vital role in supporting communities to foster sustainable textile supply chains. This will empower local stakeholders to prepare for the impacts of climate change, while promoting environmental responsibility and economic resilience within Nova Scotia.
Juanita Spencer, CEO, Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities
- Perennia will receive $1.2 million in funding over four years to hire a climate adaptation co-ordinator; the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia, the Agri-Commodity Management Association and Horticulture Nova Scotia will each receive $400,000 over two years
- the wetland restoration project will focus on Cumberland, Hants and Colchester counties
- NSCAD associate professor Jennifer Green travels to communities in the Flaxmobile – a converted cargo van – and connects with farmers, fibre mills, craftspeople and consumers to promote the growth of sustainable textile supply chains
Our Climate, Our Future: Nova Scotia's Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth: https://climatechange.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/ns-climate-change-plan.pdf
Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act: https://nslegislature.ca/sites/default/files/legc/statutes/environmental%20goals%20and%20climate%20change%20reduction.pdf
Nova Scotia’s climate risk assessment – Weathering What’s Ahead: Climate Change Risk and Nova Scotia’s Well-being: https://climatechange.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/climate-change-risk-report.pdf
More information on the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund is available at: https://nschallengefund.ca/