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General News · 21st April 2021
Ashley Zarbatany
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CORTES CPR: Climate Plan for Resilience

To our Fellow Islanders,

The world is changing faster than any of us might like. New reports show that the pandemic has hindered the global fight against climate change and many now predict that we are now at or slightly past critical ecological tipping points. We here on our small island face specific threats such as increasing wildfire risk, deeper droughts, intensifying storms, and rising sea levels. Because this is an emergency we are undertaking the development of a new action plan, the Cortes CPR, Climate Plan for Resilience, built upon the previous Cortes Climate Plan 1.0 done in 2010 by some dedicated islanders.

We aim to facilitate the creation of a community plan that identifies:

1 - What physical changes we can expect to see on the island and solutions to adapt to them as best as possible.

2 - Ways we can decrease our greenhouse gas emissions so that we do not continue to exacerbate the problem and to take responsibility for our own carbon pollution.

3 - Projects that we can identify for action that achieve one or both of the above goals and provide as many co-benefits as possible (ie. job creation, education, new business opportunities, etc).

The possibilities are endless. Maybe we will band together with the other islands to push for electric ferries, a regional forestry strategy, or even just a bus across Quadra? Or perhaps we will find ways to bolster the burgeoning kelp farming initiatives in order to lead carbon sequestration efforts while improving our local economy. We can increase our resilience through efforts like more robust neighbourhood emergency preparedness plans, or enhanced food security initiatives.

The times are urgent. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last week, “We are on the verge of the abyss” calling for “an end to our senseless and suicidal war on nature.” Or as Kurt Vonnegut said, “Dear Future Generations, Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.” Go here to Climate Action Tracker or to Nasa’s Global Climate Change site if you want more information on global data, policy options, analysis and information.

It is time for all hands on deck and we believe that this community can develop innovative pragmatic solutions that will protect and enhance our way of life and serve as an example to others.


A) Join the data team to help us source the data and information we need, specifically current island-wide carbon emissions and climate risk impacts.

B) Sign up as a volunteer to help design or implement projects in your areas of interest or expertise.

C) Sign up to stay informed as things go forward.

Please sign up here for any or all of the above:

And follow us on Facebook:

This project is guided by an initial Steering Committee consisting of Ashley Zarbatany, Karen Mahon Carrington, Sadhu Johnston, Mercedes Grant, Noba Anderson, Maya Gislason, and Max Thaysen. We have put together a framework so that we can all work together as an island community to determine our shared concerns and potentials for action. For a more detailed view of the process we anticipate click here.

We are being advised by scientists and organizers on Saltspring Island who have just completed a Climate Action plan for their community which you can see here as an example.

Lets do this!

Have specific questions: Reach out to any of our Steering Committee Members or write to Ashley at