The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is on board with a homegrown strategy to combat climate change.
SARM President Ray Orb said the association has been trying to work with the provincial government to draft a plan since he joined the board in 2004 — specifically, in regards to developing offset protocols.
He noted that many rural municipalities have been doing their part for a while.
“They’re retrofitting some of their machinery already, and most of the modern graders and earth moving equipment are already equipped with zero-emission equipment,” he said.
Orb added rural municipalities saw first-hand the effects of climate change this fall with the wildfires in the southwest.
“(The wildfires have) been tied to climate change by several people. If it is, then we are really concerned about that and we need to better react,” he said.
According to Orb, looking at resiliency programs for agriculture producers are a way to mitigate the effects of climate change.
As for the strategy’s proposed floodplain mapping, the president said it’ll help identify which communities are at greatest risk of extreme weather, which he sees as an asset across Saskatchewan.
“We’d be willing to work with the province on that to see if there could be something that could be used for all rural municipalities that need that help,” he said, adding floodplain mapping will also be of benefit when looking at future developments.
Orb is now hoping rural municipalities will be able to voice their opinions on the offset programs during the consultation period early next year.