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Policy Matters: Daimen Hardie

Later this year, Canadians will vote in the 43rd federal election. Many non-profit organizations, networks, and coalitions see elections as a critical opportunity to raise relevant public policy issues. Recently, the rules for charities engaging in public policy have become a prominent source of debate and discussion in government and the sector. As we countdown to the next election, The Philanthropist is asking non-profit leaders what public policy issues are top of mind for them.

Name and organization: Daimen Hardie, Community Forests International

What current election issues might impact your work?  

Climate change is immediately and in various ways impacting communities and landscapes across Canada, which is increasingly visible in extreme weather events. Canada urgently needs more inclusive and meaningful climate strategies that will transition the country to a low-carbon economy and help our communities adapt to climate change.

Smart climate policy can drive long-term economic growth. Community Forests International sees a huge opportunity for rural communities to participate in this transition, particularly by optimizing their natural assets for climate security. Rewarding rural communities for restoring, protecting, and managing the country’s forests for carbon drawdown and storage is a leading example.

What issues would you like to bring more attention to in the election? 

In 2019, federal scientists announced that climate change is warming Canada twice as fast as the rest of the world. Extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change are costing Canadians, as seen in recent flooding events across the country.

Natural climate solutions are said to be among the most significant and cost-effective solutions to addressing the climate crisis. By investing in our natural ecosystems and valuing the services they provide us, we can help our communities become more resilient locally while curbing the severity of climate change globally. We need to bring our natural solutions like forests and the people most directly connected to these landscapes into the centre of our conversations on climate action.

Where can we learn more about these issues?

Canada’s Changing Climate Report: changingclimate.ca/CCCR2019/

Combatting Canada’s Rising Flood Costs (Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation): intactcentreclimateadaptation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IBC_Wetlands-Report-2018_FINAL.pdf

“Forests Are a Low-Tech but High-Impact Way to Fight Climate Change” by Han de Groot: scientificamerican.com/article/forests-are-a-low-tech-but-high-impact-way-to-fight-climate-change/

“Cashing in on carbon credit: An experiment in sustainable tree harvesting”, CBC: cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/carbon-credits-community-forests-international-penobsquis-forestry-harvesting-1.3927786

Daimen Hardie is Executive Director of Community Forests International.

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