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Growing support for nature-based climate solutions: survey

By Brad Perry Jun 3, 2023 | 8:00 AM

A new survey finds New Brunswickers are overwhelmingly in support of nature-based climate solutions.

The New Brunswick Environmental Network conducted the survey as part of a larger project it is undertaking.

“These are things like building wetlands and naturalized stormwater retention ponds to help manage flooding as a result of major storm events,” project coordinator Lily Barraclough said in an interview.

“Or it’s reinforcing the coastline through living shoreline methods which involve building up the banks and using native grasses and shrubs instead of using cement blocks and building a seawall.”

Barraclough said the results of the survey showed that many people are not familiar with nature-based approaches to climate change.

In fact, only one-in-five respondents knew about them before filling out the survey, said the network.

Barraclough said it is clear there needs to be more education on the topic so New Brunswickers can become informed.

“Although there’s been interest over the past number of years in nature-based climate solutions here in New Brunswick, there hasn’t been a huge increase in the number of projects,” she said.

Barraclough said there is a desire by municipalities to shift toward more nature-based solutions, but there are still several unknowns.

“The cost of building nature-based solutions has been unknown, so that has been a big barrier for municipalities,” she said.

“Even if a human-made solution is more costly, it’s a known quantity. With nature-based solutions, all the pieces involved in implementing them and maintaining them are often unknown.”

This is where the New Brunswick Environmental Network comes into play. They are working to develop a tool for municipalities to help them evaluate natural solutions.

Barraclough said nature-based approaches do more than serve as tools to reduce the risk of climate change effects to communities.

They also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve habitat availability for at-risk species, filter water, and provide green spaces for recreation and physical activity.

“Municipalities are on the frontlines of climate change. Their services and communities are the most directly impacted by the effects of the changing climate, and their actions have a large impact on the lives of their residents and their environment,” said Barraclough.


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