Statement about Flooding and Climate Change Events in B.C.

Statement about Flooding and Climate Change Events in B.C.

November 18, 2021 – In just a few short weeks we have experienced an unprecedented tornado at UBC, torrential rains, mudslides and flooding that have wreaked untold damage in the Fraser Valley, Pemberton and beyond. Highways and supply lines have been cut. Hectares of foodlands have been inundated by water, mud or completely swept away. Farmers are being told to abandon their animals and save themselves. It is heartbreaking.

Further east, BC farmers are cut off from their critical supply chains into the Lower Mainland, unable to get their products to market whether they be to retailers, restaurants or community farmers markets. As a result, food will perish and farmers will lose important income – an unwelcome impact in a year of cumulative disasters.

Indigenous foodlands have also been irreparably damaged by flooding and landslides which have wiped out traditional sources of food and will have long-term effects on food sources such as salmon-bearing streams.

We are reaching out to farmers and Indigenous communities to offer support and acknowledge their ongoing resilience in the face of very challenging times.

Minister Lana Popham committed to emergency financial support for farmers impacted by the catastrophic events of the past few days. At the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS) and UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems, we applaud this commitment and encourage the government to include farmers whose crops, livestock and market access have been impacted. We hope there is additional support for Indigenous communities, their food systems and infrastructure.

This is climate change in action. These are the more intense and frequent storms that scientists have been warning us about. At CSFS, we are reflecting on how we can do more, and where to pour our energies. We will be sharing reactions to COP26 and ideas from our CSFS Associates and staff. We also want to hear from you. Please send us your thoughts on social media or email us at, letting us know if you would like us to post your thoughts publicly.

Rickey Yada
Dean and Professor
UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Interim Academic Director, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm

Clare Cullen
Director of Operations
Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm

Parm Bains
Chair, Faculty Advisory Board
UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems