Island food security probed at Sooke meeting

Climate change and local food security are in the spotlight at a public presentatio

Climate change and local food security are in the spotlight at a public presentation in Sooke.

The science behind climate change and the need to address its impact locally through regional food security is the focus of a Transition Sooke presentation at St. Rose of Lima Church, 2191 Townsend Rd., on July 22 at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation.

Aerospace engineer Parvez Kumar will begin the evening with an audio-visual presentation titled Our Planet In Crisis: A View From Above.

With a diverse background that includes stints with the Canadian and European space agencies, the Sooke resident uses an array of satellite photos and video clips to illustrate rising sea levels, melting icepacks, extreme weather events, deforestation and ocean acidification.

Sooke Farmland Trust co-founder Mary Coll will then offer a promising local answer to the climate crisis as she make the case for a revitalized Sooke food production system. She will be joined by former federal economist Mark Ziegler, who will quantify the significant potential value of an intact, managed, protected and coordinated Sooke foodshed.

Vancouver Island has enough food to last just 72 hours in case of emergency. The ongoing California drought is expected to reduce the volume while increasing the price of imported fruit and vegetables. More local food for local plates is essential.

A foodshed working group has recently begun meeting at the Sooke Region Volunteer Centre. Led by Christine Bossi, it includes Inishoge Farm’s Mary Coll, her Farmland Trust colleague Mary Alice Johnson, the Sooke Fall Fair’s Ellen Lewers, the Sooke Harbour House’s Frederique Phillip, Sooke Food CHI’s Britton Jacob-Schram, Sooke Chamber of Commerce’s Michael Nyikes and Transition Sooke’s Jeff Bateman, among others.