As a Vancouverite, I’m proud of the nice weather and enjoyable nature my city has. However, I can really see the impacts of climate change on the city. The heat dome event, the intense wildfire season, followed by the floods caused by the atmospheric river, this year’s drought and delayed wildfire season, etc. From observing common management practises, I found people tend to have a mindset of controlling nature, including the natural processes that have been essential to regulating the Earth’s systems. I believe natural cycles are there because they have been working for billions of years, and humans could not work against them.
I envision a world where we see nature as a living, loving friend, but not a commodity to extract or a force to conquer. Climate change, biodiversity loss, and other environmental devastation happened because humans (in particular western colonists) think that they can engineer their way out of everything. We restricted river systems from moving, we paved over wetlands so they can no longer absorb storm surges, we logged old-growth forests and turned them into cash crops, and we suppressed the fires that are important in forest regeneration. On the other hand, indigenous communities have been working with nature in protecting and maintaining landscapes and biodiversity. In fact, the Garry Oak ecosystem is a result of prescribed burning that has nurtured a plethora of biodiversity.
For this to happen, nature-based interventions should be prioritized in landscape management. First, we have to restore the infrastructures that have prevented the Earth from continuing its natural cycles. (See this example about river restoration and flood prevention) In terms of wildfire management, we should stop fire suppression. Normalizing prescribed burns as a strategy of forest management. Moreover, forest management and plantations should be done according to the ecosystem: planting multiple species of trees that can facilitate each other, to help the tree grow and prevent the number of dead trees.