Everything that grows in the Okanagan will be impacted by climate change, population growth, consumption, production and changes in land use. photo:contributed

UBC Okanagan researchers host discussion on Okanagan food systems

The open event will discuss how climate change, growth and land use might affect local food systems

The Okanagan Research Forum invites the community to listen to experts and take part in an open discussion about the future of food production in the Okanagan.

The forum is hosted by UBC Okanagan’s Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services (BRAES) and the Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER). It’s a collaboration with partner organizations in an effort to share information and encourage conversation between the community, government and academia.

Presenters from local organizations include Westbank First Nation, the Certified Organic Association, the City of Kelowna, the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council, the B.C. Wildlife Federation, the En’owkin Centre and the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems.

This year’s theme is to explore changes in local food systems and will consider issues such as climate change, access to land, consumption, sustainable food production and future land use.

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Four expert panels will discuss agricultural land use, policy, production and consumption. Each panel will be moderated by a UBC Okanagan professor or alumnus, and include farmers, representatives from relevant organizations and other experts. The goal is to explore how ‘eating the Okanagan’ applies to social, cultural and ecological systems. The day will conclude with a research poster session accompanied by a wine and cheese event.

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The afternoon keynote lecture on indigenous plant foods will be presented by Nancy Turner, emeritus professor and ethnobotanist from the University of Victoria. All four panel discussions and the keynote lecture are open to the public. There is a registration fee for the day to cover the cost of food and beverages.

This year’s forum is sponsored by UBC Okanagan’s BRAES, ICER, the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, the College of Graduate Studies and the BC Institute of Agrologists.

To register, or get more information, visit okresearchforum.geolive.ca or contact Carolina Restrepo at carolina.restrepo@ubc.ca

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