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The flood resilience challenge

The flood resilience challenge

In an effort to build awareness and understanding of the risks posed by sea-level rise, Sechelt is the first community to host an interactive online session of the Flood Resilience Challenge game. People interested in taking part need to register using the link provided on Sechelt.ca.

On March 18 at 6:30pm, there will be an online information session on sea-level rise, flooding potential and the possible impacts of both for the community of Sechelt. Along with guest speakers and presentations, this event will include opportunities for questions and small group discussions.

That session will be followed by a game night on the evening of March 25. In the game, participants will be presented with options related to the design of a community with areas in tidal flood zones. They will make decisions about spending on different types of infrastructure. They will then find out how the construction that they opted for will be impacted by different flood scenarios. In addition to consequences for the structures, they will also be presented with the environmental and social impacts their decisions had on their virtual community. 

As of March 10, Sechelt had 18 individuals registered. Event coordinator and Community Planner Marina Stjepovic said that 20 individuals can play at one time and that observers are also welcome. She stated that if there is enough interest, the District could look at running the game online a second time.    

Sechelt looked into an online option after the in-person Game of Floods event that it had planned to host in the spring of 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We still hope to be able to run the in-person game when the pandemic is over. Games allow us to step back from reality, to explore ‘what would happen if.’ Even though we may witness the effects of flooding and climate-related disasters happening in other areas, it could never hit home as much as when it happens to us directly. Sea levels for the South Coast and Vancouver are projected to rise a half meter in the next 30 years,” said Stjepovic.

When asked about the outcomes the District is looking for in this venture, Stjepovic said, “I hope this game provokes thoughtful discussion. It allows us to hear different perspectives, try out different approaches and think about the consequences of decisions on a complex topic that affects us all. I also believe in initiating positive change at the local level. What we initiate locally ripples outward and upward. We can create our story for the future.”   

Connie Jordison

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