The Saskatchewan prairie region has been identified as one of the most vulnerable ecosystems to climate change. Due to its already naturally dry climate, this area is vulnerable to small changes and extreme weather conditions associated with climate change. For instance, prolonged droughts or sudden floods are likely to have a devastating effect. Heavy cultivation and fragmentation of land by human activities throughout large parts of Saskatchewan increase the impact of extreme conditions due to erosion prone cultivated fields and heavy water use for irrigation.
While the region is highly vulnerable to climate change it is, at the same time, a significant contributor for a number of reasons. The largest increase in contributions of greenhouse gas emissions has occurred from industrial development in Saskatchewan. New forms of development that do not have these impacts or minimize these impacts need to be explored. At the same time, transportation in Saskatchewan makes use of substantial fossil fuels. The great distances between cities and towns in Saskatchewan and the lack of frequent passenger trains both between and within communities makes personal transportation a further source of CO2 emission and air pollution. Highly mechanized, intensive agriculture focused on exports from the region also contributes substantial transportation emissions. As a landlocked province lacking waterways for shipping, transportation costs and fossil fuel use have historically been high. Since everyone in the region contribute to CO2 emission in a diversity of ways, each one of us can do his or her share in reducing it. We therefore believe that education on climate change is an important issue in the Saskatchewan RCE.