Project: Community Adaptation Initiative
The Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR) and the Clean Air Partnership (CAP) have been selected to coordinate an outreach project on climate change.
Funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, the Community Adaptation Initiative is a project to help communities address the challenges of climate change. This initiative will work with private and public sector groups, conservation authorities and non-governmental organizations to become more resilient to climate change and its effects.
- Develop, promote and deliver resources focused on assessing climate change impacts, vulnerability and risks, facilitating adaptation in the target audience and increasing adaptation knowledge and expertise; and
- Conduct outreach, capacity building and training sessions focused on assessing climate change impacts, vulnerability and risks, facilitating adaptation in the target audience and increasing adaptation knowledge and expertise.
- Capacity Building Workshops
- Case Studies
Five case studies were developed to explore in-depth examples of promising adaptation activities in Ontario communities.
- Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into the Town of Ajax Official Plan
- Adapting to Changing Flood Patterns in the City of Hamilton
- Creating a Regional Climate Change Strategy in Peel
- Community Based Adaptation in Brampton Through the Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan
- A Street Tree Survival Strategy in Toronto
- Citizen Forums
- Data Sheets
- Fact Sheets
- Expert-led Technical Workshops
Developed to prepare stakeholders for planning to reduce the urban impacts of climate change.
- Climate Change Adaptation in the Emergency Management and Critical Infrastructure Sectors
- Climate Change Adaptation for High Rise Residential Buildings
- Climate Change Adaptation in the Electricity Sector
- Building Strategic Partnerships to Create Adaptive Capacity in the Urban Forest
- Climate Change Adaptation and Health Equity
These short videos show how Ontario communities are already taking to adapt to climate change.
OCCIAR held 4 webinars on climate change adaptation to build capacity within different sectors in Ontario:
- The Future of Our Boreal Forests
By Tim Lynham
Mike Flannigan and Tim Lynham of Natural Resources Canada Canadian Forest Service will discuss the projected impacts of climate change on the Boreal forest. Canadian boreal forests have been around for thousands of years but are the health and survival of these forests now reaching a tipping point? Recently, our climate has been warming due to increases of radiatively active gases (particularly carbon dioxide and methane) as a result of human activities. This altered climate as modelled by General Circulation Models (GCMs) may have a profound impact on Canadian forests. Historically, the boreal forest has survived and even thrived in a changing climate but the projected rate of warming may stress our forests beyond a threshold. This stress on the forests will come from the direct influences of an altered climate in the form of drought, wind storms, ice storms and excess heat or cold. However, the most rapid and possibly most significant impacts of climate change may be through altered disturbance regimes such as forest fires and insects. This interplay between climate change and disturbance regime has the potential to overshadow the importance of the direct effects of global warming on species distribution, migration, substitution and extinction. Such a scenario suggests that the rate and magnitude of change induced by the disturbance regime could greatly exceed anything expected due to atmospheric warming alone. Recent work suggests that fire activity in Canada may double (Figure 1) by the end of this century. The future of our boreal forests will be discussed in terms of global warming and a disturbance regime that will be induced by climate change.
Figure 1. The ratio of 3xCO2/1xCO2 area burned by Ecozone using the Canadian GCM.
Tim Lynham is a Forest Fire Research Project Leader for Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service (CFS) in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. From 1980-1981 he worked as a remote sensing Image Analyst at the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) in Ottawa. Since 1981, he has been with Natural Resources Canada where he conducts research on fire ecology, fire behaviour modeling, and remote sensing applications for fire science. Tim works with satellite remote sensing data to monitor Canadian wildfires for national carbon accounting. He was also a member of the recent Far North, Science Advisory Panel to the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources. He represents the Canadian Government on the Fire Implementation Team under the UN Global Observation of Forest Cover Project.Click here to view the presentation.
- Climate Change Science and the Adaptation Imperative
By Dr. David Pearson
As part of the Community Adaptation Initiative, Dr. Pearson (co-chair of Ontario's Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation and co-Director of Laurentian University's Science Communication Program) presented a webinar entitled Climate Change Science and the Adaptation Imperative. In his presentation Dr. Pearson addressed:
- The science of climate change and its evolution over time
- The Impacts of climate change, both locally and globally
- Global climate modeling and projections based on greenhouse gas emissions
- The importance of adaptation
- Limits to adaptation
- Climate change communication
Dr David Pearsonis a Professor of Earth Sciences and a member of the Co-operative Freshwater Ecology Unit at Laurentian University. He is the Co-Director of the Laurentian University / Science North Graduate Diploma program in Science Communication, and Senior Science Advisor to Science North, where he was the Project Director and then Founding Director from 1980 to 1986. From 2001 to 2007 David was Chair of the Ontario Office of the Canadian Climate Impacts and Adaptation Research Network at Laurentian University. He is now science advisor to the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources, and Co-Chair of the Ontario Government's Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation. From 2008 to June 2010 he chaired the Science Advisory Panel for Ontario's Far North Initiative. He has hosted two TV series: "Understanding the Earth" (TV Ontario) and "Down to Earth" (Mid Canada TV); and was the scientist for CBC “Northern Ontario's weekly Radio Lab" from 1982 to 1997. In 2000 David received the Geological Association of Canada's Ward Neale Medal for communication of the earth sciences, and in 2003 he was awarded the McNeil Medal of the Royal Society of Canada for public communication of science.
- Practitioner's Guide to Climate Change Adaptation in Ontario's Ecosystems
By Jenny Gleeson
Jenny Gleeson will discuss the recently released "Practitioner's Guide to Climate Change Adaptation in Ontario's Ecosystems" - a collaboration with the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources and the University of Waterloo. Jenny will present key elements of the step-by-step guide and some examples of tools and techniques included within the guide.
Jenny Gleeson is a senior program advisor with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources Climate Change Program and one of the lead authors of the Practitioner's Guide to Climate Change Adaptation in Ontario's Ecosystems. Previously, Jenny has worked on climate change projects with the International Institute for Sustainable Development. She has a Masters in International Development Studies focused on natural resource management.
Click here to view the presentation.
- So Now What? An Introduction to Communicating Climate Change
By Ewa Jackson, Manager, ICLEI Canada
Ewa Jackson spoke about communicating climate change and translating communication into action. After an introduction into the basics of communication, the bulk of the presentation focused on answering the five big questions: Who? What? Why? When? and How? She spoke of the importance of creating locally tailored messages and how communities large and small have done this successfully!
Ewa Jackson has worked with municipal governments for over 10 years in the fields of sustainability, public participation, and climate change. She is a leader in the field of municipal climate adaptation, and since 2007, has been engaging with communities from coast to coast to coast on the issue. She led the development of ICLEI's Guidebook, Changing Climate Changing Communities, and is currently leading the development of many new ICLEI climate adaptation projects, including the: ICLEI Adaptation Initiative; Communication, Outreach and Engagement Training Resource; Adaptation Nexus Series; Online Workbook for Municipal Climate Action; Mayors Handbook on Climate Change Adaptation; National Adaptation Event in the fall of 2013; and the National Adaptation Measures Report.
Click here to view the presentation.
- The Future of Our Boreal Forests