Job Posting: Executive Director, Renewable Cities

Renewable Cities is an international program of the SFU Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver, British Columbia whose mission is to support cities in the transition to 100% renewable energy. The program launched in May 2015 at a Global Learning Forum and has since helped to catalyze international leadership by providing the inspiration, ideas, connections, and supports towards urban energy transitions. Renewable Cities has convened multiple events and undertaken significant thought leadership work, from the local to the international level over the past three years. It works across disciplines and sectors with on-the-ground implementers to leaders on the global stage.

Renewable Cities’ current Executive Director will be transitioning to a new position in the Centre in December 2017. The SFU Centre for Dialogue is looking for a new Executive Director to lead the program into the future by providing the vision, ambition, and entrepreneurial skills to expand the program’s funding base and lead an effective team.

The Executive Director needs to be both a thought leader in their own right and an effective convener of other experts from many different fields. They must have the skills to work effectively with civil society, private sector and academic leaders, and with governmental and non-governmental organization from the municipal to the international level. The position requires a deep grounding in one or more of the fields of sustainable urban development, energy or dialogue.

Deadline: Monday, October 16.

Click here for more information and to apply.


From Pipelines to Dams: Energy Production and BC’s Water

On September 20th, the POLIS Water Sustainability Project is hosting the first webinar in its 2017/2018 Creating a Blue Dialogue webinar series. Register now!

WHAT: From Pipelines to Dams: Energy Production and BC’s Water
DATE: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
TIME: 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. PT ( 3 p.m. to  4:30 p.m. ET)

Communities across BC experience a range of impacts on their water and watersheds related to energy and resource development. Whether these impacts are the result of pipelines, hydraulic fracturing, liquefied natural gas, mining, hydroelectric facilities, or forestry activities (or the cumulative effects of a mix of these activities), the link between water and energy is clear: Without readily available and abundant water, there is no energy development. Yet, with energy development comes negative impacts on our water.

In this webinar we will hear from three speakers who each bring an important perspective to the ongoing conversation about the “water-energy nexus” in BC.

Ben Parfitt (Resource Policy Analyst, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) will discuss issues related to enforcement and compliance in the mining sector, with a focus on recent controversies around unauthorized dams.

Dr. Gilles Wendling (Founder & Senior Hydrogeologist, GW Solutions) will speak from his experience as a hydrogeologist and frequent collaborator in watershed management and planning initiatives, sharing the story of how hydraulic fracturing has impacted groundwater in northeast BC.

Finally, Shannon McPhail (Co-Founder and Executive Director, Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition) will provide a boots-on-the-ground community perspective by commenting on the tough realities and trade-offs that rural communities face when big energy development projects move into their watersheds. We’ll hear about some of the projects the SWCC has undertaken in order to support Indigenous communities, better understand the impacts of cumulative effects, and build bridges across sectors to support economic revitalization in the Skeena.

**SPACE IS LIMITED** Register now!


Survey: Is Your Local Government Taking Action on Biodiversity?

Local Government Representatives,

Is your local government engaged in area-based nature conservation? ICLEI Canada wants to know your opinion – in 10 minutes!

Canada Target 1 aims to protect and conserve at least 17% of terrestrial areas and inland waters, and 10% of coastal and marine areas, by 2020 to help stem the loss of biodiversity.  Reaching this goal will take a pan-Canadian, effort, involving many government departments, Indigenous groups, communities and organizations across Canada.  Municipalities have a role to play too.  Currently municipal parks and protected areas are not included in Canada’s report to the international conservation community, but many could be. Help us bring your voice to the Pathway to Canada Target 1 initiative by sharing your opinion in this ten-minute survey.

Please share this survey with with your fellow peers in municipal government!

Shape-shifting risk: Climate change adaptation strategies for an un-stationary planet

If you’re in Victoria, check out this event from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions:

Shape-shifting risk: Climate change adaptation strategies for an un-stationary planet
Thursday, September 14
3:00-4:00 pm
Cadboro Commons, Campus View Room, University of Victoria

Climate change is producing new types and degrees of risk associated with severe weather, such as floods and droughts. At the same time, global food systems are undergoing new climate change related risks. Simply living with these new risks has increasingly become the norm. Market management of risk is generally not yet adapting to novel financial, social and environmental impacts. For example, some of the world’s most valuable real estate in cities such as New York, London and Vancouver faces unprecedented risk from severe weather, with little change to the risk management strategies implemented. Globally, food security risk profiles are shifting. Food production systems are under threat as climate change exacerbates projected food production deficits in some areas.

Dr. Zen Makuch, a leading interdisciplinary researcher in domestic, European and international climate change regulation and policy, proposes that a combination of novel forms of insurance coupled with behavioral risk management strategies is key to adapting to climate change risks in these areas.

This is a free public event, but please register to save your seat.



Call for Funding Requests – Infectious Diseases and Climate Change Fund

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is currently accepting proposals through its Infectious Disease and Climate Change program.

PHAC is currently accepting funding requests from interested applicants to address the impact of climate change on human health by building and increasing access to infectious disease-based evidence, education and awareness. The focus will be on preparing for and protecting Canadians from climate-driven infectious diseases that are zoonotic (diseases that can be transmitted from animals and insects to humans), food-borne and/or water-borne.

The Infectious Diseases and Climate Change Fund (IDCCF) aims to address the impact of climate change on human health in Canada by:

  • Increasing capacity to respond to the rising demands posed by climate-driven zoonotic, food-borne, and water-borne infectious diseases;
  • Ensuring Canadians and health professionals have access to timely and accurate information to better understand their risks and take measures to prevent infection, and;
  • Improving adaptability and/or resiliency to the health impacts of climate driven infectious diseases through surveillance and monitoring activities and access to education and awareness tools.

For more information about the IDCCF, how to apply and/or to obtain a Funding Request Form, please contact PHAC’s Centre for Grants and Contributions at CGCOperationsCSC@phac-aspc.gc.ca.

Deadline for applications: 11:59 pm, Friday, September 29.


Meet Canada’s Newest Chief Resilience Officers at the Livable Cities Forum

The Livable Cities Forum will take place in Victoria from September 18-20.

On the 19th, be sure to check out this exciting panel featuring Canada’s newest Chief Resilience Officers, to explore how the work they are undertaking could act as a model for other Canadian towns and cities irrespective of their size.

Elliott Cappell, CRO, City of Toronto
Katie McPherson, CRO, City of Vancouver
Christine Arthurs, Deputy CRO, The City of Calgary
Chair:  Jon Philipsborn, Associate Vice President, Climate Adaptation Practice Director for the Americas, AECOM
DateTuesday, September 19, 2017 at 8:30 AM, Lecture Theatre, Victoria Conference Centre
While you’re attending the conference, don’t forget to also register for ACT’s workshop: Taking Action on Green Resilience: Adaptation & Mitigation Synergies. Click here for more information..

ACT Workshop at Livable Cities Forum 2017


The 2017 Livable Cities Forum will take place September 18-20 in Victoria, BC. As a special pre-event workshop, Green Resilience Strategies and ACT are offering the following:

Taking Action on Green Resilience: Adaptation & Mitigation Synergies
Sunday, September 17
1:30 – 5:30 pm
Cost: $45 + tax and fees

It is time to align our efforts on climate change mitigation and adaptation planning, to increase the returns on investment in climate change and infrastructure and attract more funding for implementation. Join us to explore “Green Resilience” measures that yield both climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits, and discover how they can be financed and implemented across Canada.

Green Resilience Strategies and ACT (Adaptation to Climate Change Team) at Simon Fraser University have documented examples of synergistic Green Resilience measures in a variety of sectors, including energy, transportation, water and flood management. Participants will learn about green resilience opportunities such as microgrids + efficiency + renewables, green infrastructure, flood-proofing mass transit, building efficiency, and water conservation. Breakout discussions will focus on research, analysis, and policy needs to advance the state of practice and accelerate the financing and implementation of green resilience solutions. Light refreshments will be served.

Click here to register for this workshop.


Sea Level Rise in Deep History – Coastal First Nations Flood Stories

ACT, along with local partners, is excited to offer the following free public discussion series, running until November 2017:

The Octopus’s Garden? Planning for Sea Level Rise 

Regions around the world are experiencing climate change impacts such as droughts, floods, wildfires, and heat waves, while planning for the long-term effects of sea level rise and coastal storms. These stressors are driving damages and increased costs for communities, and increasing the risk of mass migration.

Building on the success of the Resiliency and YOU talk, this series runs from June-November 2017, and features experts on sea level rise from a variety of backgrounds who will address ways we can adapt and build resilience, with a focus on local to global challenges and solutions. Topics to be addressed include the science and physical challenges to sea level rise, local, provincial and international preparations and initiatives, climate refugees, traditional knowledge and indigenous responses to sea level rise, and finally what to expect globally – and what we can do about it locally.

Join us for the next talk in the series:

September 21, 7 pm: Sea Level Rise in Deep History – Coastal First Nations Flood Stories


Chief Ian Campbell, Squamish Nation
Chief Ian Campbell or Xalek, his ancestral name and Sekyu Siyam his Chieftain name is from the village of K’ik’elxn (Port Mellon) on the west side of Howe Sound. He is one of sixteen Hereditary Chiefs of the Squamish Nation and is in his second term as an elected Councillor for the Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council, appointed as a Political Spokesperson. Since 1999 Chief Campbell has been the Cultural Ambassador and Negotiator for the Intergovernmental Relations Department of the Squamish Nation.

Captain Gold, elder, Haida Historian, author and visionary
Captain Gold was born in the Skidegate Haida Village in 1942 with the English name of Richard Wilson. He was raised among the Haida Elders whose lifestyle of living with Mother nature is one he still follows today. He is the original Haida watchman, a program that respects traditional Haida laws and monitors and protects the lands and waters of their territory to ensure a vibrant future for generations to come. Captain Gold is also an artist, author and Haida historian.

Click here to register for this talk.

Other upcoming talks:

  • October 5, 6:30 pm: Sea Level Rise and the International Response – Policy ActionFeaturing: Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Kingdom of the Netherlands; Tamsin Lyle, Principal, Ebbwater Consulting; Deborah Carlson, Staff Counsel for Green Communities Program, West Coast Environmental Law.
  • October 19, 7 pm: Sea Level Rise and Forced Migration – The Challenges for Climate RefugeesFeaturing: Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development; James Horncastle, Lecturer, Hellenic Studies Program at SFU; Anna Zhuo, co-founder of Climate Migrants and Refugees Project.
  • November 8, 7 pm: Sea Level Rise – The Big PictureFeaturing: John Englander, Oceanographer, Consultant and expert on sea level rise; Gil Kelley, General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability, City of Vancouver.

Click here for more information.


Webinar: Making a Big Impact in Sustainability Science with Big Data

The latest webinar in the Security & Sustainability Forum series:

Making a Big Impact in Sustainability Science with Big Data
Thursday, September 21
10:15 am – 2:30 pm PDT

Issues in sustainability science are increasingly being addressed using “big data” and data analytics.  Data rich modeling techniques can assist in improving systems thinking to integrate business operations, people, ecosystems and climate. The result can be improved decision making, greener supply chains and optimization of business operations — all leading to increased corporate profits and important social benefits.  The ultimate goal of big data science is to foster economic development, improve social livelihoods, and enhance environmental quality.
Join SSF and leaders from Chatmine Technologies and Boston University in a free webinar demonstrating the application of computational modelling of natural and social processes to identify patterns, trends, and associations that can inform sustainability decision making. The webinar will be organized around five case studies focused on integrating multi-scale and multi-source data and applying spatial statistical techniques, artificial Intelligence algorithms, and systems modeling to derive business insights and strategies.  The presentations will be appropriate for a non-technical audience and include:
  • Behavioral Correlations: Are hybrid or electric car drivers more likely to solarize their roofs? This project explores behavior and attitudinal data of some consumers in Massachusetts.
  • Analyzing Flood Risk: Flood insurance is increasingly important for residential and commercial property owners. Flood risk is still mapped using USGS 100 year flood maps. These maps have to be completely updated and revised using new satellite data that can be analyzed to provide better risk probability profiles based on International panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models. This example reports on work for a commercial insurance company.
  • Forensic Environmental Investigations Using Neural Networks: Urban sustainability includes protecting urban trees and forests. Panelists applied unsupervised neural networks to examine the impact of natural gas leaks caused by aging infrastructure that resulted in tree mortality in Boston
  • Predicting Malaria Hot Spots: Increasing temperatures in the highland regions of East Shoa in Ethiopia have led to increased incidence of malaria. Spatial statistical analysis, shown in this example, predicted the clusters or hot spots of malaria.
  • Municipal Resilience Snapshots: Designing and implementing sustainability metrics for a neighborhood or town can provide a quick snapshot of its current or future social and natural resiliency, as illustrated in this example.

Click here to register.


Webinar: Legal Implications of Climate Change for Professionals

Check out this upcoming webinar in the Fraser Basin Council’s Retooling for Climate Change series:

Legal Implications of Climate Change for Professionals
Thursday, September 28
11:00 am – 12:00 pm

With our changing climate, new risks are emerging for infrastructure, the economy, and the environment that can impact public safety and quality of life. Professionals are subject to legal responsibilities and standards of care, which could expose them to legal liability relating to climate impacts and associated damages.
In this webinar, Zizzo Strategy will speak about climate change liability issues with a focus on case law and climate-related litigation related to negligence and class action lawsuits. The webinar will also touch upon recent developments in corporate governance and disclosure of climate risk, including securities disclosure and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. This webinar aims to educate professionals on how climate change impacts their professional roles and responsibilities, encourage them to integrate climate change into their decision-making and empower them to make the case for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Register here!

ACT Adviser Nominated for Lane Anderson Award

Senior ACT adviser and author, Bob Sandford, has been nominated for a Lane Anderson Award for his recent book, North America in the Anthropocene. Congratulations, Bob!

The Lane Andersen awards celebrate the best in Canadian science writing for adults and young readers, and winners receive $10,000. The winners will be announced in September.

In addition to Bob’s work with ACT, he is the EPCOR Chair in Water and Climate Security for the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment, and Health. He co-authored the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and has also published previous books including Storm Warning: Water and Climate Security in a Changing World, in 2015.

With ACT, Bob’s most recent book is The Climate Nexus: Water, Food, Energy and Biodiversity in a Changing World. The sequel to this book will be released shortly.

Read more about the Lane Anderson award nominees here.


UBC Sustainability Work Learn Opportunities: September-April

Current UBC students, see the below opportunities for sustainability job openings:

UBC Sustainability Work Learn positions are now open for Winter 2017 term (September 2017 – April 2018). Positions are available to current UBC undergraduate and graduate students.

UBC’s sustainability student positions are an excellent opportunity to gain experience working within the sustainability field and contribute to the development and implementation of UBC sustainability plans and programs.

Please submit applications via UBC CareersOnline by August 13, 2017.

Positions currently available include:

  • Biodiversity Project Coordinator, SEEDS Sustainability Program
  • Climate Planning Coordinator
  • Community Energy Coordinator
  • Green Building Plan Research Assistant
  • Green Building Plan Research Assistant (REAP)
  • Green Building Tours Program Assistant
  • Green Office Program Assistant
  • Project Coordinator, SEEDS Sustainability Program
  • Sustainability in Residence Coordinator
  • Zero Waste Coordinator

For more information and links to full job descriptions, please visit the website.


Webinar: The Most Comprehensive Plan to Reverse Global Warming

Check out this new webinar offered by the Security and Sustainability Forum:

Drawdown: 60 minutes with Paul Hawken 
The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming  
Wednesday, October 4
10:15 – 11:15 am PDT
Project Drawdown is facilitating a broad coalition of researchers, scientists, graduate students, PhDs, post-docs, policy makers, business leaders and activists to assemble and present the best available information on climate solutions in order to describe their beneficial financial, social and environmental impact over the next thirty years.
The book, Drawdown, reports on this research to map, measure, model, and describe the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming.  It is the first detailed plan to reverse global warming. 
Drawdown hit #9 on the  NYT bestseller in its first week, stayed on the best seller list for four weeks, and is in its 4th printing. It was the first book on the environment or climate to attain that ranking in over 25 years.
For each solution, Drawdown describes its history, the carbon impact it provides, the relative cost and savings, the path to adoption, and how it works. The goal of the research that informs Drawdown is to determine if we can reverse the buildup of atmospheric carbon within thirty years. All solutions modeled are already in place, well understood, analyzed based on peer-reviewed science, and are expanding around the world.
Join Security and Sustainability Forum Managing Director, Edward Saltzberg, and American Renewable Energy Institute  Chairman and CEO, Chip Comins, in a 60 minute webinar and conversation with Drawdown Editor and Project Drawdown Executive Director, Paul Hawken.

Second Annual Summit on Science Enablement for the Sustainable Development Goals

Exciting news from the New York Academies of Sciences:

Second Annual Summit on Science Enablement for the Sustainable Development Goals
Tuesday, October 17
9 am – 5 pm
The New York Academy of Sciences, New York City

With encouragement from the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the support of the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, the New York Academy of Sciences presents this Summit with leaders from corporations, academia, the UN and civil society to explore how science and technology can help strategically advance delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The themes of the Summit include:

  • People in Crisis
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Sustainable Consumption and Production
  • Urbanization
  • Food Security and Nutrition
A mix of plenaries, panels, breakouts, “lightning sessions,” and networking, the goal of the Summit is to go beyond talk and seed the ground for action.

Call for Proposals: BC Wildfires

The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction’s Quick Response Research Program welcomes proposals related to the wildfires in British Columbia

The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) is soliciting research proposals from social, behavioural and economic science researchers across Canada under its Quick Response Research program. They seek to encourage disaster risk reduction research in Canada. The Quick Response Research program allows researchers to quickly deploy to disaster-affected areas in the aftermath of a wildfire, flood, extreme weather event or earthquake to collect perishable data. The program’s four research priorities are aligned with the priorities for action established in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction announced by the United Nations in 2015 and endorsed by the Government of Canada, which are:

  1. Understanding disaster risk;
  2. Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk;
  3. Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience; and,
  4. To “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Candidates who would like to apply for funding through the Institute’s Quick Response Research program must submit a three-page research proposal (maximum) consisting of a title, research question(s), proposed methods as well as a description of how data will be collected and analyzed under potentially difficult local conditions. This submission must include a budget (limited to research expenses), a CV of the applicant(s), and an official letter from the applicant’s university ethics review board approving or waiving the need for approval of the proposed research.

Please note that ICLR is currently welcoming proposals related to the wildfires in British Columbia, and will support quick response research following any wildfire, flood, extreme weather events or earthquake in Canada and the United States.

For additional information on the program, please click here.

If you have any questions, or do not wish to receive future announcements, please contact:

Sophie Guilbault
Manager, Partnership Development
Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

416-364-8677 ext. 3217


Webinar: Ecosystem Service Assessment for Decision-Making

Check out this webinar from the Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Network:

Completing and Using Ecosystem Service Assessment for Decision-Making: An Interdisciplinary Toolkit for Managers
Tuesday, August 15
10-11 am PDT

This new toolkit contains key tools and resources for planning and undertaking an ecosystem services assessment and the analyses that contribute to such an assessment. It provides practical step-by-step advice on determining if an “ecosystem services” approach is needed in a given situation; completing a robust ecosystem service assessment; understanding what the results of such an assessment mean and what they do not mean; and incorporating ecosystem services analyses and considerations in a wide range of policy, decision, and management processes.

The Ecosystem Services Toolkit is freely available for download here.

Webinar co-sponsored by the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org) and MEAM.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Click here to register.

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