Presentations from Adaptation Canada 2016 Now Online


Adaptation Canada 2016 was a 3-day national symposium on climate change adaptation, held April 12-14 2016 in Ottawa.

Presentations from the conference are now online. Click here to download presentations in English, and click here to download presentations in French.

ACT’s Executive Director Deborah Harford spoke at the April 14th morning panel on biodiversity. Check out her presentation here.


Government of Alberta: Climate Leadership Plan Jobs








The Government of Alberta is hiring for a number of positions in their Climate Change Office, focusing on their provincial Climate Leadership Plan.

Available positions include:

  • Director, Adaptation and Energy Efficiency –> Deadline: June 10
  • Policy Coordinator –> Deadline: June 7
  • Project Engineer –> Deadline: June 7
  • Director, Emissions Inventory and Trading –> Deadline: June 16
  • Carbon Offset Policy Advisor –> Deadline: June 13
  • Public Affairs Officer –> Deadline: June 10

Apply for these and other positions by clicking here.


Agriculture and Food Security: Enabling the Planning Practitioner

The PIBC South Coast Chapter will be exploring the challenges and opportunities facing planners and local decision makers working with the agriculture sector and facilitating food security in their communities.

Throughout BC, people and agriculture have converged, often experiencing land use conflict or concerns between farm & non-farm uses. However, the proximity (and diversity!) of BC agriculture and communities also provides opportunities for education about agriculture & food, increased community access to local foods, and growing markets for farm products.

In addition, the potential impacts of climate change to the agriculture sector are of growing concern – requiring new tools and resources to help support producers with adaptation. Mitigating these climate change impacts and building resilience requires collaboration and partnerships at all levels. The role of local governments in considering agriculture in land use decisions and policy is of increasing importance.

Through a series of short presentations offering a range of perspectives on agriculture and food security, session attendees will build their awareness and insights as to how planning practitioners can work more effectively with the agriculture sector and promote food security within their communities and professional practice.

Register Now!
June 16th 2016 from 6:30pm – 8:45pm

Vancouver Public Library
350 W Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC

• PIBC Members $20
• Non-Members $25
• Students $15
All prices are subject to 5% Goods & Services Tax (GST).

Registration Deadline will be on Tuesday June 14th, 2016. All registrations are final. No refunds or cancellations are permitted; however, in the event that a registrant is not able to attend, substitution of a different attendee may be accepted if arranged in advance. Any registrant requiring substitution should contact PIBC no later than June 15th 2016.

See the poster below for more information (click to enlarge).




Webinar: The Status of the Circular Economy


Another intriguing webinar offered by the Security & Sustainability Forum:

The Status of the Circular Economy
Tuesday June 21st, 1:15-2:45 pm ET

The Circular Economy is more than minimizing waste generation.  It is a “cradle to rarely reaching the grave” approach to the economy and human activity. CE concepts rest on comprehensive approaches to closing loops, thus transforming our linear extract-make-use-dispose economy and reducing human-kind’s use of Earth’s assets, as well as minimizing natural and social system impacts.

Earth’s resources are large but finite and human population is growing, so something has to give to converge on an acceptable quality of life for living on the planet.

In this 90-minute webinar, circular economy experts from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, The Sustainability Consortium, managed jointly by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas, plus other experts will provide a perspective on the status of the circular economy from theory to implementation.  Presenters will provide case studies of industry leading business programs, supply chain applications and approaches for business – municipal collaborations.

Click here to register.


Webinar: Integrated Land Use


Check out this upcoming webinar offered by the Security & Sustainability Forum:

Integrated Land Use: What Do Individuals and Societies Need From Landscapes? 
June 2nd, 2016
1:15- 2:45 pm

The ongoing extensification of agriculture is leading to historically unprecedented tradeoffs between food production and other ecosystem services such as biodiversity, non-timber forest products, landscapes aesthetics, culture, and many others. These tradeoffs are global, and sustainability scientists examine the telecoupled effects of globalization on traditional land management and societies.
This webinar will discuss the difficult balance we now face in feeding upwards of 9 billion while maintaining other ecosystem services, and between individual and societal benefits. Case studies will include grasslands and forests in northern and southern China, farm-forest-estuary interfaces in Maritime Canada, and crop-grassland agriculture in western North America and eastern Australia.
Panelists include:
  • Arizona State University  Senior Sustainability Scientist, Arianne Cease, who focuses on the ecology and physiology of organisms in coupled natural and human systems.
  • Josh MacFadyen, Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at ASU, whose work examines the social and ecological problems of energy in Canadian and U.S. agriculture, particularly during the transition from traditional to modern agro-ecosystems.
  • McGill University Research Scientist and Assistant Professor, Brian Robinson, who focuses on how people meet their needs through use of ecosystems and resources, and the role this plays in development in poorer regions of the world.

Click here to register.


Fraser Basin Council Report Released: BC Floods Risky, Costly


Source: File photo, CTV news.

The Fraser Basin Council released their report on flood risk in British Columbia, including their assessment of the state of the province’s diking system.

From CTV News:

“The Fraser Basin Council says a major flood along the coast or the Fraser River could be the most costly natural disaster in Canadian history, with potential losses of about $32 billion.

“The group says in its report that flood risks are projected to worsen over the next 85 years, both in size and frequency.

“The report notes dikes in the Lower Mainland were constructed in the 1970s and ’80s, that 71 per cent of those assessed could fail if either the Fraser River or the coast floods and that only 4 per cent of the barriers meet provincial standards for crest height.”

Click here to read more from the article, and click here to read the full report and other updates on this project from the Fraser Basin Council.


Climate Nexus Webinar: Slides and Summary Online


ACT’s two most senior advisers, Bob Sandford and Jon O’Riordan, recently presented a POLIS webinar. In this webinar, the speakers shared insights from their recent publication “The Climate Nexus: Water, Food, Energy & Biodiversity in a Changing World.” The presentation highlighted how changing hydro-climate systems are creating a crisis for the Nexus elements, and discussed the range of transformative policies required to manage this crisis.

The webinar was held on Thursday April 26th. POLIS has prepared a summary of the webinar presentation, whcih you cnan access by clicking here.

To learn more about our Climate Nexus book, click here. 



Carbon Talk: Lessons from Germany on Effective Municipal Climate Leadership

Effective Climate Leadership in Cities: Lessons from Germany

Germany is known for its ambitious national energy policies, but its cities are also home to some important innovations.

We all know about the Copenhagens and Oslos of the world that are leaders in climate action, but those big names are not the only ones forging ahead in this space. The City of Osnabrück is one of the 19 German cities and counties engaged in a federal research project to set and achieve ambitious renewable energy targets. Since signing onto Germany’s Climate Action Master Plan in 2012, Osnabrück’s Energiewende (energy transition) is on track for 100% renewable electricity, 90% renewable heating and cooling, and 60% renewable transportation by 2050.

Join us for a free public dialogue with Detlef Gerdts, Head of Department of the Environment and Climate Protection at the City of Osnabrück, as we learn from an inspiring example of climate leadership in Germany.

We’ll explore the following guiding questions: What is the City of Osnabrück doing to achieve its ambitious renewable energy and climate goals? What have been their challenges and successes, and what can other leaders learn from the German experience?

When: Tuesday, June 7 from 12:30 – 1:30 PM

Where: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Room 2270

Webcast: Can’t make the dialogue? This event will be webcast live, courtesy of our partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. Want a webcast reminder email? You may order a free webcast reminder ticket from the event page. Join the conversation on Twitter at #REcities and Tweet your questions to @CarbonTalks

Registration: Please reserve your free seat here.


Engineers Canada Training Events on Climate Change


Register today for these Engineers Canada Training Events on Climate Issues:

This June, Engineers Canada will be hosting two training events to help engineers adapt to a changing climate. Both are offered in the National Capital Region over consecutive days and can be taken individually or together. Each are a step toward achieving an Infrastructure Resilience Professional designation, a forthcoming certification offered by Engineers Canada.

  • PIEVC Training Workshop (June 8, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Gatineau, QC) – This one-day workshop will provide participants with information about, and practice with, the PIEVC Protocol as a practical tool and process that systematically assesses the risks of current and future climate on public infrastructure. This will help engineers plan adaptive actions to improve infrastructure resilience to extreme weather and future climate.
  • Understanding the Changing Legal Climate: Canadian Climate Law for Engineers (June 9-10, 2016 at the Engineers Canada office, 55 Metcalfe St., Ottawa, ON) – As Canada’s climate continues to change, legal duties and standards of care are evolving to the point where relying on outdated standards and processes could be considered negligent. This two-day professional development short course will educate engineers on climate change law issues and the associated implications on their practice. Successful completion meets one of the requirements to become a designated Infrastructure Resilience Professional, a certification forthcoming from Engineers Canada.

For information about either of these opportunities please contact David Lapp FEC P.Eng. Practice Lead, Globalization and Sustainable Development, Engineers Canada,613.232.2474 Ext 240, david.lapp@engineerscanada.ca.


Alberta Government Considering Climate Change in Emergency Preparedness

notley fires

Source: Calgary Herald; Shaughn Butts/Postmedia

In a new business plan for Alberta’s Municipal Affairs Ministry, climate change is discussed as a factor threatening more extreme weather and emergency events. It’s good to see the province take steps to improve their emergency preparedness based on climate science.

From The Calgary Herald:

“The 2016-19 business plan for the Municipal Affairs Ministry, released with the provincial budget on April 14, said that with predictions of more extreme weather due to climate change, the province must prepare to manage more events such as the 2011 Slave Lake fire and 2013 southern Alberta flood.

“That will have a ‘significant impact’ on the government’s approach to emergency prevention, preparedness, response and recovery, says the report.

“The Municipal Affairs business plan pledges the government to bolster community preparedness through online risk assessments, emergency plans and training, and to beef up emergency management exercises.”

Read more from the article here.


Twitter Chat: Building Resilient Cities

Please join Climatelinks and co-sponsors ICMA and 100 Resilient Cities onThursday, May 26 at 1pm, EDT for a Twitter chat about building urban resilience in vulnerable communities grappling with the existing and impending effects of climate change.


More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and this number continues to grow, with 1.2 million people migrating to cities every week. Three-quarters of the world’s largest cities are located on coastlines, and critical infrastructure – including water and sanitation, transportation, energy and information technology – is vulnerable to climate impacts, such as rising sea levels, floods, heat waves and higher winds. Inadequate infrastructure, housing and basic public services may exacerbate the effects of climate change and threaten people’s health and livelihoods.

In cities around the world, innovative and creative solutions are being applied to reduce climate risks and build resilience to climate change. Through the sharing of knowledge and best practices, this Twitter chat will highlight:

  • How cities around the world, particularly in developing countries, are applying adaptation and mitigation actions to become more resilient to climate change and other threats
  • What cities and urban initiatives we can look to as examples and replicate
  • The biggest challenges to building resilience and how they have been addressed
  • How cities will honor commitments made at COP21.

Finance, capacity building, tools, technologies, strategic partnerships, and other topics will also be covered in the discussion.

To join the Twitter chat, follow #ResilientCities on Twitter from 1pm to 2pm, EDT on Thursday May 26th. The chat questions will be tweeted out from @Climatelinks. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can follow the conversation here.

Register here. 


Webinar: Climate Change and the Energy Sector



Check out the following webinar, offered by Natural Resources Canada:

Energy and Climate Change Adaptation – How Industry Leaders Tackle the Challenge
Wednesday, June 1st, 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET

Join us to learn how industry leaders innovate in Canada, Iceland and South Africa!

Adapting to Climate Change – State of Play and Recommendations for the Electricity Sector in Canada

This first part of this webinar will address climate change risks for the electricity sector. It will review tools and approaches to integrate climate change into management practices and provide recommendations for all stakeholders.

  • Devin McCarthy, Director of Generation & Environment, Canadian Electricity Association

Case Studies on Adaptation in the Energy Sector – Overcoming Barriers to Adaptation

The second half of this webinar will present cases studies of adaptation practices from the broader energy sector and different regions of the world. It will offer potential solutions to address adaptation priorities in the Canadian energy sector.

  • Elyse Fournier, Energy & Water Resources Specialist, Ouranos
  • Óli Grétar Sveinsson, Executive Director, Landsvirkjun (Iceland)
  • Lwandle Mqadi, Senior Consultant, Eskom International (South Africa)
  • Marco Braun, Ph.D. Hydroclimatology Specialist, Ouranos

Click here to register.


Global Learning Forum 2017: May 17-19 2017 in Vancouver


Join city, private sector, civil society leaders, and other leaders for Global Learning Forum 2017, a chance to advance the movement for 100% renewable energy in cities.

Global Learning Forum 2017
May 17-19 2017
Vancouver, BC
400 leaders from 70 cities

Save the date for this important event!

Click here for more information. 


ICLEI Great Lakes Climate Adaptation Project

iclei great lakes
Climate change is already being experienced in communities throughout the Province of Ontario – flooding, extreme heat, changing water levels, and increased storms are only some of the impacts facing municipalities in Ontario and throughout Canada. Meaningful climate change responses draw on the skill-sets of many stakeholders and decision-makers, including municipal, provincial, and federal governments, private sector specialists, industry associations, planners, health professionals, and others; each stakeholder has a key role to play in mitigating the causes of and adapting to the effects of a climate change.

Under the Canada-Ontario Agreement (COA) Respecting the Great Lakes, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is supporting a project, led by ICLEI Canada, to increase climate change resilience for Great Lakes communities. Over a two-year period, ICLEI will engage approximately 30 communities in two projects aimed at building capacity on resilience planning and implementation:

 1. Training the Trainer: Engaging Stakeholders in Climate Change Assessments: This project, targeting 16 communities throughout the Great Lakes watershed, will help municipalities learn how to:
  • Use climate change modelling data to identify local vulnerabilities,
  • Assess and prioritize their risks, and
  • Begin developing adaptation plans.
2. Collaborative Implementation Groups: Working Together to Move from Planning to Action: This project, targeting 12 communities throughout the Great Lakes watershed, will help municipalities move from planning to action on
local resilience by:
  • Identifying implementation ready adaptation initiatives,
  • Securing funding for the initiatives,
  • Documenting key lessons learned via a case study series, and
  • Leveraging future activities in order to support the actual implementation of local initiatives.

Click here to learn more.


Climate Interactive Trainings in Africa


Climate Interactive is launching a new effort to expand climate change awareness across Africa. With tools that have helped decision-makers and citizens worldwide, Climate Interactive will be supporting people in leading the World Climate Simulation. At these events, people become “climate negotiators” tasked with agreeing on a global climate agreement to limit climate change. In the last year almost 15,000 people have participated in similar simulations worldwide, and for many it has been transformative in increasing their awareness and understanding of the challenge we face.

This climate awareness effort is launched in partnership with the new Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Morocco and relies on the ongoing partnership Climate Interactive has with MIT Sloan School of Management, UML Climate Change Initiative, and others.

Climate Interactive is hosting trainings for people interesting in facilitating World Climate Simulation events.

Upcoming World Climate trainings:

Nairobi, Kenya: May 26-27
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: June 1
Cape Town, South Africa: week of June 6th

Online webinars will also be announced in the coming weeks. Sign up to stay posted.



Job Opportunity: Embark Program Manager













Embark is hiring for a Program Manager to lead their sustainability programming across SFU’s three campuses:

Full time (30 hours/week)
June 13, 2016- June 17, 2017
$20.68 per hour + 4% vacation pay

The Program Manager is responsible for catalyzing a range of programming by providing leadership to volunteers. The work is geared to raising awareness about sustainability issues at SFU and pushing SFU to be a more sustainable campus.

The Program Manager co-leads the Sustainability Peer Educator Program in conjunction with a SFU Sustainability Office staff member. The Program Manager supports project Coordinators, providing direction regarding event planning and volunteer management. The Program Manager recruits, trains, and works with the Peer Educators and Coordinators throughout the academic school year, facilitating project planning and providing opportunities for personal & professional development. On an ongoing basis, the Program Manager recruits volunteers and seeks to involve them in areas of interest. The Program Manager continually seeks opportunities to forge partnerships with campus and community partners that have common goals, and leverage these relationships to advance the goals of all implicated groups. The Program Manager designs and administers evaluation of programs so that Embark can continually evolve and most effectively serve its members. The Program Manager reports to and works very closely with Embark’s Executive Director.

Click here for more information.

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