Toronto: Fifth International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation


Are you around Toronto next month, or know friends who will be?

Let them know about the Fifth International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation, which will be held in Toronto October 15-16.

The Fifth International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation 2016 (CCA 2016) will take place under the theme, ‘Challenges and Issues in Adaptation’. The event aims to provide a platform for participants to build relationships, learn about best practices and foster research collaborations on adaptation. CCA 2016 sessions will include: adaptation services; land and water; resource efficiency; developing a bio-economy; greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring; making transitions happen; sustainable cities and people; and the built environment. The International Centre for Research & Development (ICRD) and Unique Conferences Canada are organizing the conference.

Dates: October 15-16 2016
Venue: International Hall, International Living Learning Centre, Ryerson University, 240 Jarvis St, Toronto ON
Contact: ICRD
Email: info@theicrd.org

Websites for more information:


Webinars: Canada’s Marine Coasts in a Changing Climate


Canada’s Adaptation Platform announced its first Fall/Winter (2016-2017) Webinars- a three-part webinar series on the recently released coastal science assessment report:

Canada’s Marine Coasts in a Changing Climate 

This Government of Canada report assesses climate change sensitivity, risks and adaptation along Canada’s marine coasts. The report includes overviews of regional climate change impacts, risks and opportunities along Canada’s three marine coasts, case studies demonstrating action, and discussion of adaptation approaches. Led by Natural Resources Canada, its development involved over 60 authors and 70 expert reviewers, and synthesized over 1300 recent publications.



Thursday, October 13, 2016 – 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Chapter 3 (The Coastal Challenge) and Chapter 6 (West Coast Region)
Colleen Mercer-Clarke and Nathan Vadeboncoeur

Thursday, October 27, 2016 – 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Chapter 2 (Dynamic Coasts) and Chapter 5 (North Coast Region)
Tom James and James Ford

Thursday, November 10, 2016 – 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Chapter 4 (East Coast Region) and Synthesis
Danika van Proosdij and Don Lemmen

Click here to register for these webinars.

Check out the report and other science assessments, including Canada in a Changing Climate: Sector Perspectives on Impacts and Adaptation at Adaptation.NRCan.gc.ca.


Carbon Talks: Climate Action in BC- Where Do We Go From Here?


BC has released the much-awaited update to its Climate Leadership Plan. Now what?

Climate Action in BC- Where Do We Go From Here?
Tuesday, October 4th
12:30-1:30 pm
Room 1600, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W Hastings St

B.C.’s updated Climate Leadership Plan was released this summer, and many have said that it falls short in ambition and specificity to get British Columbia on track to meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets. In this Carbon Talk, we’ll hear from two experts on what this new plan means for B.C., and what opportunities exist and could emerge to keep BC’s climate action on track with its legislated goals.

Join us for a free public dialogue with Climate Leadership Team member Nancy Olewiler, economist and professor of Public Policy at SFU; and Jeremy Moorhouse, Senior Analyst at Clean Energy Canada.

Click here to register for this event.



Job Posting: Climate Change & Clean Energy Communications Specialist

David Suzuki Foundation (CNW Group/David Suzuki Foundation)

David Suzuki Foundation (CNW Group/David Suzuki Foundation)

The David Suzuki Foundation is hiring for a Climate Change & Clean Energy Communications Specialist:

Position Title:
Climate Change & Clean Energy Communications Specialist

Climate Change & Clean Energy Communications Specialist – reports to the Science and Policy Manager.

The purpose of the Climate Change & Clean Energy Communications Specialist position is to provide communication and research support to the Science and Policy team’s climate change and energy projects.

Full-time two year contract

Responsibilities include:

  • Lead DSF’s communications strategy to achieve DSF’s climate solutions goals.
  • Be the content lead for all DSF climate comms — write blogs, editorials, reports, news releases, media briefings, and create social media content including video.
  • Oversee all climate-related communications to ensure their effectiveness.
  • Liaise effectively with the core communications team at DSF, and assist in the implementation of core DSF brand and content strategies as they are expressed in climate-related communications.
  • Facilitate collaboration – share information and strategies within and across DSF departments and with key Canadian stakeholders such as academics, businesses, First Nations, municipalities, environmental groups, etc, often in both official languages. Be part of maximizing our impact through cross-sectoral collaboration.
  • Seize opportunities that arise from emerging issues, current affairs and global trends to engage a wider community in our climate comms, and have more impact at key moments in the ever-evolving debate about climate change.
  • Be a key part of our Science and Policy Team – build the public profile of the team and their projects, train spokespeople in new formats such as video, and participate in all planning and strategy sessions.
  • Represent DSF in public forums, such as meetings, conference, press briefings and other events.


  • Completion of a university degree and a minimum of five years professional work experience in communications and issue based research and analysis with a focus on environmental and energy related issues. Knowledge or a background in climate change, energy, and transit and sustainable transportation for cities is an asset.
  • Demonstrated success in strategic communications planning, objective-setting and execution.
  • Editorial experience (assignment, copy, web content, etc.) is required.
  • Experience building relationships with Canadian media and pitching content is required.
  • Experience creating online videos and other social media content.
  • Experience building and maintaining relationships with external stakeholder groups and coalitions.
  • Public policy and analytical research skills is an asset.
  • Project management experience is an asset.
  • Strong English language skills required. French language (or other language) skills an asset.

Click here for more information and to apply. Application deadline: September 25th. 


Free Event: Coming to Grips with Ocean Acidification


Coming to Grips with Ocean Acidification
Wednesday Sept 21st
4:00-5:00 pm
Peter Wall Seminar Room, University Centre Rm 307, 6331 Crescent Rd Vancouver

Talk by UBC Zoology professor Dr. Chris Harley

Ocean acidification has been called global warming’s evil twin. Like warming, acidification is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions and has the potential to reshuffle the ecological deck in the ocean. Unlike warming, however, near-future changes in pH will exceed anything in the recent geological record, and there are few if any places to hide. Dr. Harley will discuss the many ways in which ocean acidification affects marine species, including shellfish that we eat and kelps and invertebrates that define key marine habitats. He will emphasize the importance of moving beyond studies of single species studies, and present examples of how ocean acidification may change coastal ecosystems in British Columbia and beyond.

Registration not required. Reception to follow.

Click here for more information on this event.


ACT at Carbon Talks: Low-Carbon Resilience


ACT’s Executive Director Deborah Harford will be speaking at the next Carbon Talks event:

Low-Carbon Resilience: Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation Planning for a Resilient Canada
Tuesday, September 27th
12:30-1:30 pm
Room 7000, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W Hastings St

Climate change mitigation and adaptation have typically been addressed as separate goals and through different planning lenses. But how can these two necessary strategies be harmonized in order to take advantage of meaningful co-benefits and more effective action on climate change? What are the most promising and urgent opportunities for decision-makers to coordinate action, policies, and planning for resilient energy, food, and natural systems?

Join us for a free public dialogue with Deborah Harford, Executive Director of SFU’s Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT), as she explores opportunities and strategies for low-carbon resilience in Canada at the intersection of mitigation and adaptation.

Though this event is free, please click here to register in advance. This event will also have a live webcast- click here at event time to join.

Follow the conversation at @CarbonTalks.


Wildlife Ecosystem Resilience in the Context of Climate Change: A Kootenay Case Study


The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) is hosting an important upcoming seminar:

Wildlife Ecosystem Resilience in the Context of Climate Change: A Kootenay Case Study
Wednesday September 21st 2016
3:30-4:30 pm
Room 002, University House 1, University of Victoria

Please join us for this seminar with Rod Davis. The Kootenay Region of British Columbia plays a vital role in maintaining wildlife diversity in the Yellowstone to Yukon ecoregional corridor. Despite conservation efforts that have provided substantial areas designated to protect wildlife ecosystems, climate change and human development threaten the resilience of these ecosystems. This research aims to evaluate the effectiveness of wildlife conservation policy, vulnerability to climate change, and governance obstacles and stakeholder support for policy adaptations.

Rod Davis retired from the provincial government in 2007 after 35 years working on fish and wildlife conservation, forest and range practices, land use planning, and environmental protection. He completed his PhD at UVic in 2015, where his research focused on socio-ecological dimensions of climate change and ecosystem conservation. Rod works as an independent consultant in resource and environmental policy and practice. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at UVic and the Chair of the Managed Forest Council.

This event will also have a list webcast. Click here at event time to join.


New POLIS Report: Top 5 Water Challenges That Will Define BC’S Future

POLIS Header




The POLIS project has released its new research report, Top 5 Water Challenges that will Define BC’s Future.

Escalating water challenges in BC require a better understanding and coordinated work to avoid future crisis. Drawing on an extensive review of media, court and tribunal cases, and insights from attending over 100 recent events related to water issues, this report documents dozens of examples of why and where critical water issues exist in the province’s watersheds.

The report focuses on 5 key issues: (1) Building resilience to droughts & floods; (2) Sustaining water for nature; (3) Understanding the state of B.C.’s watersheds; (4) Protecting water quality for drinking, swimming & fishing and (5) Reconciling the water-energy nexus. One of ACT’s senior advisors, Jon O’Riordan, was one the reviewers of this report.

The study shows how these challenges are mounting across BC and their potential to fundamentally impact the province’s prosperity and quality of life. The report offers potential solutions to create water security and sustainability over the coming years. It is intended to generate productive discussions and actions among water users, communities and policymakers.

Click here to download the full report.


Job Posting: Indigenous Research Associate on Sustainability Study


The College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, is seeking one or more Indigenous Research Associates to assist with data collection for a national study on sustainability in educational policy and practice in formal education in Canada.

The Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN) is a research-based partnership between Canadian and International researchers and leading Canadian and North American policy and educational organizations that began in 2012. SEPN is hosted at the University of Saskatchewan and is funded by $2 million in Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funding and $1 million in matching funds from SEPN’s partners and contributors.

SEPN is examining the relationship between sustainability education policies and practices in K-12 and post-secondary education across Canada. SEPN is the first large-scale, national-level research collaboration to collect comparable data at all levels of education in Canada. Our partners include the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, David Suzuki Foundation, Learning for a Sustainable Future, and Sierra Youth Coalition. For more information, visit www.sepn.ca.

SEPN is conducting site analyses of 6 provinces and territories at both the K-12 and post-secondary levels to explore the relationships between sustainability policies and practices in different settings across the Canadian education system. Data collection for the site analyses involves in-person interviews, focus groups/conversation cafes, sidewalk interviews, and a talking wall.

Data collection will take place at the Nunavut Arctic College and 2 to 4 K-12 schools in the region in October and November 2016. Anticipated commitment is approximately 4-6 weeks of full-time work.

Responsibilities will include: (1) relationship development with research participants; (2) participant recruitment; (3) data collection; and (4) management of consent forms and collected data.

A Master’s or PhD is preferred; a Bachelor’s degree is acceptable if the candidate is enrolled in a Master’s or PhD program. Candidates should have experience with qualitative, Indigenous, and/or community-based research; understand the cultures, communities, and protocols required; have excellent interpersonal and communication skills; and be able to work independently while meeting timelines. Familiarity with sustainability/environmental education is an asset, as is existing networks within northern Manitoba and/or Nunavut.

In addition to an hourly wage (the target range is between $20-$28/hour, depending on experience), all travel-related costs will be covered.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and curriculum vitae to Project Manager Nicola Chopin at nicola.chopin@usask.ca.

Application deadline: September 16. Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

The University of Saskatchewan is located on Treaty 6 territory


Webinar: Managing Flood Risk in BC’s Lower Mainland


The next webinar in the Fraser Basin Council’s ReTooling for Climate Change Series:

Managing Flood Risk in BC’s Lower Mainland
Tuesday, September 27th
11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Steve Litke from the Fraser Basin Council will be presenting the results of Phase 1 of the Lower Mainland Flood Management Strategy. Phase 1 examined the region’s flood hazards, flood vulnerabilities, as well as flood protection infrastructure, policies and practices. Litke will also speak about what to expect from Phase 2 of the Strategy, which aims to develop a regional action plan.

One of the Strategy’s partners is the City of Surrey, and in the second portion of this webinar, Carrie Baron will speak about how the City went from technical studies on climate change to policy, financial planning, design and construction integration, to community engagement.  Of considerable note is the Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy project currently underway at the City.  This project builds off smaller technical and local engagement projects with the projected outcome being a comprehensive coastal strategy for the City.
Register here for this webinar.

Webinar: Evolving Water Planning Processes in BC

blue dialogue

Check out the first webinar in the 2016/2017 Creating a Blue Dialogue webinar series:

Evolving Water Planning Processes in BC
Thursday, September 15th
12-1:30 pm PT (3-4:30 pm ET)

Watershed planning processes are essential to watershed governance, as they bring together key rights holders and interests to articulate a common vision, including priorities, problems, and management actions. Many local leaders across B.C. are pursuing watershed planning processes, and anticipate that B.C.’s Water Sustainability Act—which enables “water sustainability plans (WSPs)”—could give existing or future plans legal ‘teeth’, increasing their legitimacy and impact. Although WSPs are new legal tools under the Act, many regions have significant experience in various forms of water and watershed planning.

In this webinar, Lee Failing (Principal, Compass Resource Management) will share insights on the important elements of a sound planning process—based on her experience in leading a range of water use planning processes in B.C. and elsewhere in North America over the last 20 years. Kate Cave (Project Manager and Research Associate, Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) will discuss her experience in Indigenous-led watershed planning and share highlights from the CIER Guidebook series.

This webinar is the first instalment in the POLIS Water Sustainability Project’s 2016/2017 Creating a Blue Dialogue webinar series. It is intended as a lead-in to the upcoming Watersheds 2016 forum, which seeks to build capacity in B.C.’s water community for effective watershed governance.

**SPACE IS LIMITED** Register now!

**If you are in Victoria, B.C., we will be hosting a live viewing of the September 15thwebinar at the Centre for Global Studies on the University of Victoria campus. Contact Rosie Simms at water@polisproject.org to RSVP to the live viewing.**


Canadian Climate Forum: Syposium 2016

The Canadian Climate Forum’s 2016 Symposium will be held October 20-21 in Ottawa. ACT Executive Director Deb Harford is is on the Advisory Board of the CCF, and this Symposium promises to be an informative and exciting opportunity!

Check out the information below, and click here to register.

canadian climate forum


Beta Version of CoastAdapt Launched


CoastAdapt: A new tool for a changing climate helps coastal communities prepare

Coastal decision makers can now test a new tool that provides them with pretty much everything they need to adapt their community or business to coastal climate impacts.

Click here to access CoastAdapt.

CoastAdapt is an online decision support and information delivery system designed specifically to meet the needs of coastal decision makers in government and business as well as community groups and NGOs.

The beta version was launched in Melbourne on 23 August by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) at a meeting with local, state and national leaders in coastal management. It is now open for review and feedback.

CoastAdapt brings together a diverse range of information, maps, guidance, and international and Australian examples of coastal adaptation in three main sections.

  1. Current reliable information on all aspects of coastal management under climate change including access to nationally consistent data sets.
  2. A decision support system, known as C-CADS, takes users through steps to determine what response is necessary, timing of actions, costs and how to monitor and evaluate the results.
    1. An online forum for the community of adaptors, CoastExchange, is where users can share problems, news and ideas. A highlight of this forum is ‘Ask an expert’ where coastal decision-makers can pose questions to a panel of experts.

In developing CoastAdapt, NCCARF incorporated input from around 700 coastal decision makers through an extensive consultation process.  Nine local governments and one industry group have also been intensively involved as tool development partners to provide detailed feedback on both the structure and content of the tool.

The beta version of CoastAdapt is now open for review and feedback.  Follow the links in the section below to visit the site. review and consultation will be open until November 2016. The final version of CoastAdapt will be launched in 2017.

Provide feedback on CoastAdapt

Decision makers are being given early access to the beta tool to provide feedback by November 2016.

You can provide feedback in three ways:

  1. through providing comments via the ‘feedback’ tab on the side of the page as you use the tool
  2. once you have had experience of the tool you can access our survey here (and you can go into the draw to win an ipad)
  3. by emailing your comments to info-nccarf@griffith.edu.au.

Post-Doctoral Research Opportunity: Climate Change Governance


The Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo, is offering a post-doctoral opportunity that will support research on Canadian and international climate change and flood risk governance.

Policymakers have started to explore the adoption of “risk-based” approaches to disaster management—such as the use of risk assessments as a condition for disaster mitigation funding—and the expansion of private insurance to replace government disaster assistance. The post-doctoral fellow (PDF) would join the research research team of Dr. Thistlethwaite,  Dr. Daniel Scott and Dr. Daniel Henstra in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Climate Change (IC3) to assess the social, political and economic implications of risk-based flood governance in Canada. Multiple funded projects are underway and the PDF would work closely with the research team to complete these projects and translate the findings into academic, policy and industry targeted publications, including comparisons with lessons from international experience with risk-based governance.

The successful candidate will:

  • Work with Dr. Thistlethwaite, Scott and Henstra to produce co-authored peer reviewed journal articles based on recent survey, interview, content analysis and policy modeling studies.
  • Develop plain language and policy reports to target government and industry audiences.
  • Conduct independent research to expand the scope of the projects by examining risk-based policy instruments and drawing lessons from international experience.
  • Develop grant applications to support expansion of the projects in Canada and internationally.


  • Completed all requirements for a doctoral degree by the date of acceptance of the fellowship, in one of the following fields: public policy/administration, political science, management, decision-making, risk-management, climate change adaptation, environmental studies and geography, OR Received a PhD no more than 3 years before the application deadline.
  • Successful publication and grant record;
  • Experience and interests in knowledge mobilization strategies with government and business decision-makers;
  • Candidates with a research background related to disaster management and flood risk are preferred.

Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Starting Date: Fall 2016
Length: 1 year (with potential renewal for up to 2 years)
Available Funding:

  • The applicant will receive a $42,000 fellowship (plus benefits), with the possibility of renewal for an additional 2 years.

Applications will be judged on the basis of the applicant demonstrating:

  • Evidence of scholarly ability and achievement (e.g. publications; awards; grants)
  • Interest and/or expertise in the subject area and countries identified;
  • Expertise in quantitative, qualitative, and/or comparative analysis methods

How to apply: Please e-mail your C.V. and 1 or 2 representative publications to Jason Thistlethwaite (j2thistl@uwaterloo.ca). In addition, please provide two letters of recommendation which should be sent to the same e-mail address. Applicants must have an accredited PhD (expected completion by August 30th, 2016) from an accredited institution.


Integrated Proposal to Tackle Canada’s Climate Change Challenges

ACT – Integrated Proposal to Tackle Climate Change Challenges (PDF download)

On August 12, 2016, ACT submitted the following comment to the federal government’s public consultation gathering feedback for the upcoming national climate change plan:

Integrated Proposal to Tackle Canada’s Climate Change Challenges


1. Recognize the urgency.

Changes to the composition of the atmosphere, loss of biodiversity and growing water demands are accelerating changes to the global water cycle. This is reducing water security for a wide range of uses in every region of Canada and resulting in increasing economic damage. As the atmosphere warms, it has greater capacity to hold water vapour, thus magnifying potential impacts. Addressing climate change requires urgent and persistent on-going policy attention.

2. Undertake multiple solutions to managing the nexus of water, food, energy and biodiversity.

The intersection of water, food and energy systems with loss of biodiversity has become an accepted platform for reconciling sectoral interests. But we face so many overlapping and intersecting interests we can no longer afford to fix them one at a time or in isolation to one another. Future development must be ecologically and socially restorative to increase benefits associated with proper functioning natural systems. More attention must also be applied to understanding how impacts of climate change affect our fragile political systems, vulnerable global economy and already tense international relations in a crowded and warming world.

3. Set a binding target for Canada to become carbon neutral by mid-century.

This is the aspirational goal of the Paris Agreement and Canada should take a leading role in its achievement. This requires integrating the reduction of GHG emissions with adapting to the effects of climate change, a combination we have termed Low Carbon Resilience. Some of the resources associated with pricing carbon should be applied to undertaking the integrated solutions outlined above. These involve protecting and restoring ecosystems to increase carbon absorption; urban planning that combines emissions reduction and adaptation measures; policies for eco-agricultural practices that protect biodiversity; water conservation; maintaining carbon resilient soils and greatly reducing food waste. It also means shifting from centralized energy supply infrastructure to distributed business models based on renewable energy, reduced marginal costs due to rapidly changing technology, and demand management.


ACT published The Climate Nexus – Water, Food and Energy in a Changing World in 2015, focusing on the crisis in the Nexus and its implications for the Canadian economy. The sequel will be published in Fall 2017 and will examine how we can manage the Nexus. The recommendations in this brief provide a preview of this book. Details of policies required to implement the recommendations are included in the Technical Briefing in the PDF.


2016 Livable Cities Forum: Sept 12-14 in Halifax


Are you around Halifax this September? Check out the 2016 Livable Cities Forum, September 12th-14th:

2016 Livable Cities Forum
September 12-14, 2016 | Halfiax, NS
The Forum is the ideal place to explore innovative tools for financing and implementing adaptation actions within communities; learn from cities about best practices in building resilience across Canada; and develop an advanced knowledge of unique and emerging perspectives in local adaptation.

ACT Researcher Edward Nichol will also be presenting at this conference on Low Carbon Resilience, an important emerging concept in the adaptation community. Remember to also read ACT’s latest report on this topic here.

For more information on the Livable Cities Forum and to register, click here.
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