Webinar: Observations of Climate-Related Impacts to High Latitude and Elevation Forests

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Observations of Climate-Related Impacts to High Latitude and Elevation Forests (Northwest Territories and Rocky Mountain National Parks)

Thursday, January 19th
1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Presenter: Roger Brett (Forest Health Supervising Technician, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre)

There is an ongoing warming trend occurring in Canada and historic climate records indicate the northwest is warming at a faster rate than most other regions. Due to the warming trend, there has been an increase in direct and indirect climate-related forest health impacts throughout the Northwest Territories and Rocky Mountain National Parks. It is suspected that these changes have not only been occurring over the last few decades, but have been especially prevalent in the last 10 years. The issues observed during annual aerial and ground surveys appear to be increasing in type and extent, especially at the higher latitudes. These include high water tables, permafrost melt, large fires, slumping, drought, sun scald, wind, snow, large fires, and pest range and behavior changes including the increased significance of normally secondary pests.

Click here to register.


Call for Papers and Posters: 2017 BCSLA Annual Conference


2017 BCSLA Annual Conference – Call for Papers and Posters

Whatever the weather: Resilient responses to Climate Change

March 30 – April 2, 2017
Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Kelowna BC

This Call for Abstracts is open to all British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects (BCSLA) Members and allies. University students in studies related to the conference sub-themes are also invited. We invite submissions from any area or discipline of landscape architecture, from wide points of view (and especially from interdisciplinary or collaborative perspectives and practices), responding to the conference theme of resilience and the four sub-themes of Mobilizing for: 1) Community Transformation to Resilience, 2) Equitable and Inclusive Livable Cities, 3) Blue-Green Infrastructure 4) A Better Built Environment. Click here to download the Call for Papers outline.

The deadline for abstract submissions is 12 Noon PST, Friday, January 6, 2017.


Webinar: Monitoring Landscape Change in Canada


The first webinar of 2017 in Canada’s Adaptation Platform’s series:

Monitoring Landscape Change in Canada
Thursday, January 12th
2:00 – 3:00 pm EST

Warming across Canada’s Northern landscape since the early 2000’s has resulted in significant changes to all components of the cryosphere, some of which are having regional and global scale impacts on infrastructure and sea-level change. This webinar will present results from the monitoring activities within the Climate Change Geoscience Program (Earth Sciences Sector) with a focus on recent trends and rates of change to the Glaciers, Permafrost, and Snow cover. The implications of these changes with respect to feedbacks to the climate system and natural and human systems will also be discussed.

Click here to register.


New Book: ‘Cities Adapt to Extreme Heat: Celebrating Local Leadership’


Local governments are taking action now to address the increasing risk to Canadians from extreme heat events that will only become more common and severe in the years ahead as a result of a warming climate. Cities adapt to extreme heat: Celebrating local leadership, written by seven experts from the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) and Health Canada, profiles 20 of the many successful local projects underway or already completed in communities across the country that are adapting to better address the risks associated with extreme heat. The 20 case studies were chosen because they are innovative, and, in the opinion of the authors, could inform efforts in communities across the country.

The book can be accessed by clicking here.

Many of the communities identified in this report have a comprehensive strategy in place to address the risk of extreme heat events. The case studies present one element from the many actions they are implementing to address extreme heat. Showcasing key elements from a broad range of actions is offered to help other communities build an effective and comprehensive plan to confront the growing health risks to Canadians from extreme heat events.

An important message in this report is that leading communities are taking action now. The risk to the health of Canadians from extreme heat events is present today and will grow over time. We seek to recognize and honour local and regional governments taking action now, and it is encouraging to report that many are doing so.


Job Opportunity: City of Toronto Chief Resilience Officer


Toronto is hiring a Chief Resilience Officer.

Lead the comprehensive assessment of current policy, planning and resilience activities, creating a compelling vision for Toronto’s Resilience Strategy to drive engagement, understanding and commitment across all relevant community sectors.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities, we are a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture, and are proud to be the Host City for the 2017 Invictus Games. Established in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), this senior executive position of Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) is a unique career opportunity for a visionary leader who is a systems-wide thinker and a coalition-builder with a track record of driving outcomes in complex government environments.

Reporting to the City Manager, you will create and implement a holistic, cohesive Resilience Strategy for Toronto, to deliver a sustainable foundation from which to respond effectively to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. You will ensure the strategy incorporates and responds to the overarching issues facing Toronto, including fiscal sustainability, global macroeconomic change, inequality, aging infrastructure, lack of affordable housing, transit/transportation challenges, and climate change. The strategy will include objectives and a clearly defined direction with specific outcomes, metrics, roles and responsibilities. This will require you to interface with executive and managerial levels of City government, external agencies and community stakeholders, as well as the 100RC global network of cities, 100RC staff and 100RC platform partners from the private, public, academic and not-for-profit sectors.

Deadline to apply: January 16th 2017. 

For more information and to apply, click here.


Webinar: Winter Road Maintenance in a Changing Climate


Next in the Fraser Basin Council’s ReTooling for Climate Change webinar series:

Winter Road Maintenance in a Changing Climate
Thursday, January 19th 2017
11:00 am – 12:00 pm PST

For many Canadian communities winter weather is a matter of high concern as considerable resources are devoted to snow and ice control. There have been concerns that climate change could have a negative impact on snow and ice control planning and expenditures.

In response to these concerns, a research project was conducted to assess the current practices and vulnerabilities, as well as provide projections of future impacts and vulnerabilities for winter road maintenance in the City of Prince George. Lindsay Matthews from the University of Waterloo, a partner in the project, will be speaking about the research findings.


Webinar: Green Resilience: Adaptation + Mitigation Synergies

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If you are a member of the Climate Change Adaptation Community of Practice (CCACoP), register now for this upcoming webinar:

Green Resilience: Adaptation + Mitigation Synergies

Wednesday, December 21st
3:00 – 4:30 pm CST

Climate change mitigation and adaptation planning are typically treated as separate efforts. Yet there are measures that yield both climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits, what CCAP refers to as “Green Resilience”. In this webinar, Steve Winkelman will provide examples of Green Resilience measures in the energy, transportation and water sectors. He will summarize the benefits of Green Resilience including:

  • Increased return on investments in mitigation, adaptation and infrastructure,
  • Increased revenue sources for implementation, and
  • Enhanced climate benefits of infrastructure investments.

Steve will also share thoughts on how Green Resilience measures can help advance implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions and attract climate finance such as through the Green Climate Fund.

Steve Winkelman, Director of the Adaptation and Transportation Programs at CCAP, has more than 20 years of experience in sustainable transportation, urban planning, clean energy, climate policy, and critical infrastructure resilience.  Steve has assisted leading local governments to “Ask the Climate Question” when making critical infrastructure and land use decisions. He researches and promotes advance “Green Resilience” measures that reduce GHGs and enhance climate resilience, thereby increasing return on climate and infrastructure investments. Steve has led expert workshops on transportation and climate adaptation for NOAA and critical infrastructure resilience for Washington DC.

Click here to register. If you’re not a member of CCACoP, click here to sign up for free.


Adaptation essay contest: $3500 prize


For the summer 2017 issue, Creative Nonfiction magazine is seeking submissions for a special issue devoted to the theme of “adaptation”—original essays illuminating the ways in which the need to keep up with a rapidly-changing world drives the work of scientists, designers, thinkers, innovators, farmers, soldiers, medical professionals, teachers, and others and affects the lives of prisoners, patients, refugees, students, travelers, and other citizens. As the world changes, so, too, do humans—whether in our approach to building things, developing new technologies (and adapting to the ways those technologies change our society), learning how to eat different kinds of foods, or learning how to dress differently. And of course adaptation is hardly limited to humanity; numerous other species—everything from viruses to plants and animals—have had to adapt to rapid changes in both global and local habitats.

The special issue of Creative Nonfiction will feature new nonfiction narratives by and/or about professionals whose work helps humans adapt to a changing world. The issue may also feature original work focusing on other, less concrete types of adaptation—for example, how changing demographics affect the development of new technologies; the personal and/or social impacts of shifting attitudes toward gender and sexuality; and the implications and possibilities of new types of media.

We welcome personal stories as well as profiles, and we’re open to a very wide range of experiences and circumstances. Above all, we are looking for narratives—true stories, rich with scene, character, detail, and a distinctive voice—that offer unique insight into the theme.

Creative Nonfiction editors will award $3,500 for best essay, and all essays submitted will be considered for publication.

Deadline: January 9, 2017.

Click here for more information and to submit.


Climate Risk: Getting to Action | Professionals’ Perspectives on Climate Change Challenges

Climate Risk: Getting to Action | Professionals’ Perspectives on Climate Change Challenges First Summary of Discussions

Click Image to read Climate Risk: Getting to Action

As climate change begins to have measurable effects, members of many professions are encountering challenges to established standards of practice and disruption of decision-making processes that are based on historical norms. Elevated risk of damages is also causing concern around topics such as liability and investment, as well as exposure to short- and long-term impacts and the complex issues they raise for urban development and other sectoral planning approaches.

Professionals within key practice areas responding to climate change through new approaches have the collective potential to achieve widespread transformation and improve climate resilience throughout multiple sectors. Further, policy- and decision-makers could benefit from consultation with professionals during the development of climate change-related policy and regulation to ensure the practicality and applicability of new approaches, given professionals’ in-depth expertise and implementation experience.

ACT formed the ACT Professional Advisory Committee (ACTPAC) in 2014 in order to develop a better understanding of the climate challenges for different professions through engaging with senior representatives of major sectors in BC on the challenges they face and solutions they are considering. Designed to be a conversation starter rather than an exhaustive analysis of the issues, this report summarizes key ideas on examples of climate change challenges and solutions for selected professions synthesized from discussions conducted with the ACTPAC over the past two years, as well as insights gained during an ACT workshop with BC thought leaders held in Vancouver on September 9th, 2016, entitled Climate Risk: Getting to Action.

It is clear from the results that many professionals are already embarking on new approaches to climate change challenges; however, if they are to respond effectively to the substantive changes anticipated in a world that seems increasingly likely to experience over 2°C of warming by the end of the century, continuous improvement in training, communication, codes and standards, sustainability principles and best practices will be needed.


Webinar: Lancet Countdown on Public Health and Climate Change


Thursday, December 22nd
10:15 – 11:45 am PST

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change is an international, multidisciplinary research collaboration between academic institutions and practitioners across the world.

Announced at COP 22, the Lancet Countdown will track progress on health and climate change. It follows on from the work of the 2015 Lancet Commission, which concluded that the response to climate change could be “the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century”. Countdown will develop indicators to track the world’s response to climate change, and the health benefits that result.

The Lancet Countdown will actively seek to engage with existing monitoring processes, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and World Health Organization’s climate and health country profiles. The indicators will also evolve over time through ongoing collaboration with experts and a range of stakeholders, and be dependent on the emergence of new evidence and knowledge. This is especially relevant to the public health practitioner and public health research communities, because of the collaborative nature of the initiative.

Join Island Press, the Public Health Institute and the Security and Sustainability Forum for the US introduction of the Lancet Countdown.

Click here to register for this webinar.


Webinar: Costs and Benefits of Climate Change Adaptation in Mining


The Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR) is offering the following upcoming webinar:

An Assessment of the Costs and Benefits of Climate Change Adaptation in Mining
Thursday, December 15th
1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

A changing climate presents physical risks to mine infrastructure as mines are often located in challenging geographies that can experience extreme weather or were not designed for more frequent extreme weather events. Climate challenges have led to a wide range of industry impacts, from direct impacts on mine operations to indirect impacts via supply chains. If these risks are not characterized and addressed, they may have cost implications that affect the return on investment and the profitable operating life of mines or facilities.

A risk based tool has been developed and implemented to characterize and rank the risk to various mine infrastructure under current and future climate conditions. Mine infrastructure components (e.g. tailings dam, holding ponds or water supply) that could be adversely impacted by climate are identified in the tool as a potential climate/infrastructure interaction. The risk for each interaction is then characterized using a combination of the severity of the consequence, and the likelihood that the consequence would occur under both the current and future climate conditions. The tool allows for the analysis of how different climate adaptation measures would impact the risk score for different climate/infrastructure interactions.

This webinar will present results from a case study of the implementation of the tool, as well as the tool development and how uncertainty in climate change projections can be addressed.

Click here to register.


Job Posting: CEO at David Suzuki Foundation

David Suzuki Foundation (CNW Group/David Suzuki Foundation)

David Suzuki Foundation (CNW Group/David Suzuki Foundation)

The David Suzuki Foundation is hiring for a Chief Executive Officer.

Are you a collaborative leader and outstanding relationship-builder, highly motivated to drive positive environmental change and policy in Canada? If so – we are delighted to share with you a unique and important opportunity.

Head-quartered in Vancouver, BC, and founded in 1990, the David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) is nationally revered as a leading and iconic environmental organization. DSF’s mission is to protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life, now and for the future; currently, DSF is focused on research and campaigns that relate to environmental rights, climate solutions, and biodiversity.

After 9 years, the current, highly regarded CEO has announced he is stepping down. The Board is now seeking a new CEO to lead the Foundation through the specific opportunities – and challenges – that lie ahead. This is an important time of transition for the Foundation.

The high-level mandate of the CEO will be to drive more systemic environmental change in Canada through the actions of the David Suzuki Foundation. As part of this, the CEO will drive and implement strategy, lead the organization and engage effectively with a diverse and evolving set of stakeholders (including all levels of government; media; other advocacy groups; donors, the private sector; the Canadian public and Indigenous peoples in particular; management, staff, board and family).

To qualify for this role, you will be a leader who, in the words of Dr David Suzuki, truly ‘understands our place in the world’ and is highly motivated to ‘change the conversation’ around this – from the federal government to the people of Canada. Your values will be closely aligned with those of the Foundation: you will thus be committed, collaborative, courageous, solutions-seeking and integrity-driven. You will be deeply concerned about the environmental catastrophe we are currently heading for. You will bring a core understanding of the issues, and a fearless commitment to finding solutions.

The following skills are essential for the new CEO:
Strong leadership, diverse relationship management, high collaboration, public speaking, communications – internal and external, vision, public engagement and influence, literacy in science and nature, political astuteness.

Specific experience in the following areas is also essential:
Strategy development, management of a team or organization, public issues and crisis management, experience in the realm of activism/advocacy/ public policy. Experience in community organizing would also be welcome.

To read more and apply, click here.


Call for Nominations: SFU President’s Awards for Leadership in Sustainability

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The SFU Sustainability Office is accepting nominations for the Annual President’s Awards for Leadership in Sustainability (2017)

 The President’s Awards for Leadership in Sustainability recognize members from Simon Fraser University’s faculty, staff and student community who demonstrate outstanding leadership in advancing the cause of sustainability within and/or beyond the University.

 Award recipients share SFU’s commitment to engage leadership and serve as inspirations and role models to our students, graduates and the community.

 For the purposes of this award, sustainability is understood as it is defined in SFU’s Sustainability Policy (GP 38): “improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems.” It should recognize that economic, social and ecological issues are fundamentally interrelated as they affect sustainability.

 Award recipients contribute to raising awareness of the fundamental interrelationships among these elements through their work, going above and beyond the normal requirements of their profession or studies.

 The Award is intended to recognize actions that significantly improved awareness and understanding of sustainability, as well as actions that promoted and produced improved environmental sustainability.  We encourage you to nominate a deserving candidate by December 15th using the attached nomination form.

 For more information on the Award and Selection Committee please visit the Sustainability Office website.


Carbon Talk: Is the Paris Agreement on Track?


Join in on the next Carbon Talks public dialogue at SFU:

At COP21 last December, the Paris Agreement was unanimously adopted and charted a new course in the global response to climate change. In Marrakech this November, world governments came together for the first time since Paris for COP22 to discuss the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Ministers and civil society met against the backdrop of fresh evidence that 2016 will be the warmest on record and with a new administration in Washington that could reverse American support for the Paris Agreement.

So what happened at COP22? What was (and wasn’t) agreed to, and what does that mean for progress on climate change? We hear from two experts who were deeply involved at this year’s COP—Tzeporah Berman and Jennifer Allan.

When: Friday, December 9 from 12:30-1:30pm
Where: Room 7000, SFU Harbour Centre at 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
More information: https://carbontalkscop22.eventbrite.ca  

Click here to register.


Workshops on Canada’s Environmental Assessment Review


Canada’s environmental assessment processes are broken. Be part of building a visionary new environmental assessment law that works for the environment and communities.

An Expert Panel appointed by the federal government is coming to British Columbia this December to hear your views on how to reform Canada’s environmental assessment processes.

West Coast Environmental Lew is holding workshops for attendees to learn about what needs to change and how to be involved in this important review.

Vancouver Workshop
Monday, December 5th
2:00 pm
Tyee Hall
False Creek Community Centre
1318 Cartwright St, Vancouver

Nanaimo Workshop
Sunday, December 4th
2:00 pm
Milestone River Room
Vancouver Island Conference Centre
101 Gordon Street, Nanaimo

Space is limited, so please RSVP to eacoordinator@wcel.org to reserve your spot.

For more information, visit www.envirolawsmatter.ca.

To learn more about the Expert Panel or participate in the federal review, visit the Panel’s website at http://eareview-examenee.ca/.


Funding Opportunity: EcoAction Community Funding Program


Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) EcoAction Community Funding Program is now accepting applications for funding for new projects until December 12, 2016.

Funding is available for 2017-18 projects that address the program areas of Climate Change, Clean Air, Clean Water and Nature. This year preference will be given to projects that support ECCC’s climate change program through activities such as energy conservation and efficiency, alternative energy and transportation, waste reduction and diversion, and climate change adaptation. The program invites submission of projects from indigenous organizations and environmental, youth, and other non-profits groups and encourages partnerships with vulnerable communities and small businesses. All proposals must fully meet program requirements and demonstrate that there will be measureable environmental outcomes as a result of the project activities.

Click here for more information on applying.

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