(April 2,3,4,) Parksville 2019: Building Nanaimo Region’s “Actionable Vision” for Water & Watersheds

Join delegates from the east coast of Vancouver Island and beyond, and attend a ‘watershed moment’ in the City of Parksville on April 2-3-4 for a field day followed by the 2-day symposium.

In 2019, the Regional District of Nanaimo is updating their Action Plan for Drinking Water and Watershed Protection (DWWP) to incorporate learnings from the implementation over the past decade, and integrate elements that will be the focus of an “actionable vision” for the next decade and more. The Parksville 2019 Symposium is a ‘sharing & learning’ opportunity that will help inform the DWWP Action Plan update.

For more information see here and to register see here.






(Feb 28) The Impacts of 1.5 Degrees

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, Climate Futures Initiative and Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Environment are pleased to introduce the Climate Futures Series: The SCIENCE, the IMPACTS and SOLUTIONS to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.

On February 28th, the Impacts of 1.5 Degrees talk will focus on the approach used by the scientific community to assess literature relevant to the question of what is dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system: the IPCC’s so-called “reasons for concern”, including what they are, how they evolved, and what the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees says, particularly for the selected human and natural systems. The presentation will also explore the benefits of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees compared with 2 degrees.

Presenter: Kristie Ebi, Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, University of Washington, USA
Respondent: Stewart J. Cohen, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Moderator: Tim Takaro, Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 28 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Room 1300, SFU Segal Building, 500 Granville St, Vancouver.
For more information and to register see here.

(Jan 25) TEDx: The Power of Multisolving for People and Climate

Beth Sawin presents “The Power of Multisolving for People and Climate” at TEDx Sun Valley.

Elizabeth Sawin tells how we can solve the climate issue by helping other people solve their problems. Elizabeth Sawin is Co-Director of Climate Interactive, a think tank that applies systems analysis to climate change and related issues. A biologist with a Ph.D. from MIT, Beth trained in system dynamics and sustainability with Donella Meadows and worked at Sustainability Institute, the research institute founded by Meadows, for 13 years. Beth’s work focuses on helping people find solutions that prevent future climate change, build resilience to unavoidable climate impacts, and provide opportunities to people who need them most. She writes and speaks on this topic to local, national, and international audiences. She is a member of the Council on the Uncertain Human Future, a continuing dialogue on issues of climate change and sustainability among humanities scholars, writers, artists and climate scientists. Beth’s work also focuses on capacity building, helping leaders achieve bigger impact. She has trained and mentored global sustainability leaders and Dalai Lama fellows. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.



For more information on TEDx see here.


(Feb 11) YYC Job Posting: Climate Change and Environment Technician

The Calgary Airport Authority is looking to hire a Climate Change and Environment Technician.

The Environmental Technician is suited for a Jr. environmental professional or new grad and is responsible for supporting the environment portfolios of water, vegetation, wildlife and noise. The person in this role will collect, analyze, monitor and manage environmental data in order to support the Environmental Specialists. The Environmental Technician role is also responsible for assisting the team of Environmental Specialists develop and update Environmental Management Plans and procedures to ensure regulatory compliance and maintain a positive environmental performance as well as assist with the development and maintenance of Environmental Polices for YYC, tenant and contractor activities.

Number of positions available: 1
Salary: Authority Band 7 ($65,091 – $67,704 – $70,434 – $73,242)
Term Length: 1 Year (March 2019 – March 31, 2020)
Closing Date: February 11, 2019
For more information and to apply see here.

(Jan-Mar) BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative Workshops

The BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative is hosting multiple workshops over the next two months that support adaptation and wildfire planning for agriculture across BC. The workshops are aimed at agricultural producers from all sectors, wildfire response and emergency personnel, and local government representatives. Producers will gain vital knowledge to prepare themselves and their operations, and to maximize the efficacy and safety of local emergency response in the event of fire. Producers will have the opportunity to:

1) Reduce your risk from the climate change impacts of more frequent and higher intensity wildfires.

2) Connect with local government representatives responsible for wildfire and emergency planning, as well as local wildfire and emergency response personnel.

3) Learn local wildfire behaviour, threat, and history, and how to apply lessons learned to structural protection.

4) Develop customized wildfire preparedness plans that outline what needs to occur before, during, and after a fire.

All workshops are free, and lunch and refreshments will be provided. Dates and locations are listed here;

January 29: Vanderhoof

January 31: Quesnel

February 12: Kamloops

February 14: Armstrong

February 26: Cranbrook

February 28: Creston

March 5: Grand Forks

March 7: Osoyoos

March 12: Duncan

March 14: Pemberton







For more information and to register see here.


(Jan 22) Sustainable Land Use: A Public Opinion Survey of British Columbians

The Real Estate Foundation of BC recently released and opinion poll outlining British Columbians opinions and values on land use, sustainability, and conservation.

Here are some of the findings that might interest the ACT community:

  • 81% of British Columbians support strong penalties (including jail time) for people and companies who pollute or severely damage natural habitat.
  • BC residents see the environment, nature, and climate as top contributors to their quality of life.
  • If forced to pick, 69% of BC residents will choose “ecosystem protections” over “economic growth” (24%). That’s a margin of almost 3:1!
  • When making land use decisions, 84% of British Columbians say “local needs for food, energy, and water” are extremely or quite important.

For the Sustainable Land Use: A Public Opinion Survey of British Columbians report see here.


(Jan 15) Primer on the Ecological Accounting Process

To help communities map a path forward, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia has released the Primer on the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP). The Primer introduces a valuation methodology that uses readily available financial information from the BC Assessment database. The methodology yields an asset value for the stream corridor and can then be used for budget purposes related to asset management. The EAP has the potential to be a catalyst for action by local governments.

For more information and to download the Primer see here.


(Jan 9) Job Posting: Junior Practice Advisor EGBC

Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia are hiring a Junior Practice Advisor.

Reporting to the Associate Director, Professional Practice and liaising with our Practice Advisor, this role is responsible for supporting the Professional Practice Standards and Development Department in the development of professional practice guidelines, providing professional practice and ethics guidance on matters related to professional and ethical practice in BC, and providing support to professional practice related committees, working groups and task forces.


  • A bachelor’s degree in engineering or geoscience,
  • Registered or in the progress of achieving an engineer-in-training or geoscientist-in-training status.
  • 1–2 years of related experience to the responsibilities outlined,
  • 1–2 years of expertise and/or experience in climate science relating to engineering and geoscience.






For more information on EGBC and to apply for this position see here. 


(Jan 9) A Blue-Green Scottish Future

To mainstream Blue-Green Infrastructure, Scotland has developed a capital fund for projects that enhance resilience to climatic extremes, restore nature, and educate the public on the benefits of nature-based solutions. The Green Infrastructure Fund aims to create 140 hectares or 15 major projects across Scotland by 2023.

For more information on project eligibility see here.


(Jan 16) Job Posting: Specialist, Climate Change and Health

The First Nations Health Authority is hiring a Specialist in Climate Change and Health.

If you are looking to make a difference in the Health and Wellness of BC First Nations, this is the perfect opportunity for you! Your high level of expertise and experience working with and for First Nations Communities on the health impacts of climate change have prepared you well for this role.

Education & Experience

  •  A University Degree with specialization in health sciences, humanities, social science, engineering, science, or other relevant discipline or an acceptable combination of education, training and professional experience.
  • 5 years of experience in climate change with preferably 2 years in the area of health impacts, with a focus on Indigenous populations.
  • Experience in working with Indigenous communities.
  • Experience in developing, implementing, and managing programs.
  • Experience in community-based, partner-led research, projects and
    initiatives, especially with Indigenous groups.










For more information and to apply see here.


(Jan 30) 2019 Trends in Land Use, Sustainability, and Rural Planning Webinar

On January 30th (12:00 to 1:00pm PST), the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia is hosting a free webinar titled 2019 Trends in Land Use, Sustainability, and Rural Planning.

In this one-hour webinar, Angus McAllister (McAllister Opinion Research) and Carolyn Whittaker (Firelight) will summarize what they learned from their 2018 research study and public opinion poll.

By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify top trends and emerging issues in sustainable land use
  • Understand public values and opinions relating to land use, sustainability, and decision-making
  • Determine which words and terms resonate with the public (e.g. “sustainable” vs. “ecosystem-based”)
  • Understand regional challenges and priorities
  • List strategies and opportunities for engaging with the public, collaborating with other decision-makers, and charting a path forward

For information on the speakers and to register see here.


(Dec 2018) Cities Adapt to Extreme Weather

Cities Adapt to Extreme Weather: Celebrating Local Leadership is the third report published by the Institute For Catastrophic Loss Reduction in a series highlighting local governments across Canada that are taking steps toward preparing for the impacts of a changing climate. This report includes case studies of twenty communities that have developed comprehensive plans to reduce the risk of loss and damage from extreme weather events such as floods, wildfire, severe wind and other hazards.

The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction is an international centre of excellence in disaster risk reduction.They are the oldest and largest university-based disaster research institute in Canada. The Institute is affiliated with Western University and has been a champion for building disaster resilient communities for more than 20 years.

The following are links to the other two reports;

Cities Adapt to Extreme Rainfall

Cities Adapt to Extreme Heat


(May 21-24) PIMS Workshop on Mathematical Sciences and Clean Energy Applications

The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences is hosting a four day workshop on mathematical sciences and clean energy applications. The workshop will include: first-hand accounts of mathematical scientists working in clean energy projects, kind and gentle introductions to clean energy systems and mathematical tools, graduate student presentations, and panel discussions on topics such as challenges in clean energy. The goal of the workshop is to inspire interest in further exploration and to nucleate collaborations between mathematical scientists and practitioners in clean energy. Mathematical scientists with no previous experience in clean energy research are welcome.

When: May 21-24 2019

Where: Earth Sciences Building, 2207 Main Mall, University of British Columbia

For more information and to register see here.




(Feb 19-21 2020) Adaptation Canada 2020: Raising Our Game on Resilience





Canada’s national conference on climate change adaptation is coming to the West Coast!

ADAPTATION CANADA 2020 (February 19-21, 2020) will bring to Vancouver experts and leaders from diverse sectors, regions and jurisdictions to work on one of the most urgent issues of our time — how to build climate change resilience in our communities, ecosystems and economy.

This conference is a must-attend for people in all orders of government (federal, provincial, municipal and Indigenous), industry, academia and non-government organizations. If you want to learn from others and make new connections to ramp up your own resilience efforts, this is your conference!

To sign up for updates on Adaptation Canada 2020 see here.


(Jan 10) Climate Futures Series: The Science, Impacts and Solutions to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees

Which path to halting climate change?

On January 10th The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, Climate Futures Initiative and SFU’s Faculty of Environment are hosting the Solutions talk of the Climate Futures Series: The SCIENCE, IMPACTS and SOLUTIONS to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.

This talk will explore how the limited amount of carbon dioxide that we can still emit while limiting global warming to safe levels can be translated into emissions pathways that inform the climate change debate and climate policy about choices that are made today.

Presenter: Joeri Rogelj, Lecturer, Grantham Institute at Imperial College London
Respondent: Mark Jaccard, Professor, SFU
Moderator: Kirsten Zickfeld, Associate Professor, SFU
When: Thursday, Jan. 10 from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Where: Room 1900, SFU Harbour Centre Campus Vancouver, 515 West Hastings Street in Vancouver

For more information and to register see here.





Low Carbon Resilience: Best Practices for Professionals – Final Report

ACT is excited to announce the release of the final report and deliverables for our year-long project exploring low carbon resilience (LCR) best practices for professionals.

We also present a joint statement signed by the following national professional associations and endorsed by national municipal climate resources provider, ICLEI Canada, in support of advancing LCR in and across their respective fields:
Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA)
Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP)
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
Canadian Water & Wastewater Association (CWWA)

As the 2018 IPCC Special Report makes clear, the need to advance mitigation and adaptation is now more urgent than ever before, and historical standards are no longer adequate to inform future planning. Climate change poses significant risks to all professional reliance models, which increasingly need to include climate change mitigation and adaptation as part of advisory and consulting services. It is therefore crucial to advance an integrated approach while mainstreaming integrated climate action into all planning and decision-making. The integration of the two streams of action (mitigation and adaptation) in research and practice is increasingly referred to as “low carbon resilience” (LCR).

This project focused on the key role professionals play as change agents in climate action, and what is needed for all sectors to advance uptake of LCR-based practices. The case studies, tools and resources presented in this report were developed in consultation with professional representatives across Canada through meetings held in early spring and late fall of 2018 – at the local level in BC, with SFU ACT’s Professional Advisory Council (ACTPAC); at the provincial level, with the BC Professional Associations Adaptation Working Group (PAAWG), hosted by the Fraser Basin Council; and with national professional associations in Ottawa, co-hosted with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Groups engaged span a range of professions, including engineering, law, agriculture, energy and utilities, forestry, flood management, accounting, water & wastewater management, real estate, development, policy, planning, health, insurance, architecture, and biology.

Key project deliverables were developed as brief handouts illustrating different applications of low carbon resilience, which can be accessed for printing here:

Low Carbon Resilience Briefing Note: The briefing note for decision-makers introduces the concept of LCR, and outlines advantages and co-benefits that can be gained by adopting the LCR approach.
Low Carbon Resilience Conceptual Process Model and Diagram: The LCR Conceptual Process Model outlines how key steps in climate adaptation and mitigation planning processes might be aligned to achieve integrated action. The following LCR Diagram further provides a high-level overview and further considerations related to integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation into planning processes.
  Low Carbon Resilience Planning Example – OCP (Official Community Plan) and CCP (Comprehensive Community Plan) Processes: This case study illustrates how LCR might be incorporated into existing planning processes such as OCPs and CCPs, and demonstrates that synergies and trade-offs between reducing emissions and building resilience can be mainstreamed into planning at the community scale.
  Low Carbon Resilience Tool Example – BC’s Energy Step Code: This case study illustrates how low carbon resilience (LCR) might be incorporated into an existing tool, the BC Energy Step Code. It demonstrates that synergies and trade-offs between reducing emissions and building resilience can be achieved at the building scale, and highlights how practitioners using the code might increase efficiency and effectiveness by considering future climate in building design and operation.
Low Carbon Resilience Case Study – North Vancouver Rain Gardens: This case study provides an example of a municipal-level ecosystem-based approach to sustainable land and water use that demonstrates LCR benefits.
  Low Carbon Resilience Case Study – Christus Spohn Hospital, Corpus Christi, Texas: This case study provides an example of an LCR-based approach to building design and development.
  Low Carbon Resilience Case Study – Municipal Climate Planning, City of Hamburg: This case study provides an example of an LCR-based approach to local government climate action planning.

ACT gratefully acknowledges the support of the Vancouver Foundation and the Real Estate Foundation of BC  for this project overall, and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS)  for the survey on continuing professional development.

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