Webinar March 2nd: 7 Principles for Building Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems


Check out this upcoming webinar from the Security & Sustainability Forum:

Applying Resilience Thinking: Seven Principles for Building Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems

Wednesday, March 2nd

1:15-2:45 pm EST

Over the past decades, few concepts have gained such prominence as resilience, the capacity of a system to deal with change and continue to develop. There has been an explosion of research into ways to promote or undermine the resilience of various systems, be it a landscape, a coastal area or a city. However, the multitude of suggested factors that enhance resilience has led to a somewhat dispersed and fragmented understanding of what is critical for building resilience and how an understanding of these factors can be applied.

This webinar convenes authors of the publication with the same name to discuss seven principles that clarify how to apply resilience thinking and address the interactions among the underlying social and ecological systems.  The assessment was funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research and conducted by experts from the Stockholm Resilience Center, Stockholm University and Arizona State University.

Click here to register.


ICLEI Webinar: Beyond the New Paris Agreement- Working With Local Stakeholders

Post COP_In session

Check out this free upcoming webinar offered by ICLEI:

Beyond the New Paris Agreement: Working with Local Stakeholders

Wednesday, March 9th, 2:00 pm ET

The Paris COP was a pivotal moment for the international climate movement with the creation of a framework for coordinated global action to limit climate change to 2 degrees of warming. Local governments were recognized, engaged, and empowered throughout the roadmap leading to Paris and in the drafting of the Paris Agreement. History was made. Now what?

This webinar will focus on the outcomes of the Paris COP as they relate to Canadian municipal governments and some of the non-government stakeholders that are important to realizing global and local climate goals. Guest speakers will share the outcomes of the Paris COP as they relate to the sectors they work in, and discuss how local governments can use the outcomes of the Paris COP to better engage with local stakeholders.


Yunus Arikan, Head of Global Policy and Advocacy, ICLEI World Secretariat

Melissa Harris, Project Manager, Climate Mitigation & Energy, International Institute for Sustainable Development

Charley Beresford, Executive Director, Columbia Institute

Christelle Broux, University of Toronto Delegate, ICLEI Canada Intern

Moderated by: Megan Meaney, Director, ICLEI Canada

Click here to register.


Fiji Becomes First Country to Ratify Paris Agreement

Source: The Guardian; Steve Bly/Corbis

Source: The Guardian; Steve Bly/Corbis

Fiji has become the first country in the world to formally approve the UN climate deal agreed by 195 nations in Paris in December.

From The Guardian: 

The island nation’s parliament unanimously agreed to ratify the Paris agreement on Friday, according to local news reports.

“The motion was proposed by the country’s attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum. He told parliament that it would need to ratify the treaty ahead of a signing ceremony in April in New York, where Fiji’s prime minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, will formally sign the document on behalf of the country.

“He said tackling climate change was a major priority for the archipelago, which could face wide-scale flooding, fiercer tropical storms, and depleting fish stocks as a result of the world’s changing climate.

“The process marks the beginning of an expected wave of ratification votes as other countries prepare for their attendance at the New York ceremony.

In order to formally take effect, the Paris agreement needs at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of the world’s climate emissions, to ratify the treaty. Observers are confident the milestone can be passed in time for the New York event, given all the world’s major economies expressed full support for the Paris agreement at last year’s summit in the French capital.”

Read more from the article here.


Bob Sandford’s New Book, “Storm Warning”


Bob Sandford, ACT’s water policy adviser and also co-author of our latest book, has a new book of his own.

“Storm Warning: Water and Climate Security in a Changing World” highlights what the effects of climate change will be on water systems.

The book is featured in a new article from The Georgia Straight:

Written by Alberta-based water expert Robert William Sandford, Storm Warning points out how climate change is transforming hydrological cycles. A warmer atmosphere carries more water vapour, increasing the likelihood of more intense storms.

In the book, Sandford also highlights how scientists are learning more about massive “atmospheric rivers” that dump enormous amounts of rain.

These “corridors of intense winds and moist air” can be thousands of kilometres in length and extend for 400 to 500 kilometres across.

According to Sandford, atmospheric rivers may “carry the equivalent of 10 times the daily discharge of the St. Lawrence River”.

“We have discovered recently that atmospheric rivers derive their energy from the temperature gradient between the poles and the tropics,” Sandford writes. “Their intensity also derives from the Clausius-Clapeyron relation in that the warmer the air, the more water atmospheric rivers can carry.”

Read more from the article here.


Vancouver Climate Convergence Meeting


If you are interested in Canada’s National Climate Strategy, see below for information on a grassroots organizing response:

Climate Convergence Meeting 
Wednesday, February 17th
7:00 to 9:00pm
Grand Calvary Church 1801 East 1st Ave (off Commercial Dr.)

On Thursday, March 3rd, in Vancouver, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will hold the first round of meetings to develop a National Climate Strategy with all of the provincial premiers.  The meetings are being held in conjunction with The Globe Series. “The GLOBE 2016 Leadership Summit and Innovation Exposition”, held every two years in Vancouver, hosts business, policy, and civil society leaders working to address pressing global challenges with business and technology solutions.”  This includes many of the leading fossil fuel corporations and their executives.

Whatever their claims of civil society representation we know that neither the conference nor the Climate Strategy meetings will represent the voices or interests of indigenous peoples, workers, students and just ordinary folks in general.  Therefore activists from climate convergence are proposing a people’s climate assembly on March 3rd around the theme of Jobs, Justice and the Climate outside the convention centre where the meetings are being held.  The focus is on conveying a positive message about the path away from climate destruction and the genuine just transition to a fossil free future that the climate justice movement represents.

To plan action and get the broader input of climate justice activists and organizations we’ve organized a meeting on Wednesday, February 17th from 7 to 9pm at the Grand Calvary Church at 1801 East 1st Avenue (off Commercial Dr.).  We invite everyone to come discuss this event and the broader implications of Trudeau’s National Climate Strategy.  As part of this discussion we welcome input from all sectors of the movement and in particular invite supporting organizations and activists to share their responses and any plans they might have on March 3rd or in the lead up to it.


Meeting Agenda:

1. Indigenous Land Acknowledgement and Welcoming

2. Introductory speeches and discussion (speakers tba) on the issue of the National Climate Plan and how the climate justice movement is and should be responding.

3. Proposal for a People’s Climate Assembly on March 3rd and discussion

4. Organizing – break out into 3 or 4 committees to plan the action (Action, Program, Publicity/Promotion, Coordinated Actions)

5. Report back from Committees

6. Next Meeting?

7. Open Mic

For more information, email info@peoplesclimateconvergence.org


Webcast: Drought-Related Tree Mortality

Drought-related tree mortality: Heading into a century of more frequent and severe forest dieback events

When: February 17, 2016, 3:30-4:30 pm

Where: Room 002, University House 1, 2489 Sinclair Rd., Victoria, BC

Dr. Robbie Hember will discuss the topic of drought-related tree mortality across western North America. The talk will explore new insights into the impacts of drought on forest ecosystems, and the importance of drought as a determinant of future forest productivity. Robbie will also include an early look at the severity of the 2015 drought, its significance in the context of previous North American events, and what it may mean for British Columbia’s forest sector.

Robbie is a research scientist with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions’ Forest Carbon Management project, focusing on the impacts of environmental change on forest productivity in British Columbia. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia and is stationed at the Pacific Forestry Centre in Victoria BC. There he works closely with Natural Resources Canada’s Carbon Accounting Team. Robbie is a graduate of Trent University and the University of British Columbia, where he studied physical geography and plant biology and went on to study areas of climatology and the carbon cycle of forest ecosystems.

At the time of the event, join in on the webcast here.


Federal Government Announces 20 New Municipal Green Grants and Loans

Source: CBC/ The Canadian Press

Source: CBC/ The Canadian Press

Yesterday, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced that the federal government is promising new funding for environmental projects with municipal grants and loans to 20 cities and towns across the country.

From CBC: 

The Liberal minister said the $31.5-million in federal money will help communities improve local standards for air, water and soil quality.

“I will help [us] do our part to help fight climate change,” said McKenna. “In order to be successful we’re going to need innovative local strategies.” …

She said cities have direct control over 40 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions while being on the front lines of climate risks posed by global warming.

“This is the moment when we all agree that climate change is the challenge of our generation.”

This is an exciting development as municipalities can take significant action on climate change, and in many cases they already have been taking action. Adaptation also demands localized responses.

Read more from the article here.


Naomi Klein at the Vogue Theatre


Vancouver, see below for information on this exciting event:

Naomi Klein: This Changes Everything

Friday March 11th 

Vogue Theatre
918 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC

6:00 pm
Doors Open

7:00 pm

Forget everything you think you know about global warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it’s not about carbon – it’s about capitalism.

The SFU Vancouver Speaker Series, in partnership with SFU Department of Philosophy invites you to this special evening with award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author Naomi Klein. Ms. Klein will provide a keynote presentation, followed by a moderated Q&A with Shauna Sylvester, Executive Director of SFU Public Square.

Following the show will be a book-signing (books will be available for purchase) and a special screening of the documentary This Changes Everything.

Click here to buy your tickets.


Tooling Up For Climate Change: Economic Instruments for Action


A new project has just launched from Sustainable Prosperity:

Tooling Up For Climate Change: Economic Instruments for Action

This project, based on research undertaken for Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Platform, examines the ways different levels of government and other decision-makers can use economic instruments to support the uptake of adaptation actions in four sectors of importance to Canada: forestry, infrastructure, real estate and ecosystem services.

This research comes at an important time. Already, the impacts of climate change are affecting our forests, urban infrastructure, real estate and ecosystems. From increased frequency and severity of wildfires, to stressed water infrastructure, from cost increases in real estate, to altered ecosystems, these impacts present both risks and opportunities for businesses, governments, communities and individual Canadians. To reduce these risks and take advantage of opportunities, Canadians must adapt.

This website features various economic tools organized both by level of government (federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal) and by sector (forestry, infrastructure, real estate, and ecosystem services). This makes it easy to navigate the toolbox and find the exact resources you’re looking for.

This work also features ACT’s results from our June 2015 publication, “Paying for Urban Infrastructure Adaptation in Canada: An Analysis of Existing and Potential Economic Instruments for Local Governments.”

Check out the Tooling Up For Climate Change website here.


Toronto Event: Fracking in a Permafrost Environment


Friends in Toronto, check out this event coming up March 1st:

What are the key scientific and engineering questions related to fracking for shale gas and oil in a permafrost environment? What do we know about potential impacts on freshwater resources?

Explore these and other questions at the upcoming symposium, hosted by the Program on Water Issues at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto:

Fracking in a Permafrost Environment: Key Questions

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Christopher Burn, Dr. John Cherry,
and Dr. Anthony Ingraffea
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
9:00 am to 12:30 pm EST
Campbell Conference Facility
Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, ON M5S 3K7
To register, please email your name and affiliation to

ACT ED at Sustainable Communities Conference


SCC2016_banner_ENACT Executive Director Deborah Harford is at the Sustainable Communities Conference in Ottawa this week. Tell your friends in Ottawa to catch her talk Thursday February 11th!

Deb is speaking as part of the ‘My Hometown 2050’ plenary which will discuss future challenges and opportunities for cities.

Session summary:

The year 2050 may seem like a long way off but it ‘s just around the corner. As community builders, the choices we make in designing our communities along with the social and infrastructure investments we choose will lock us into a long- term path that is not so easily changed. In response to the targets called for to avoid the drastic impacts of climate change, FCM is leading a local government movement to becoming low-carbon local economies by 2050. This panel discusses what our communities will look like when we achieve this goal and some of the steps we need to take to get there.

The conference runs from February 9th-11th and is hosted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities
. Find out more information here.


Job Posting: Executive Director, Cowichan Watershed Board



The Cowichan Watershed Society is seeking to hire a part time Executive Director, who will also serve as the Coordinator of the Cowichan Watershed Board. The position will report to the Society Co-Chairs and Board Co-Chairs.

Duties and Responsibilities
Provide Executive Director and administrative services for the Cowichan Watershed Society and Coordinator services for the Cowichan Watershed Board including:

a.  Leadership;
b.  Operational planning and management;
c.  Program planning and management;
d.  Financial planning and management;
e.  Community relations/advocacy;
f.  Risk management;
g.  Human resources planning and management.

Qualifications and Attributes
The candidate will demonstrate the following:

  • Strong scientific understanding of ecological systems and watershed hydrology and a passion to protect the health of the Cowichan Watershed;
  • Respect for and commitment to upholding First Nations rights and culture;
  • Strong understanding of governance and non-profit Boards;
  • Experience working with all levels of government, First Nations and a variety of community and environmental organizations;
  • Demonstrated expertise in strategic planning;
  • Ability to work well with people of all ages and backgrounds individually and in team working arrangements;
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, and the ability to be an effective and persuasive ambassador of the organizations;
  • Proficiency with financial management including budgeting and reporting;
  • Strong organizational skills;
  • Creativity and an ability to problem solve;
  • Flexibility to adapt to varying workloads and scheduling requirements

Click here for more information. 


Job Posting with PCIC: Administrative Assistant


Job Posting: Administrative Assistant

1 year term (Maternity Leave Replacement)

Closing Date: February 22, 2016

PCIC is seeking to hire an Administrative Assistant.

Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC)

The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) was created to assess climate impacts in Pacific North America. The goals of the Consortium are to foster collaborative research, to strengthen the capacity to address regional climate change and variability, and to provide the scientific basis for development of policy. PCIC links scientific research and applications, researchers and users/stakeholders, and geophysical sciences and climate centres in Pacific North America. The Consortium supports the development of adaptation options and long-term planning to reduce vulnerability to climate variability, climate change, and extreme weather events. http://www.PacificClimate.org

Challenge and Nature of Work

The Administrative Assistant works closely with the Director, the Lead for Planning & Operations and the Webmaster/Editor to facilitate a multi-disciplinary team of scientists to carry out an applied scientific program focused on providing regional climate services to stakeholders.  The position is central to the functioning of PCIC through providing administrative and travel support to the PCIC staff, consolidating and maintaining financial records and staff records, and providing general administrative support.

Working under the supervision of the Lead, Planning & Operations, and supporting the Director, the incumbent supports all aspects of administrative functions of the office and helps to achieve a successful and thriving organization.

Primary Accountabilities

The primary accountabilities are as follows:


  • Arranges travel for Director in compliance with organization guidelines, budget restrictions and personal preferences and prepares travel claims
  • Compiles documents for meetings/travel as needed by Director
  • Maintains calendar including scheduling appointments, meetings and travel
  • Prepare documents/forms as required by Director


  • Answers the main PCIC telephone and redirects calls as needed
  • Manage PCIC general email account and forward incoming emails to the appropriate staff
  • Acts as a central courier, receiver and sender
  • Orders supplies, monitors inventory and ensures supply areas are tidy and well organized
  • Works with UVic facilities and staff to plan, order and organize office equipment, furniture, and phones. Maintains inventory of furniture, computer equipment and software
  • Prepare for recruiting and hiring of new staff
  • Organizes logistics within the university system for new employees including NetLink, benefits and direct deposit as well as within the office environment: mail, phone, office space and supplies
  • Provide basic travel support to PCIC staff
  • Tracks staff leave time and prepare year end leave summaries
  • Work with Management to prepare annual Corporate Report and other documents


  • Prepares administrative forms for signature and processing
  • Prepares travel expenses reports, cheque requisitions, purchasing agreements etc.
  • Maintains spreadsheet to track travel costs, payments and reimbursements
  • Reconciles all financial accounts with hard/digital copies, maintains financial documentation files and prepares quarterly journals to project accounts
  • Prepares monthly bank reconciliation and account summary
  • Work with Management to prepare the Fiscal Year End documents for audit

Meetings/ Events

  • Works with management to schedule, coordinate and support meetings including those of the Board of Directors and Program Advisory Committee
  • Maintains and updates PCIC SharePoint Site
  • Organizes logistics for Pacific Climate Seminar Series and other seminars
  • Work with Management to plan and organize workshops and events

Knowledge Skills and Abilities


  • Post-secondary education.
  • Familiarity with the UVic systems and procedures.
  • Familiarity with accounting principles.
  • Experience working in a technical office environment.


  • Strong clerical and organization skills.
  • Experience with MS office, PowerPoint, SharePoint
  • Excellent verbal communications skills.
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills.


  • Demonstrated initiative.
  • Ability to work both independently and part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Flexibility in accepting variable and diverse job assignments.
  • Ability to learn quickly and adapt to new circumstances.

Employment period

1 year maternity leave replacement.

Weekly working hours

Full-time (37.5 hours per week)


Pay rate

Commensurate with education and experience.

Additional information: Address enquiries to Kathy Veldhoen@ climate@uvic.ca.

Application:  Please send your application with a CV, including three professional references.

Address cover letter and application to Kathy Veldhoen, climate@uvic.ca, with “Administrative Assistant” in the subject line. Please indicate whether you are legally able to work in Canada.



Workshop for Okanagan Producers on Climate Change Adaptation



A workshop (in two locations) focused on developing adaptation options and an action strategy to strengthen agricultural resilience in a changing climate. Discussion will include strategies for managing:

  • Changing hydrological systems (drier summers)
  • Increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events, and
  • Changes to pests, diseases and invasive species.


  • Get involved in developing & implementing adaptation strategies for the Okanagan
  • Share your knowledge and experience
  • Build on the results of the previous workshop (which was held inDecember 2015)

Two Locations

in Penticton
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016, 9am to 2pm
at the Penticton Lake Resort, 21 Lakeshore Drive West, Penticton, BC

in Vernon 
Thursday, February 11th, 2015, 9am to 2pm
at the Vernon Golf & Country Club, 800 Kalamalka Lake Road, Vernon, BC

Registration opens at 8:30am. Morning coffee, baked goods and lunch will be provided at both workshops.

Please RSVP or contact us with any questions, at Okanagan@BCAgClimateAction.ca or call 604-992-7257.


Canada Ocean Lecture: Marine Biodiversity and the Health of Canada’s Oceans


Check out this free event, Thursday March 3rd, on marine biodiversity:

Marine Biodiversity and the Health of Canada’s Oceans

A free public talk and discussion, presented by Dr. Paul Snelgrove, Research Professor, Ocean Sciences and Biology, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL

Thursday, March 3, 2016, 7:00 pm, SFU Vancouver Harbour Centre Room 1900, 515 West Hastings Street

Moderator: Dr. Arne Mooers, Professor, Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Oceans encompass more than 95 per cent of Earth’s biosphere, and their massive volume and remoteness ensure we will not fully quantify their biodiversity in our lifetimes. Human pressures on the ocean will almost certainly increase in the future, yet we have little understanding of the role that different species play in maintaining ocean health. Although charismatic and commercial species have attracted public concern, few consider the many other species that inhabit ocean environments and help to support us and the species we care about. Dr. Snelgrove will discuss the new tools and approaches that have revolutionized ocean sciences in the last decade, documenting new species, new environments, and new processes that create unprecedented opportunities to improve ocean sustainability.

To reserve your seat and for more information, click here.


Call for Proposals: Economics and Environmental Policy Research Network





For those doing research into conservation and low-carbon economies:

The Economics and Environmental Policy Research Network (EEPRN) is seeking academic research project proposals in the following research areas:

  • Policies for a Low Carbon Economy;
  • Innovation and Competitiveness;
  • Conservation (including species at risk protection);
  • Data Set Development and Linkages;

We particularly encourage proposals in these research areas that feature the use and application of behavioural economics to study expected responses to environmental policy, including regulatory approaches and the use of market based instruments (MBIs). We will also prioritize in the review process those proposals that include specific case studies or empirical analysis of programs in Canada or internationally (that Canada may learn from), as well as proposals for surveys or innovative experimental approaches to evaluate the role of, or advantages to, alternative policy options for the design of environmental policy in any of the proposed research priority areas.

Click here for more information on application.

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