Measuring Progress on Adaptation and Climate Resilience: Recommendations to the Government of Canada

ACT’s Executive Director, Deborah Harford, is a member of the Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience, launched by Environment and Climate Change Canada in August 2017 to advise the Government of Canada on measuring overall progress on adaptation and climate resilience.  The Panel was asked to recommend a suite of indicators to measure progress on adaptation and climate resilience in Canada. The recommended indicators were to align with the five key areas of action identified under the adaptation and climate resilience pillar of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, Canada’s national plan to address climate change, build resilience, and grow the economy. It is under this framework that the Expert Panel, following an ambitious, eight-month process of discussion and deliberation, proposes a suite of 54 indicators across the following five chapters:

Protecting and Improving Human Health and Well-Being, focused on the key determinants of health as
they relate to climate change impacts, and objectives and indicators that could be used to monitor and
evaluate progress toward increasing the resilience of people, communities, and health practitioners to a
broad range of health impacts associated with climate change;

Supporting Particularly Vulnerable Regions, focused on Canada’s northern, coastal, and remote regions
and objectives and indicators to measure the resilience of these particularly vulnerable regions to slowonset
climate change impacts (e.g., permafrost thaw, coastal erosion);

Reducing Climate-Related Hazards and Disaster Risks, focused on objectives and indicators related to
reducing impacts from rapid-onset climate-related events (e.g. floods, wildfires and other events), aligned
with the four components of emergency management: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery;

Building Climate Resilience through Infrastructure, focused on objectives and indicators to measure the
resilience of Canada’s traditional, cultural, and natural infrastructure, new and existing infrastructure,
critical and non-critical infrastructure, and the interdependencies of its infrastructure systems; and

Translating Scientific Information and Indigenous Knowledge into Action, focused on objectives and
indicators related to the respectful consideration and use of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and science to
co-develop information related to climate change impacts, build the capacity of Canadians to act on this
information, and mobilize action on adaptation.


See the full report here.


Professionals’ Best Practices for Low Carbon Resilience: Phase 1

In the spring of 2018, ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team) at SFU hosted a series of three meetings with professionals and professional associations (provincial and national) to engage participants in discussion about the role of professionals and associations in championing and advancing Low Carbon Resilience (LCR) approaches. The objectives of these sessions were to:

• Give an overview of the ACT LCR project and its process
• Learn about the concept of LCR
• Discuss LCR demands on professionals & the roles of professional associations
• Explore potential cross-cutting and profession-specific needs or approaches

Participants were invited into facilitated discussions that explored demands faced by different professions when integrating LCR into their areas of work. They also considered the similarities and differences across professional associations, and between provincial and national associations, that impact their opportunities to advance LCR.

To view the full report click here.

To read more about the LCR approach visit the 2016 report here.




Adaptation Primers: Canadian Society of Landscape Architects

ACT would like to draw your attention to the recently published Adaptation Primers published by the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. These primers have recently been made available to the public and provide basic yet insightful  information on the “most complex challenge facing decision-makers in the first half of the 21st century.”

The Primers are divided into four manuals:

Primer One: summarizes current science on climate change, and what it means for Canada.

Primer Two: focuses on framing policy and planning approaches to mitigation and adaptation with special emphasis on building resilience, designing for positive transformation, and ensuring sustainability in ecosystems and societies.

Primer Three: provides an overview of the opportunities to create resilient communities that enhance public well-being, integrate nature, and ensure a prosperous future.

Primer Four: focuses on the options for response to rising waters, ranging from persisting in place to migration to better circumstances.

Perhaps the most important component of the Primers is the reference material provided for each Chapter. The resources cited are intended to deepen understanding, share experience and, ultimately, to provide inspiration for innovative approaches to policy, planning, and design. It is hoped that the Primers can aid decision-makers as they advocate the need for change and the positive potential of change.


You can find more information about the primers and access to them here.


Barriers and Drivers of Planning for Climate Change Adaptation across Three Levels of Government in Canada

We are pleased to announce the recent publication in the Planning Theory and Practice Journal titled Barriers and Drivers of Planning for Climate Change Adaptation across Three Levels of Government in Canada. The Executive Director of ACT, Deborah Harford contributed to this publication in partnership with the Coastal Cities at Risk Research Network (CCRRN) which ran from 2012-2016. The CCRRN and was funded by the Tri-Council (NSERC, CIHR, and SSHRC) and the International Development Research Centre. The network partnered Canadian and international researchers studying climate change impacts in Metro Vancouver, Bangkok, Manila and Lagos.


This study investigates the factors that constrain and enable adaptation planning for increasing flood risk in Canada. It uses a multiple-methods, multi-scalar approach to identify interconnected barriers and drivers that operate across municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government in Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia. Through a policy content analysis (n = 54) and in-depth interviews with planners and other practitioners (n = 31), the study finds five major barriers to the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation: inadequate collaboration, absence of senior level political leadership, lack of public awareness, insufficient financial and staff capacity, and misalignment of policies within and between levels of government.

See the full article here. 



(June 26) Measuring Progress on Adaptation and Climate Resilience: Recommendations to the Government of Canada

The Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience released on June 26th the report titled Measuring Progress on Adaptation and Climate Resilience: Recommendations to the Government of Canada. The Executive Director of ACT, Deborah Harford is a member of the Expert Panel and we would like to draw your attention to the conclusions.

This report is a product of the Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Results, comprised of members from Indigenous organizations and governments, academia, the private sector, government, non-governmental organizations, and youth organizations. the Expert Panel was established to provide advice to the Government of Canada on measuring progress on adaptation and climate resilience.

Over an 8 month process of discussion and deliberation the Expert Panel developed 54 indicators across 5 chapters:

  1. Protecting and Improving Human Health and Well-Being
  2. Supporting Particularly Vulnerable Regions
  3. Reducing Climate-Related Hazards and Disaster Risks
  4. Building Climate Resilience through Infrastructure
  5. Translating Scientific Information and Indigenous Knowledge into Action

See the full report here.





(Aug 1) Call for Proposals: Stewardship Roundtable 2018

You are invited to share your research! Please join the discussion of stewardship for bird and wildlife populations and their habitats in BC and elsewhere. Is your research relevant to the themes of the Roundtable? Do you want to discuss your research with leaders engaged in the stewardship of bird and wildlife populations?

The poster session will take place during a networking event from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 24, 2018. Participants will vote on the best poster, for which there will be a non-cash prize.

Submit your poster abstract by August 1 2018 here. 

About Stewardship Roundtable 2018

The Stewardship Centre for BC and Bird Studies Canada, in collaboration with the 27th International Ornithological Congress (IOCongress 2018), the Vancouver International Bird Festival (VIBF 2018), and partners, is convening a Stewardship Roundtable on Friday, August 24, 2018 – a forum and showcase of innovative practices championed in our province and beyond. As part of this event, the Stewardship Roundtable Coordinating Committee is inviting submissions for poster presentation proposals relevant to global bird stewardship.

The Roundtable will feature panel presentations, world café style discussions, story-telling and networking around the following six themes:

  • Cats and birds living in harmony
  • Climate adaptation for birds and wildlife
  • Urban habitat for birds and wildlife
  • Wildlife management areas / Important bird areas and shorelines
  • Birds and building collisions
  • Co-benefits of agricultural lands as bird habitat




(July 12 & 13) Blue Carbon Forum

The City of Vancouver and the City of Yokohama warmly invites you to the Blue Carbon Forum in Surrey & Vancouver July 12 & 13.

Over one and a half days this forum will bring together academia, government and non-governmental organizations to foster relationships, share local knowledge, and create opportunities to support blue carbon research and projects. The Funding for this forum is provided by the Carbon Neutral City Alliance with support from the City of Yokohama and the City of Vancouver.


The City of Vancouver is partnering with the City of Yokohama to explore how blue carbon projects can be better incorporated into city carbon accounting, conservation, and restoration efforts. The City of Yokohama has successfully secured funding from the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance for the project, “Yokohama Blue Carbon Project”.

RSVP here. Password: BlueCarbon

Sponsoring partners:


(June 13) Sustainability of the Future and the Future of Sustainability

Join SFU International on June 13 (2:00pm – 4:00pm)  in a discussion with SFU’s Honorary Degree Recipient, Ashok Khosla on the pathways for promoting sustainable futures in India and elsewhere. Dr. Ashok Khosla, an internationally renowned pioneer in environmental sustainability, develops conceptual frameworks and global systems for promoting a sustainable future that has had profound impacts in India and elsewhere.

Dr. Khosla established Development Alternatives, an innovative NGO focusing on the toughest environmental challenges.Development Alternatives (DA), the world’s first social enterprise dedicated to sustainable development, is a research and action organization striving to deliver socially equitable, environmentally sound and economically scalable development outcomes. DA’s green technology innovations for habitat, water, energy and waste management, which deliver basic needs and generate sustainable livelihoods, have reduced poverty and rejuvenated natural ecosystems in the most backward regions of India. Dr. Khosla’s work exemplifies that it possible to integrate social innovation, research and community engagement.

RSVP for this event to: international_development@sfu.ca

Wednesday, June 13th
2:00 – 4:00 p.m
Room 1300-500 Granville Street, Vancouver BC
SFU’s Segal Graduate School of Business





(June 21) Webinar: Integrating Climate Risk In Public Infrastructure Projects

June 21st 11:00-12:00 PST: Fraser Basin Council and Associated Engineering are hosting a webinar titled Integrating Climate Risk In Public Infrastructure Projects: The Role of the Private Sector in Providing Climate Services

Many public sector organizations are planning to integrate future climate risk in their infrastructure projects. In order for this to occur, there is a growing need for private sector consulting companies to provide climate services or applied climate information for the project. In many aspects, this new area differs significantly from academic and government-led climate efforts, but in other aspects bears strong similarities. Potential opportunities for growth will be discussed, as will challenges of integrating climate data into private sector projects. This discussion will partly reflect experience at Associated Engineering, a Canada-wide consulting engineering firm with a growing climate focus.


Jeremy Fyke, Ph.D, is Climate Specialist at Associated Engineering. He has extensive climate science model research and development experience.

Dean Shiskowski, Ph.D, P.Geo is Vice President of Water Resource Recovery at Associated Engineering. He has a strong basis in integrating climate change into engineering projects.

Click here to register.











(June 15) Webinar: Managing Assets for Sustainable Communities

The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) and Engineers Canada are hosting the Managing Assets for Sustainable Communities webinar June 15th 9:00am -10:30am PDT.  

Communities are approaching, at an increasing pace, the end-of-life of many critical assets that were built over the past 60 years. With more money flowing to maintaining and replacing aging assets, it no doubt will mean less money for other social and environmental priorities. For this reason, one might argue that addressing the asset liabilities in our communities, might just be one of the largest threats (or opportunities) to advancing our communities’ sustainability objectives. This initiative is funded through Infrastructure Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP) and aims to “build awareness and provide basic technical assistance” on municipal asset management. Municipal staff, elected officials, engineers and planners are invited to take part in this webinar which focuses on engaging smaller, rural, and remote communities.

Speaker: Dr. Guy Félio PhD., P.Eng., FCSCE, IRP (Climate) Guy Félio is a civil engineer with a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. He has more than 30 years of experience in the field as a university professor, researcher, consultant and policy advisor. He provides expertise and support in the areas of asset management and adaptation of the built environment to climate change.


Click here to register for the webinar.





(Aug 9-10) Place-Based Food Systems 2018: Making the Case, Making It Happen






The Institute for Sustainable Food Systems is convening the Place-Based Food Systems 2018: Making the Case, Making it Happen conference August 9-10th. This two-day conference will draw together academics and community leaders to share the latest research and actions on building capacity for and empowering, place-based food systems. Participants will leave fortified with knowledge and understanding of the latest and best work making the case for place-based food systems, as well as innovative practices putting place-based food systems into action. The event aims to give participants an empowering vision of the critical role that place-based food systems can and will play in achieving our sustainable economic, ecological, and societal futures, as well as a revitalized dedication to strategic, collaborative, and forceful strategies moving forward. Call for presentations and papers is now open!

For more information visit the Kwantlen Polytechnic University registration page here.

Keynote Speakers:

Wes Jackson, The Land Institute, Saline KS
Charlote Coté, University of Washington
Eric-Holt Giménez, Food First Oakland, CA
Molly Anderson, Middlebury College, VA
William Rees, University of British Columbia, BC
Pauline Terbasket, Okanagan Nation Alliance, BC
Kimberley Hodgson, Cultivating Healthy Places, BC
Gail Feenstra, UC Davis, CA
John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri, MO


(June 15) Reducing carbon emissions through innovative urban planning with Alex Boston & Michelle Molnar

David Suzuki Foundation is hosting an important workshop on new opportunities to mitigate climate change through innovative urban land-use planning by Alex Boston (Executive Director of Renewable Cities) and Michelle Molnar (Ecological Economist, David Suzuki Foundation).

Adopting leading land-use practices that Alex and Michelle will speak to, can help address housing affordability, congestion, maximizing carbon sequestration benefits through improved natural asset
management, in addition to climate protection.

Where: David Suzuki Foundation, #219 – 2211 West 4th Ave, in the Terra boardroom

When:   Friday June 15th from 1pm to 3pm

Call in: If you can’t join in person you can join remotely by phone, please call into 1-877-385-4099, participant access code is 9903767#.








(June 13) Movement & Field Building- Climate Justice and Adaptation Webinar

This is the third webinar in the Climate Adaptation Leadership webinar series hosted by the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University in partnership with the American Society of Adaptation Professionals and the University of the District of Columbia’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences.
This webinar is about climate justice. The costs of taking climate action and the benefits of resilience-building must be equitably shared. We can use climate action to minimize harm, maximize options, and build power for oppressed and underrepresented people and communities. In this webinar, hear from champions of climate justice who are ensuring that adaptation action creates adaptation equity.
June 13, 2018 @ 1:15-2:45 PM EDT, click here to register.
Jacqui Patterson, Environmental and Climate Justice Program Director NAACP
Melissa Deas, Georgetown Climate Center analyst working to center equity in adaptation strategies
Shamar Bibbins, Senior Program Officer, The Kresge Foundation
Elisabeth Graffy, Professor of Practice at Arizona State University School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

(Sept 13) Apply Now for Columbia Basin Trust Environment Grants

The Columbia Basin Trust is offering grant opportunities for registered non-profits, public organizations, municipalities, regional districts and Indigenous organizations that will strengthen environmental well-being.  Businesses may be considered depending on the project and its broad community impact. The project must not mainly benefit the interest of the business.


Projects should address one of the four project categories;

  • Ecosystem Projects
    • Enhance or conserve ecosystems and/or species of conservation concern.
    • Reduce the threat of significant invasive species to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
  • Climate Projects
    • Support adaptation to the impacts of climate change at community-wide or regional scales.
    • Make long-term contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions at community-wide or regional scales.
  • Water Projects
    • Support the protection, enhancement or restoration of water resources that are important for species and/or ecosystems of conservation concern.
    • Carry out water quality and/or quantity research that is scientifically sound and will contribute knowledge to the management of water resources for the benefit of ecosystems, communities and watershed stakeholders.
  • Environmental Education Projects
    • Provide education to Basin residents that helps develop an understanding and appreciation of the natural world and motivates ecologically informed decisions and actions.

For more information on the application process and further details on the project categories visit in the Columbia Basin Trust website here.  Application deadline for the Environment Grant is September 13, 2018.




Metro Vancouver Climate 2050 – Public Dialogues

The Metro Vancouver Board has committed to pursue a regional target of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2007 levels by 2050. In alignment with this target, Metro Vancouver is developing a Climate 2050 Strategic Plan with a vision to ensure our infrastructure, ecosystems, and communities are resilient to the impacts of climate change. A first step is the release of the Climate 2050 Discussion Paper, which sets a framework for action and a transition to a low carbon future, increasing the health, well-being and prosperity of Metro Vancouver residents.

Join one of the public dialogues to learn about and share your views on Climate 2050. Visit the Metro Vancouver website here for more information on the Public Dialogues.




Public Dialogues dates (12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m, lunch served 11:30 a.m. – noon);

Thursday June 7 – Polygon Gallery, 101 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver

Friday June 8- Port Moody Inlet Theatre, 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody

Wednesday June 13- John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse, 7277 River Road, Richmond

Thursday June 14- Surrey City Hall, 13450 104 Ave, Surrey




(June 4) Canada announces $79.21 million in development assistance for Americas

In addition to all of the important initiatives being supported by the Canadian Government, it is great to see support for climate action and adaptation for communities across the Americas. The pillars of Canada’s engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean region are:

  • promoting democracy, human rights, inclusion and diversity;
  • supporting inclusive growth and poverty eradication;
  • supporting climate change and adaptation; and
  • improving regional security.

On June 4, 2018, the Government of Canada announced $79.21 million in development assistance for nine projects aimed at empowering women and girls. They include projects to improve women and adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive health rights, prevent gender-based violence, increase women’s political participation, improve water security for vulnerable populations—especially women—support climate resilience efforts and increase incomes among smallholder farming families, with an emphasis on woman farmers.

For a complete list of the new programs being supported by the Canadian Government in the Americas click here.




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