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(July 23) Listen to ACT’s ED Deborah Harford in a live podcast

On July 23, 2019, ACT’s Executive Director Deborah Harford spoke with West Coast Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology. In the podcast, Harford gives listeners the background on the organization she co-founded (ACT), and explains how studying humans and animals is extremely important for adaptation. A self-coined “science translator”, Harford is adept at turning science in policy, and thus action, using her communication skills as a pivotal tool.

Listen to the podcast here, and learn more about the backbone of the ACT community.

 

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(July 30) – Grant Openings via Columbia Basin Trust

If you have an idea that will strengthen environmental well being, a grant program offered by Columbia Basin Trust can help bring ideas into fruition.

Who can apply? 

Eligible applicants include registered non-profits, public organizations, municipalities, regional districts and Indigenous organizations. Businesses may be considered depending on the project and its broad community impact. The project must not mainly benefit the interest of the business. Your project must take place in the Columbia Basin Trust region.

There are different types of grants available; over $5,000 and less than $5,000. Please view the website to learn about the different stipulations for each type of grant.

How Can I Learn More About the Program?

The Trust will be hosting two information meetings to review the Environment Grants Program and answer questions about the application and selection processes. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an information meeting.

Information meetings will be hosted by teleconference and the same content will be covered at both information meetings. If you are unable to attend an information meeting via teleconference, please reach out directly to Trust staff to discuss your application at 1.800.505.8998 or email envirogrants@ourtrust.org.

  • September Information Meeting
    Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2019
    Time: 2:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m. MT
    Dial-In: 1.855.950.3717
    Passcode: 272595
  • October Information Meeting
    Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    Time: 2:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m. MT
    Dial-In: 1.855.950.3717
    Passcode: 272595

Please visit the Columbia Basin Trust Website to learn more about this opportunity.

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(August 7, 2019) Webinar: Adaptation Pathways: How to plan when the climate … keeps on changing?

Join presenter Liese Coulter, a Science Policy Fellow from the Innovation and Adaptation Services Branch of the BC Ministry of Agriculture in a webinar next Wednesday August 7, 2019. 

The webinar will discuss the adaptation pathways approach and will introduce a user guide and well-referenced technical framework. In this webinar, Coulter will discuss the three main benefits of adaptation pathways, including: better applying climate knowledge to develop less vulnerable agriculture, structuring long-range planning to include agriculture in community adaptation, and identifying climate, social, and economic triggers for transformation.

To register for this interesting webinar, please click here!

 

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Interdisciplinary Green Infrastructure Focus Group Report

On February 22, 2019, ACT hosted a cross-sectoral interdisciplinary focus group of local professionals to share perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in green infrastructure planning and its implementation on a municipal and regional scale.

This report summarizes the main topics that were discussed, which include collaborating across disciplines (i.e., interdisciplinarity), taking a regional approach, and developing an interdisciplinary community of practice.

Read the report to find out more and visit our biodiversity-led green infrastructure page for more additional resources from this project.

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(July 18) Preliminary Climate Risk Assessment for BC Webinar

On Thursday July 18, 2019, 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM PDT the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is hosting a Preliminary Strategic Climate Risk Assessment for BC webinar. 

From the website: “This project developed a framework for and an assessment of 15 provincially significant climate-related risks, including both discrete events (e.g. wildfire, flood) and slow-onset risks (e.g. sea level rise). Consistent with ISO31000 methodology, the risk assessment framework is scaled for application at the provincial level, uses a scenario-based approach, and nuances the consequences that the risks produce for health and well-being, the economy, natural resources, infrastructure, and ecosystems. This project was motivated by a recommendation made by the B.C. Office of the Auditor General in 2018 that the province conduct a comprehensive climate change risk assessment. It will also help inform the development of a new Adaptation Strategy for BC due to be released in 2020.”

Click here to register.

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(July 15) Inspiring Climate Action: Seeking a Web Savvy Contractor

The Inspiring Climate Action project needs a contractor to produce web content for their site. The site will showcase climate adaptation initiatives and professionals working in climate action across BC.
The “microsite” will be mounted on weADAPT, an initiative of Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). Ideally, our efforts in BC will become part of a Canada-wide and international knowledge network focused on climate change.
To learn more about this position and for application details, please click here.
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(April 23-20, 2020) 7th Climate Change Online Conference (CLIMATE2020)

The Research and Transfer Centre ‘Sustainability and Climate Change Management’ of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany, will convene the seventh Climate Change Online Conference (CLIMATE2020). Taking place exclusively on the internet, CLIMATE2020 is guided by and will contribute to SDG 13 (climate action). Specific themes to be addressed include:

  • Resilience and Capacity Building;
  • Intelligent Climate Policy and Governance;
  • Education, Awareness and Adaptation;
  • Climate Finance and Access to Funding;
  • Intelligent Climate Planning, Small Islands and Developing Countries; and
  • Climate Change as a Threat to Biodiversity.

Learn more about this event on their website here.

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(July 25) CIP’s National Climate Change Survey Webinar

On July 25, 2019 the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) will host a webinar to discuss the findings of their National Climate Change Survey. Planners have an acute role in integrating climate action policy into planning, and to create communities that are resilient, receptive, and engaged in long lasting climate stability.

Updated CIP climate change policies have been developed in tandem with planners, climate scientists, advocates, and other partner institutions using surveys, interviews and focus groups.

Click to view the updated CIP Policy on Climate Change. 

To register for the webinar, please follow this link.

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(July 10) CBC News Article Outlines Co-Benefits of Climate Action

In an article released today, “Fighting climate change may be cheaper and more beneficial than we think”, CBC News talks with ACT’s Executive Director Deborah Harford and Ann Dale, a professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University. The article details the numerous co-benefits of pursuing adaptation and mitigation strategies; a synergistic approach we refer to as Low Carbon Resilience (LCR). Co-benefits have the advantage of more localized and short-term impacts, a characteristic than can help incentivize and spur decision making changes in local government.

Currently, ACT is working on developing a LCR framework for the Integrated Climate Action for BC Communities Initiative (ICABCCI). This framework will help communities integrate synergistic adaptation and mitigation planning, while also helping them realize the multiple co-benefits that can be achieved through an LCR approach. Understanding this lens will help governments plan for both short term and long term goals.

Multiple examples of co-benefits were mentioned in the CBC News article:

  • Financial; in countries like China, air pollution will reduce GDP by 10%.
  • Ecological; restoring wetlands can act as natural buffers to sea level rise, reduce emissions from pumping, and can sequester carbon in the process.

Along with these co-benefits, others such as job creation, improved water and air quality, and reduced urban temperatures exist within the crux of LCR climate action strategies.

Read the full article here.

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(October 30-31, 2019) Zero Waste Conference, Vancouver

Did you know that of 92.8 billion tonnes of minerals, fossil fuels, metals, and biomass entering the economy, only 9% are re-used annually? “Not good enough” says Circle Economy CEO and Zero Waste Conference Keynote Speaker Harald Friedl. On October 30-31, 2019 join us in attending the Zero Waste Conference in Downtown Vancouver to discuss circular economy success stories, waste prevention innovations, and gain local and global perspectives on waste prevention. 

This years conference will explore questions such as, what steps does Canada need to take to integrate into the global circular economy? What does success look like in Canadian economies, lives, and communities? To learn and understand more about these complex questions, the Zero Waste Conference will weave theory and action with profound speakers to motivate listeners to engage in a zero waste, circular economy.

Recently announced Keynote Speakers include Harald Friedl, CEO, Circle Economy and Arthur Huang, CEO and Founder of Miniwiz.

For information, or to register for the Zero Waste Conference, click here. We hope to see you there!

 

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(July 9) Launch of Climatedata.ca

The Government of Canada has launched an exciting new interactive website, Climatedata.ca. The climate information portal will allow users to visualize, analyze, and interact with climate data projections across Canada. From large scale to specialized, individual grids, reliable access to online data will help Canadians in all industries understand and adapt to changing climates.

Highlights of the Climatedata.ca Portal: 

  • Historical and projected climate data available to view and download at a resolution of about 10 x 10 Km
  • 25 different temperature and precipitation indicators available, including for extremes.
  • Updated Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) curves

The site, developed in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Computer Research Institute of Montréal (CRIM), Ouranos, the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC), the Prairie Climate Centre (PCC), and HabitatSeven, is an interactive tool that will help decision makers integrate climate data and adaptation into their strategies.

Click to visit the climatedata.ca portal!

 

 

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(July 8) Panelists Announced for August 7, 2019 US LCR Webinar

Panelists for the upcoming US LCR Webinar on Climate Action Planning were announced today. The webinar, based on the Climate Action Planning book by Michael Boswell, Tammy Seale, and Adrienne Greve, will discuss how cities and communities can address climate change locally, and offers a guide to creating low carbon resilient (LCR) communities. The recently announced panelists Tammy L. Seale and Adrienne Greve will discuss new and exciting examples of implemented projects to outline what is working in communities, and remaining challenges.

Tammy Seale (top left) is the the Sustainability and Climate Change Services Manager at PMC, a municipal services consulting firm in California. She has lead numerous climate action plans, GHG inventories, and sustainability programs.

Adrienne Greve (bottom left) is an Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She assists California communities in preparing climate action plans, and integrates climate action planning throughout planning curricula. The online webinar will be held on August 7, 2019 from 1:15 – 2:45 EDT. Click here to register!

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(July 4) CBC News Coverage of CCA Climate Risks for Canada Report

“We can predict and project the climate change impacts that are coming down the line for our regions in Canada,” said Deborah Harford, a member of the expert panel, “and because we know that, we can think strategically about how to reduce damage and respond proactively.” – CBC News

In a conversation with CBC News, ACT Executive Director Deborah Harford discusses the conclusions of the most recent report from the Council of Canadian Academies. The report, entitled Climate Change Risks for Canadians brings together expert panelists to discuss the most acute climate change risks facing Canadians today. These risks include impacts on physical infrastructure, human health and well-being, fisheries and ecosystems, and impacts to coastal and northern communities.

As Harford outlines to CBC, adaptation opportunities with meaningful impacts are there, we just need to know where they are, and how to respond and apply them effectively. For example, “building back better”; in the wake of natural disasters that are costly and destructive, the rebuilding process can be an opportunity to upgrade physical infrastructure, while embedding synergistic adaptation and mitigation policy. Not only is physical infrastructure something that can upgraded and modified more easily and effectively than other areas of risk, but it is an area where governments already understand what needs to be done.

“Although adaptation isn’t a household word, you scratch the surface on any community that’s already facing severe flood damage, and let me tell you: They are doing adaptation.” – Deborah Harford, for CBC News

The article continues to warn of maladaptation, outlining that sometimes the things that we believe protect us, such as dikes and levees, lead to a false sense of security and a lack of community knowledge. However, there are many adaptation measures that, if taken properly, will result in co-benefits. The example cited in the article, is planting trees. Trees can reduce floodwater risks by absorbing stormwater, can reduce the Urban Heat Island effect through urban shading and evapotranspiration, and also contribute to mitigation by reducing the need for air conditioning and sequestering carbon.

The Climate Change Risks for Canadians report, released July 4, 2019, is an effective tool for understanding which types of risks can be managed by adaptation measures, and also explores how the federal government can best inform its decision-making in response to these risks.

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(July 4) Release of Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks Report

Today sees the release of the Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks report, which identifies the top climate change risks for Canada, assesses which risks have the greatest potential for adaptation, and explores how the federal government can best inform its decision-making in response to these risks. Although many governments throughout Canada have studied climate change risks, there are few complete assessments that will help prioritize government responses to risk.

The findings emphasize 12 major areas of climate change risk facing Canada from a national perspective and identify six areas where these risks are most acute. All 12 areas of risk considered by the Panel can be meaningfully reduced through adaptation measures that lessen vulnerability or exposure.

The six areas of acute climate risk facing Canada are: 

  • Physical Infrastructure
  • Coastal Communities
  • Northern Communities
  • Human Health and Wellness
  • Ecosystems
  • Fisheries

ACT Executive Director Deborah Harford served on the expert panel that informed development of this timely national report, which addresses matters of significant urgency and cost for Canada’s local governments, economy, and citizens.

For more details, visit the Council of Canadian Academies website, and find the full report here.

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(July 8) Early Bird Registration for the Livable Cities Forum 2019

Join us from October 28-30, 2019 in Victoria, BC for the eighth annual Livable Cities Forum: Building Better Communities Through Resilience. 

The Livable Cities Forum is being hosted by the City of Victoria in partnership with ICLEI CanadaSHIFT Collaborative, and ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team), SFU. The Forum is a boutique event widely known for its high-caliber interactive sessions and diverse speakers on climate change action.

The impacts of climate change are being felt across social, built, natural, and economic systems in complex, interconnected ways. Now, more than ever, collaborative community-level action is required to build sustainable, healthy, and equitable communities that are resilient to the risks posed by a changing climate and more frequent extreme weather. The 2019 Forum is designed to showcase the importance of taking this synergistic approach to climate change planning and implementation at the local level.

Highlights:

  • A variety of workshops, plenaries, and dynamic sessions highlight how integrated action can enhance the vitality of our communities.
  • Two evenings of delicious local food, networking, and dialogue on building better communities.
  • On October 30, choose from a variety of half-day excursions and workshops in the City of Victoria and surrounding area. Tours will be led by local hosts and will showcase community adaptation and resilience initiatives from across the city.

Click here to view the preliminary program.

Attend the full conference for the early bird rate of $559!*

*ICLEI/BARC member discounts, and limited day rates and student rates are also available. Processing fee and taxes will apply.

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(June 28) – In Our Backyard: What Climate Change in Canada Looks Like

“Climate change is no longer theoretical. It’s in our backyard.”

CBC News’ recent project about climate change is self described as “ambitious and comprehensive”. The project “In Our Backyard” details how different residents across Canada have been made to cope with the extreme weather events that have costed them more than just dollars; in some cases members of their family, their homes, and their livelihoods. From extreme heat waves, to a rising sea gnawing away at the coastline, the “In Our Backyard” series makes what we know to be true about climate change glaringly real and poignant.

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