Integrated Climate Action for BC Communities Initiative

ICABCCI...

Produces leading-edge research to support low carbon resilience at the local government level

ICABCCI...

Works with local governments to make climate action more effective, long-lasting and streamlined.

ICABCCI...

Promotes the co-benefits of climate action, such as community health and resilience.

ICABCCI...

Encourages peer learning and knowledge sharing among our 13 case communities and beyond

ICABCCI...

Champions a collaborative, holistic approach to climate action.

The Integrated Climate Action for BC Communities Initiative (ICABCCI) produces action-oriented research that supports local governments in adopting effective and streamlined approaches to climate actions that maximize the impact of limited resources, and protect both human and natural systems.

To achieve these outcomes, ICABCCI combines academic and municipal practitioner expertise to champion the low carbon resilience (LCR) approach to climate action. Adaptation and mitigation are too often undertaken as separate pathways of action. In contrast to this siloed approach, LCR co-evaluate both adaptation and mitigation strategies, as well as identify other co-benefit opportunities from climate action. The LCR process helps governments avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes from the traditional siloed approach, and ensures climate considerations are integrated into the community’s strategic vision, risk management and reporting, and everyday practices, including in areas of asset management, land-use, corporate strategy, and capital investment planning.

ICABCCI is working with 13 partner communities across BC to facilitate the integration of LCR across all relevant planning and decision processes. We provide mentorship, resources and guidance, and conduct research that support effective decision-making in local governments of all sizes. Our team works closely with our case communities, recording their progress and consolidating learnings into published research. Research outputs will include a Low Carbon Resilience Framework for Action to support local governments across Canada engage productively with climate change.

Thanks to the generous support of the Real Estate Foundation of BC, ICABCCI will run until 2021. We will continue to share learnings and research findings from our case study communities and our peer learning network. 

Scroll down to sign up to ICABCCI’s Peer Learning Network and to meet the ICABCCI team

ICABCCI Publications and Resources

Since its inception, ICABCCI has committed to regularly reporting on our progress and publishing research that is accessible to all. Our Publications Library features all of our publications to date, and continues to expand as ICABCCI evolves. The insights and learnings gleaned from ICABCCI partner communities will be used to co-develop a leading-edge framework for best practice in climate action for other local governments across BC and beyond.

 

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Partner Communities

ICABCCI has partnered with 13 communities, large and small, from across British Columbia to advance LCR and the integration of adaptation and mitigation climate actions into local government processes, planning, and implementation. Learn more about our partner communities below.

City of Colwood >

ICABCCI Status: First wave case community

The City of Colwood is a fast-growing coastal community west of Victoria on southern Vancouver Island. The City faces climate risks associated with seasonal drought, extreme weather and sea level rise. Colwood has situated and supported climate change action through their 2018 Official Community Plan update and is expediting action through their 2019 Climate Emergency Plan. ICABCCI is working with Colwood to embed LCR into internal staff reporting processes, ensuring that reductions in vulnerability and emissions are accounted for in all staff reports that go before Council. Mainstreaming LCR in this way allows Colwood to streamline planning and decision-making processes, avoiding contradictions between mitigation and adaptation planning.

City of Port Moody >

ICABCCI Status: First wave Case Community

Port Moody was the first case community to join ICABCCI. An urban community in the Metro Vancouver region, Port Moody is vulnerable to sea level rise, extreme weather, and air quality issues. Although it began with relatively little climate action, Port Moody has now become a leading example of LCR planning. Their 2014 Official Community Plan led to the creation of a sustainability checklist and later a sustainability report card to assess and improve development within the municipality. Port Moody is now progressing quickly on integrated climate action, working with ICABCCI to embed their LCR Climate Action Plan throughout their municipal organization. These LCR approaches have helped the City to catalyze a streamlined planning process–including pioneering new procurement approaches on climate action– break down systemic silos across the organization and build an ‘integrative mentality’ for co-evaluating vulnerability and emissions across the organization.

District of Summerland >

ICABCCI Status: First wave case community

Located on the east shore of Okanagan Lake, Summerland is a small, dispersed community with a tourism and agri-based economy. The community is vulnerable to impacts of wildfire, drought and extreme weather events including heat waves, heavy rainfall and flooding. The District has additional vulnerabilities associated with an aging population, as well as a limited tax base. Nonetheless, Summerland is committed to climate action and has been leading on solar energy projects and emissions reduction strategies in their 2015 Official Community Plan. ICABCCI has been working with Summerland to include criteria to reduce vulnerability and emissions in its project prioritization decision process (for projects above $10K) emphasizing the importance of promoting investment in areas that promote a resilient, low carbon future. Summerland is also actively working with ICABCCI to incorporate LCR within emerging municipal priorities, including the asset management planning process, procurement policy updates, core competency requirements for staff, and is moving toward aligning the district’s Community Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan with adaptation and hazard, risk and vulnerability planning. Summerland has been a leader in using LCR to accelerate and streamline climate action in existing initiatives while building legitimacy for co-benefits in other areas of the organization.

City of Nelson >

ICABCCI Status: First wave case community

Located on the western arm of Kootenay Lake in southeastern BC, Nelson faces vulnerabilities to flooding, extreme heat, and wildfires. The municipality has a long history of sustainability leadership, including embedding climate action into their 2013 Official Community Plan and other mitigation strategies. Their efforts have resulted in substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from municipal operations in recent years. Nelson is keen to move forward with comprehensive LCR goals that synergize efforts to reduce vulnerability and enhance their corporate and community emission reductions. The City is working with ICABCCI to build on past successes by streamlining mitigation and adaptation planning into an integrated Climate Action Plan that is co-created with the community, co-evaluates solutions and embeds climate considerations across municipal processes. Taking an LCR approach is helping the City build support and collaboration for climate initiatives across departments, engage community stakeholders around tangible local benefits, and improve outcomes by identifying synergies between adaptation, mitigation and other municipal priorities. 

Village of Silverton >

ICABCCI Status: First wave case community

Silverton is a remote, rural community on the east shore of Slocan Lake in the Kootenay region. Silverton is preparing for increases in climate impacts related to wildfires, flooding and erosion. The Village has limited capacity and relies on strategic partnerships with regional organizations and neighbouring communities (including the Village of Slocan) to address issues such as climate action. Silverton’s 2010 Official Community Plan outlines municipal and community emission reduction targets along with pathways for sustainable development. ICABCCI is working with Silverton, its partner community Slocan and an asset management consultant to integrate LCR into an asset management planning process. Embedding LCR and natural asset planning into ongoing planning and investment decisions will help the Village plan for the future, use resources efficiently and improve access to federal and provincial funding.

Village of Slocan >

ICABCCI Status: First Wave case community

Located at the south end of Slocan Lake, the Village of Slocan is a small rural community which has begun transitioning away from a single-resource forest economy. Similar to neighbouring Silverton, Slocan is vulnerable to wildfire, flooding and associated erosion in the mountainous Kootenay region. Following the closure of the local sawmill, Slocan has been forging ahead on climate action as a key part of its renewal planning and was the first Kootenay community to commit to being 100% renewable by 2050. Like many small communities, Slocan has limited municipal capacity to act on climate change but is addressing capacity issues through regional partnerships. The Village is working with ICABCCI to embed LCR in regional, collaborative planning processes and is currently developing an asset management strategy, with the help of a consultant and neighbouring communities, to establish a robust natural asset inventory and transition towards a resilient, low carbon future.

City of Surrey >

ICABCCI Status: Second wave case community

The City of Surrey is located within the Metro Vancouver region. As a large and growing urban centre with one-third of its municipal land base within an Agricultural Land Reserve, Surrey faces climate impacts ranging from overland flooding and sea level rise to agricultural drought and acute heat stress, especially among vulnerable populations. Surrey has been a leader in BC on climate action, identifying early the need for both adaptation and mitigation approaches in their 2013 Community Climate Action Strategy and 2013 Official Community Plan. Surrey is currently focusing on its Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy, Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, implementing the BC Energy Step Code and equity and health for community resilience. The City is working with ICABCCI to prioritize LCR in its Climate Strategy Update, while also aligning LCR strategies within the Master Transportation planning process. This opportunity provides an opportunity for Surrey to develop its own LCR evaluation framework that can then be applied to other municipal departments. Embedding LCR in municipal priorities, such as transportation planning, aims to help Surrey streamline planning processes and gain a strategic direction for long-term infrastructure decisions and investments.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation >

ICABCCI Status: Second wave case community

Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) is a Coast Salish Nation in the Metro Vancouver region and is the first Indigenous community to join ICABCCI. Located on Burrard Inlet, TWN is vulnerable to sea level rise, ocean acidification, coastal erosion, extreme weather and wildfire. These impacts are projected to be disruptive to nearly all aspects of TWN community life, fundamentally changing how TWN harvest food and medicinal plants, access the shoreline and marine waters, and connect with nature. Similar to other First Nations, TWN uses a holistic stewardship approach and has incorporated both mitigation and adaptation strategies into their Vision 2020 Comprehensive Community Plan (2015) and their 2019 Land Use Plan. TWN is now working with ICABCCI to take a more integrated approach to climate action as their Comprehensive Community Planning process continues. The Nation’s 2020 Community Climate Change Resilience Action Plan provides a valuable opportunity to consider reduction to projected climate impacts and emissions within this strategic initiative.

City of Revelstoke >

ICABCCI Status: Second wave case community

Located in southeastern BC, Revelstoke is a mountain city on the Columbia River and is popular with tourists year-round. The City is vulnerable to increasing temperatures leading to wetter rather than snowy winters, wildfires, more extreme storms and flooding–all of which influence the viability of tourism in the area. Climate action has long been top of mind for municipal leaders in the City, and the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan prioritizes sustainability, providing opportunity for embedding comprehensive climate action as a key indicator of moving toward sustainability. As Revelstoke is updating their emissions inventory and reductions targets, ICABCCI will work with the City to develop a concurrent risk and vulnerability assessment. The goal is to piggyback on the engagement and needs for the upcoming OCP update in order to streamline resources while also mainstreaming climate action into community planning.

City of Prince George >

ICABCCI Status: Second wave case community

Prince George is located at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers and is currently ICABCCI’s northernmost partner. Vulnerable to increasing risks of wildfire, flooding, low streamflows, disrupted freeze-thaw cycles and climate-induced ecosystem shifts, Prince George has been leading on climate action since the early 2000s. Understanding the links between and the need for both mitigation and adaptation objectives, Prince George included both in their 2012 Official Community Plan, presenting a vision for a sustainable, resilient, knowledge-based and globally connected resource economy. ICABCCI is working with Prince George to synthesize recently updated adaptation and mitigation plans into one integrated LCR plan. The goal is to support and mainstream processes that help the City embed climate action into municipal operations in order to direct municipal investments that  support climate-readiness into the future.

Town of Gibsons >

ICABCCI Status: Partner community

Gibsons is an oceanfront community on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. Vulnerable to coastal impacts of climate change as well as forest fires and drought, Gibsons has taken proactive action on climate change. As a leader in natural asset management, their Eco-Asset Strategy is considered best practice in stormwater management and aquifer protection, and is viewed as a key LCR approach. Accounting for and enhancing natural assets helps Gibsons reduce vulnerability to climate impacts and avoid emissions and costs associated with grey infrastructure. Gibsons is dedicated to integrating LCR into all aspects of their corporate strategy, including priority areas of securing the town’s drinking water supply, restoring the foreshore, and urban forest and soils restoration and policy. This approach is helping Gibsons align climate action with other municipal goals, build organization-wide momentum and lead the way to integrated climate action planning.

District of Elkford >

ICABCCI Status: Partner community

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, the District of Elkford is a small resource-based community in the southeast corner of British Columbia. Vulnerable to a diverse range of climate impacts, including wildfires, droughts, and floods, the town has taken a proactive approach to climate action. From stormwater management to building efficiency, Elkford has been engaged in embedding adaptation planning across municipal decision-making since 2010. Elkford aims to use LCR to coordinate and streamline planning initiatives, enhance municipal asset management, and improve investment decisions over time. This will support the community in co-evaluating development decisions, achieving cost-savings and transitioning to a more sustainable future.

City of Vancouver >

ICABCCI Status: Partner community

As the largest urban centre in BC, Vancouver is vulnerable to a broad range of climate impacts that are intensified by its urban density including heatwaves, urban and overland flooding, and sea level rise. The City is a renowned innovator on sustainability and climate action, with numerous plans and strategies to address emissions and adaptation target areas. The Greenest City 2020 Action Plan (2012), Renewable City Action Plan (2018) and the updated Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (2018) represent key steps taken toward implementing the City’s climate action goals. More recently, the City of Vancouver approved the Climate Emergency Response Report in April 2019 to advance six big moves on climate action. The City is increasingly interested in aligning mitigation and adaptation objectives and initiatives through an LCR approach in order to help streamline planning and resource allocations, promote climate action co-benefits and avoid contradictions between mitigation and adaptation efforts.

City of Salmon Arm >

ICABCCI Status: Partner community

Located on the shore of Shuswap Lake, Salmon Arm is preparing for increasing climate impacts such as flooding, wildfires and associated poor air quality. The City integrated a number of sustainability priorities and goals into their 2011 Official Community Plan. Green spaces and natural amenities are critical assets for Salmon Arm and the City has already undertaken several initiatives to reduce municipal emissions and improve energy efficiency. The City is committed to incorporating climate action into all aspects of municipal operations and decision-making and is anticipating best approaches for using LCR as a strategy to streamline existing initiatives and future projects. This will help the community build a strategic direction for long-term infrastructure planning and improve access to federal funding.

Partner Chat Forum

Available to all partner communities, ICABCCI's Partner Chat Forum helps LCR champions connect, share learnings and successes, and support each other through the LCR process. Partner communities may click below to access the Partner Chat Forum.

Go to Forum

The ICABCCI Team

Dr. Alison Shaw, Lead Researcher >

Dr. Alison Shaw, ICABCCI Research Lead, has been working at the leading-edge of climate change and sustainability science and policy for the past two decades. As Founder of FlipSide Sustainability, she’s taken this work to the world of practice. As a practitioner, she works with public and private sector organizations to design strategies, and tailor approaches that practically and effectively embed climate change and sustainability into organizational strategy, planning, and operations. This helps organizations save money, avoid future costs, and build resilience under changing future conditions. Dr. Shaw is excited to be working with ACT’s Deborah Harford, in designing the ICABCCI research, developing the team, and building the momentum to advance and test low carbon resilience in partner communities across BC. The goal is to develop a framework of action that can be applied to communities across BC and Canada by 2021.

Kacia Tolsma, Research Assistant >

Kacia Tolsma is a second-year graduate student in the School of Resource and Environmental Management (Planning). Her research focuses on green infrastructure, natural assets, and public engagement. As a Research Assistant for ICABCCI, Kacia has helped develop numerous resources for communities. Kacia is also the recipient of the 2019 CIP President’s Scholarship and was the 2019/2020 co-president of the REM Planning Students Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography from the University of Victoria.

Emma Squires, Research Assistant >

Emma is a Graduate student in SFU’s Resource and Environment Management Program. Her research is focused on local climate action, specifically examining the role of community-led organizations in mobilizing climate solutions. Emma holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University and has professional experience working in marketing strategy and change management consulting. As a Research Assistant for ICABCCI, she supports case communities and creates LCR resources for local governments.

Jay Maloney, Research Assistant >

Jay is a Master’s Student in SFU’s Resource and Environment Management (REM) program. He is passionate about advancing action on climate change with a particular interest in rural community planning, natural based solutions. Jay comes to ACT with a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of Calgary and a technical diploma in Integrated Environmental Planning from Selkirk College. He has worked as a researcher with the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute and has been working with ACT as a Research Assistant since April 2020.

Julianne Pickrell-Barr, Research Assistant >

Julianne is a sustainability professional with a background in energy management, behavioural change management and marketing. Currently a graduate student in the Master of Resource Management Program at SFU, Julianne is working on expanding her base of sustainability knowledge to include specializations in sustainable transportation, and sustainable community planning and policy. She brings to the ACT team a history of mitigation project implementation, climate change risk assessment, carbon reporting and sustainability focused behaviour change campaigns. As a believer in the power of positive collective action, Julianne is always keen to work with partner communities to help them find the best ways of integrating low carbon resilience into their planning and policy approaches.

Odessa Cohen, Research Assistant >

Odessa is a graduate student in Simon Fraser’s Resource and Environmental Planning Program. She has a Bachelors of Community Design (Hons Environmental Planning) from Dalhousie University, has 3 years of land use planning experience from Alberta, and is a candidate member of PIBC and CIP. Her research at SFU in the REM program is focused on the use of nature based solutions to develop increased resiliency for rural communities.  As a research assistant for ICABCCI, she will be providing assistance with data analysis to document how case communities implement LCR within their municipal functions through adaptation and mitigation plans.

Paige Hunter, Research Assistant >

Paige is an undergraduate student in SFU’s School of Resource and Environmental Management. Her research focuses on equity and justice in community planning, green infrastructure, and natural assets. As a research assistant with ACT, Paige has helped develop a report for the Metro Vancouver Advisory Committees on advancing a biodiversity-led regional green infrastructure network. She is in the process of developing a webinar on the intersection of equity, green space, and public health, and will be bringing this experience to her work with ICABCCI. Paige is a recipient of the Gordon M. Shrum Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship and is a member of the 2020/2021 Faculty of Environment Welcome Team for incoming SFU students. She has been working with ACT since January 2020.

Emanuel Machado, Advisory Team >

Emanuel Machado is the Chief Administrative Officer of the Town of Gibsons, BC and the Chair of the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI).
Since 2001, Emanuel has worked with communities throughout Canada, promoting a greater use of renewable energy, net-zero buildings, water strategies, social plans and sustainability frameworks, all with a focus on people, recognized with numerous awards including the Arbor Vitae Award from the Province of British Columbia and the Professional Award for Innovation in local government.
More recently, Emanuel lead the development of the Town of Gibsons Eco-Assets Strategy, a first in North America to formally recognize the role of nature as a fundamental component of the municipal infrastructure system, leading to a greater understanding of the value of ecosystems services and improved financial and operational management plans of the community’s natural assets.

Dr. Robert Newell, Advisory Team >

Dr. Robert Newell is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University, where he teaches courses on critical sustainability issues (particularly climate change and biodiversity loss) and approaches to sustainable community development. Newell’s research focuses on integrated planning, and he explores the use of systems models and visualizations as tools for supporting local planning and decision-making. Much of his work has specifically looked at community climate action in an integrated planning context, and he has explored a number of different analyses and techniques for supporting local climate action efforts, such as decomposition analysis and mapping climate action co-benefits. Newell develops tools for facilitating more inclusive, collaborative approaches to planning, and his research involves using game development software to build realistic visualizations for participatory planning and community engagement.

Dr. Edward Cameron, Advisory Team >

Edward has spent 23 years shaping public policy and corporate responses to climate change, specializing in greenhouse gas emissions reductions, enhanced understanding of climate risk and the strengthening of societal resilience. He engages governments, businesses, civil society, academia, philanthropy and the media to catalyze bold collective action in pursuit of a low-carbon, climate-resilient and inclusive global economy. Edward’s portfolio includes work on five continents with some of the world’s leading organizations and companies, including the World Bank, the World Resources Institute, the European Union and the Republic of Maldives.