Climate Change and Renewable Resources in Labrador

Created: 12/19/2010 - Updated: 3/02/2020


In response to community concerns about the potential impacts of climate change on renewable resources in Labrador, a conference was held to examine the possible future interactions of climate change on renewable resources and set priorities for developing strategies to adapt to potential impacts.


Labrador is located on the Atlantic coast of Canada. The terrestrial and marine ecosystems of Labrador support the renewable resource-based economies that many communities depend on. In response to community concerns about the impacts climate change may have on ecosystems and renewable resources in Labrador, the Labrador Highlands Research Group organized a conference that aimed to examine the effects of past, present, and future climate conditions on terrestrial and marine ecosystems of Labrador.


The Labrador Climate Change Conference was held from March 11-13, 2008; participants included scientists, resource managers, policy makers, and local experts and representatives of the communities in Labrador that are being affected by changing climate conditions. The conference had three main sessions: (1) personal and traditional perspectives of resources and environmental change; (2) scientific presentations on past, present, and possible future interactions of climate change and renewable resources; and (3) setting priorities for the development of adaptive strategies for climate change impacts.

During the conference, participants identified several key challenges for renewable resources as a result of climate changes. In addition, participants identified the top priorities for developing adaptive strategies to climate change in Labrador. These priorities included:

  • Improve collaboration
  • Establish monitoring programs
  • Foster education and community engagement
  • Adapt infrastructure for likely changes
  • Promote climate change action
  • Ensure support for health and safety
  • Help communities become more sustainable
  • Maintain ecosystem conservation
  • Prioritize actions

Outcomes and Conclusions

The Labrador Climate Change Conference was highly successful; all of the sessions were well attended and stimulated rich dialogue between traditional, local, and scientific perspectives. The knowledge gained from the conference was shared with Labrador communities and organizations by posting a report and poster in each community, a web-accessible presentation, and a one-page briefing that circulated in local newsletters. The Labrador Highlands Research Group, in collaboration with the Labrador Institute, plans to meet with government agencies, provincial and local organizations and communities to discuss how priority actions identified during the conference may be implemented.


Last updated December 2010

Project File (s)


Kershner, J. (2010). Climate Change and Renewable Resources in Labrador [Case study on a project of Memorial University of Newfoundland]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE:… (Last updated December 2010)

Project Contact(s)

The Labrador Highlands Research Group of Memorial University is researching the sensitivity of tundra and treeline ecosystems to climate change in highland areas of Newfoundland and Labrador.





Scale of Project
Community / Local
Tribal / First Nation
Sector Addressed
Development (socioeconomic)
Land Use Planning
Transportation / Infrastructure
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Air temperature
Infrastructure damage
Sea level rise
Storms or extreme weather events
Water temperature
Climate Type
1-3 years
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Capacity Building
Increase / Improve public awareness, education, and outreach efforts
Host adaptation training or planning workshop
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Community Planning (developing climate-smart communities)
Sociopolitical Setting
Effort Stage

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