Community Consultations on Climate Change Adaptation
With funding from the Nova Scotia provincial government as well as a local power company, Clean Nova Scotia was able to expand the programmatic work of their Climate Change Centre to include community capacity building workshops for adaptation. The Centre’s workshops aim to inform the community, faith-based groups, schools, and First Nation tribes about expected climate change impacts and engage stakeholders in a meaningful dialogue on preparing for future conditions.
The primary goals of Clean Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Centre are to inform the community and relevant stakeholders about climate change impacts and facilitate discussion on adaptation options, specifically focusing on the impact of sea level rise on Nova Scotia’s coastline. While the Centre does not focus specifically on any habitat type or taxon, the majority of constituents served by the program are those who reside in coastal communities and whose livelihoods are heavily dependent on the surrounding environment. In addition to examining the potential threats of sea level rise, the Centre also informs the public about coastal erosion, flooding, saltwater intrusion, and changes in air and water temperatures, and their associated effects on infrastructure, water resources, agriculture, fisheries, and human health and safety.
The Climate Change Centre, funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment, Conserve Nova Scotia, and Nova Scotia Solar Power, Inc., conducted an extensive review of existing provincial and national climate change impact reports and vulnerability assessments. After reviewing the available information, the Centre identified the community groups, neighborhoods, and livelihoods that would be most at risk because of projected climate change impacts. The Centre developed the Community Climate Change Adaptation Information Booklet, which covers future climate trends and predictions, projected impacts, basics of adaptation, and links to websites for additional information.
In addition, the Centre provides presentations, resources, and expertise to encourage dialogue among and between relevant stakeholders on how they can adapt to climate change impacts. Centre staff convene community meetings around Nova Scotia, which typically promote the following four tenets for developing adaptation plans:
- Plan early: act rather than react
- Be strategic: include appropriate stakeholders and build adaptation into existing processes
- Use the best information: use existing information and start now
- Be flexible: adjust as new information becomes available
Outcomes and Conclusions
The Centre aims to spread awareness about the impacts of climate change on local communities and foster the growth of adaptation plans. In addition, the Centre provides educational presentations to schools, faith groups, and First Nation communities.
Project File (s)
Hitt, J. (2010). Community Consultations on Climate Change Adaptation [Case study on a project of Clean Nova Scotia]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE: www.cakex.org/case-studies/community-consultations-climate-change-adapt… (Last updated May 2010)