Nunavut Climate Change Strategy
Nunavut has already experienced a number of climate change impacts, including loss of sea ice, permafrost, and habitat for key species. The Nunavut Department of the Environment developed a climate change strategy to address and prepare the province for future climate change.
Local observations and traditional knowledge from indigenous communities around the territory of Nunavut are demonstrating that the region is already experiencing a number of climate change impacts. Communities are experiencing dramatic sea ice loss, shifting habitats for the territory’s most iconic species, and increasing temperatures. These impacts are having a huge effect on the territory’s economy and culture, particularly the region’s indigenous culture. To prepare the territory for the impacts of climate change, the Government of Nunavut identified three key priorities to make the region more resilient: increasing the climate change knowledge of the province, building the capacity for adaptation action, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Nunavut Climate Change Strategy, created by the Department of the Environment, creates a framework for action and outlines measures and goals, but is not an implementation plan. The strategy outlines goals to be achieved during a ten-year timeframe ending in 2013. The strategy mandates the Department of the Environment to enact a monitoring plan to track the impacts of climate change on the territory and develop strategies and materials to communicate those impacts. The strategy also outlines extensive outreach objectives for the territory aiming to increase awareness. To advance knowledge of impacts and possible adaptation strategies, the strategy calls for Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, or sharing of Inuit traditional knowledge, and Pillimmaksaniq, or community involvement.
Outcomes and Conclusions
The strategy developed by the Government of Nunavut was an extremely helpful and informative process for the region. It helped outline priorities for the government and public and spurred a number of local community adaptation projects.
Hitt, J. (2010). Nunavut Climate Change Strategy [Case study on a project of the Nunavut Department of Environment]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/case-studies/nunavut-climate-change-strategy (Last updated December 2010)