On March 6th, 2018, ACT, SFU and Western University co-hosted a workshop in Vancouver on the topic of climate change adaptation and governance in Canada, with a specific focus on issues relating to the British Columbia (BC) context. Attendees included participants from government, academia, private sector, and non-governmental organizations. Particular attention was given to province-wide strategies for adaptation, risk reduction, and the intersection between them. This workshop was part of a series of events being carried out in tandem with research at Western University.1 This report summarizes the discussion with participants on adaptation framed as a set of actions and governance strategies.
Climate change adaptation is the process of preparing for actual or projected changes in climate averages and extremes. It relies on interpretations and values pertaining to key questions regarding ways hazards and vulnerability are determined; the nature of acceptable interventions; and the determinants of success. As a result, adaptation is both complex and political in nature. The process of identifying the most effective roles for various actors and the best policy instruments to use to reach certain goals is not only value-laden, but complex and uncertain.
In an attempt to untangle this many-faceted issue within the provincial context, participants were asked to consider the following questions:
Based on your experience and professional insight, what are the necessary components for effective climate change adaptation governance in Canada?
Based on existing successes, what roles and mechanisms are required for effective and collaborative adaptation?
What are the barriers to effective adaptation governance, and what are some potential strategies for overcoming them?