Temperate is designed to help cities move through the process of climate change adaptation planning, including exploring climate hazards, creating vulnerability assessments, and crafting action plans. Using available temperature and precipitation climate projections for the user's location, Temperate will suggest potential future climate hazards that may be of significance. After exploring potential hazards, Temperate walks users through assessing each hazard's possible impact on various community systems.
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?
The US Forest Service has published a new report that presents the first-ever synthesis on agroforestry as a mechanism to provide mitigation and adaptation services in the face of a changing climate. With contributions from more than 50 experts from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, this report draws upon recent science and shows how tree-based management strategies can improve agricultural production and resiliency.
A guide to selecting ecosystem service models for decision-making
Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa
Ecosystems are essential to human life, livelihoods and wellbeing. Many national policies and international agreements include goals to protect ecosystem services. A new guide – commissioned by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme and written by Professor James Bullock of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and Helen Ding of World Resources Institute (WRI) – helps readers to assess how ecosystem service models could support policy-making in their countries.
Ecosystem protection features in several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – particularly those on terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity, and the marine environment. Some countries’ national climate action plans, submitted under the 2015 Paris Agreement, include ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation. To date, 127 countries have joined the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an international body to strengthen collaboration between scientific experts and policy-makers on biodiversity, long-term human wellbeing, and sustainable development.
In order to manage ecosystem services sustainably, decision-makers need to understand the extent and condition of ecosystems. They must be able to predict the impacts of alternative policies or management decisions on the environment.
Frequently, there is not enough measured data on ecosystem services. In these situations, models can provide useful information based on assumptions from similar places. Modeling is especially useful in developing countries, where measured data may be scarce.
The guide is particularly suited to advisors and technical managers who are supporting policy-makers. It is based on results from the 2013–16 WISER project, which assessed several ecosystem service modeling tools in sub-Saharan Africa. Policy advisors from Malawi and Uganda contributed actively to the guide’s development.
The guide includes:
- Advice on how models can inform different types of policy and programme decisions
- Guidance on how to consider technical capacity and resource needs, when selecting an appropriate model
- Case studies that draw on current policy issues and modeling experience in Africa.
The ESPA programme is funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
The updated Safeguarding California Plan reflects hundreds of comments received during the public comment period and includes several new chapters and features, including a Climate Justice chapter highlighting how equity is woven throughout the entire plan.
- Assessing transportation vulnerability
- Studying grid vulnerability in Los Angeles County
- Building drought resilience in Tulare County
The goal of the Hawaiian Islands Climate Synthesis Project was to develop comprehensive, science-based syntheses of current and projected future climate change impacts on, and adaptation options for, terrestrial and freshwater resources within the main Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiian Islands Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation Synthesis presents the results of the major project components - climate impacts assessment, vulnerability assessment, and adaptation planning - and provides an inter-island analysis of the findings. More detailed information is available in the individual vulnerability assessment syntheses and adaptation summaries, and should be referred to for decision support, which can be found at http://bit.ly/HawaiiClimate.
Increasing rates of sea level rise caused by global warming are expected to lead to permanent inundation, episodic flooding, beach erosion and saline intrusion in low-lying coastal areas. Sea level rise is a significant and growing threat to the coastal region of New Jersey, USA and this study presents a comprehensive assessment of the expected impacts. We project future sea level rise based on historical measurements and global scenarios, and apply them to digital elevation models to illustrate the extent to which the New Jersey coast is vulnerable. We estimate that 1 to 3 % of New Jersey’s land area will be affected by inundation and 6.5 to over 9 % by episodic coastal flooding over the next century. We also characterize potential impacts on the socioeconomic and natural systems of the New Jersey coast focusing on Cape May Point for illustrative purposes. We then suggest a range of potential adaptation and mitigation opportunities for managing coastal areas in response to sea level rise. Our findings suggest that where possible a gradual withdrawal of development from some areas of the New Jersey coast may be the optimum management strategy for protecting natural ecosystems.
Climate change challenges cultural heritage management and preservation. Understanding the barriers that can impede preservation is of paramount importance, as is developing solutions that facilitate the planning and management of vulnerable cultural resources. Using online survey research, we elicited the opinions of diverse experts across southeastern United States, a region with cultural resources that are particularly vulnerable to flooding and erosion from storms and sea level rise. We asked experts to identify the greatest challenges facing cultural heritage policy and practice from coastal climate change threats, and to identify strategies and information needs to overcome those challenges. Using content analysis, we identified institutional, technical and financial barriers and needs. Findings revealed that the most salient barriers included the lack of processes and preservation guidelines for planning and implementing climate adaptation actions, as well as inadequate funding and limited knowledge about the intersection of climate change and cultural heritage. Experts perceived that principal needs to overcome identified barriers included increased research on climate adaptation strategies and impacts to cultural heritage characteristics from adaptation, as well as collaboration among diverse multi-level actors. This study can be used to set cultural heritage policy and research agendas at local, state, regional and national scales.
The Carrboro-Chapel Hill region of North Carolina has experienced several severe droughts, is experiencing steady population and economic growth, and may also experience increased flooding and more severe droughts as a result of climate change. As a critical water, wastewater, and reclaimed water services provider for this area, Orange Water and Sewer Authority is preparing for an uncertain water supply future through a variety of methods.
State agencies and regional stakeholders in Alabama are in the process of creating a state water management plan to ensure sustainable management of Alabama’s water resources in the face of a growing population and increasing climatic variability. State-level actions include the formation of an interagency water-focused working group to lead the development of a state water planning process, an update to the state’s Drought Management Plan, and new cross-agency efforts to increase and consolidate water resources monitoring to inform decision-making.