Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan for Cambridge Bay
Like most Arctic communities, Cambridge Bay is already experiencing the effects of climate change, and there are further changes projected. Both temperature and precipitation are projected to rise steadily over time, with the most significant increases occurring during the fall and winter seasons. Further concerns relate to the possibility of increases in climate variability and extreme events. Perhaps most importantly, the extent of sea ice in the Victoria Island region is projected to decrease steadily over time and the trend toward later freeze up and earlier melt is expected to continue.
These projected climate changes are of concern in the community and have been brought to the fore through a combination of research and consultation. Priority impacts have been identified with respect to infrastructure and community well-being:
- Relocate infrastructure – i.e. ‘fuel farm’ and relevant proposed infrastructure
- Identify better measuring and reporting of local ice and weather conditions to communities
- Recognize / formalize information that hunters and trappers are able to provide regarding ice & snow conditions
- Consider and implement new forms of communications (i.e. satellite phones) so that the hunters and trappers can warn communities about dangers that they immediately see out on the land
- Continue to increase community awareness about climate change among schools, health care centres and Elders
- Develop guidelines and standards for planning and development for climate change at the community level
- Continue to document Elder’s knowledge for baseline information
- Identify ways in which research data and local knowledge can be easily and efficiently reported back to the community in non-technical language
In order to initiate local-level adaptation measures, representatives from the Canadian Institute of Planners, in partnership with Natural Resources Canada, worked with the community of Cambridge Bay to develop this Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan. The action plan outlines a series of research, monitoring, planning and implementation activities that can be undertaken to address the identified potential climate change impacts. Primary responsibilities for each activity have been identified and an initial priority rating has been included.