Canada's North is on the frontline of
climate change. Nowhere else are the
effects and stakes of failing to adapt to
climate change so high.
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The NRTEE makes the following recommendations to promote the resilience of northern infrastructure and its ability to adapt to a changing climate. Our recommendations have two objectives: first, make existing institutions work better now by mainstreaming adaptation into government policies, processes, and mechanisms and ensuring northern views are ?at the table?, and second, build northern climate change adaptation capacity in science and at the community level, so the region is more resilient, selfreliant, and less vulnerable in meeting the challenges of climate change adaptation in the years ahead.
MAINSTREAMING ADAPTATION INTO POLICY
1. Integrate climate risks into existing government policies, processes, and mechanisms.
We can tackle climate change adaptation effectively now by simply utilizing existing policies, processes, and mechanisms more effectively. We don?t need to wait to invent new ones. What?s needed is to take existing knowledge and mainstream adaptation perspectives into what we already do. This means making future infrastructure decisions on a climate-wise basis, integrating longer-term climate factors into planning, funding, building, and management decisions now. Specifically, the NRTEE recommends that:
2. Ensure northern interests are represented and implicated in the development of climate change adaptation solutions.
National processes and mechanisms do not adequately account for, or utilize northern perspectives in designing and updating important tools for climate change adaptation. This is essential if this region is going to prepare itself for what?s ahead. Meaningful input from northern practitioners, experts, and communities in infrastructure planning, designing, and building needs to be organized and institutionalized on a regular basis. Specifically, the NRTEE recommends that:
BUILDING NORTHERN ADAPTATION CAPACITY
3. Strengthen the science capacity and information use in the North to support long-term adaptation efforts.
Science is at the heart of climate change knowledge and trends. We need to know more about the nature and extent of climate change in Canada?s North and how it will affect infrastructure and communities. Data and information of this type can have wider utility and applications beyond government, supporting private infrastructure development and communities? capacities to adapt quickly and effectively. Specifically, the NRTEE recommends that:
4. Build community capacity to address climate risks to northern infrastructure and take advantage of opportunities.
Communities in Canada?s North need stronger adaptive capacity to deal with climate change. The vulnerability of northern infrastructure and related services is plainly evident. Reliable infrastructure is central to sustainable regional development and human security. Yet, in many northern communities, the capacity to assess and manage the risks to infrastructure posed by climate change, as well as to seize opportunities, is very limited. Specifically, the NRTEE recommends that:
True North forms part of Canada?s contribution to the International Polar Year. The International Polar Year (IPY) 2007 -08 is a large scientific program focused on the Arctic and the Antarctic. [more...]
On October 30th, 2008, the NRTEE commemorated its twentieth anniversary by holding a forum to discuss our country?s next climate-policy agenda.
Climate Forward: A Next Step Policy Agenda for Canada
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