Module 3: What can we do?

Module 3.1: What can we do?

Having explored the profile of risks we face here in BC and in Canada, it is now time to focus on what we can do about those risks. Reducing the risks of catastrophic climate related events and disasters is a priority not only for those focusing on climate adaptation, but also for professionals working in emergency management. In fact, there are many overlaps between disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA). Both focus on reducing risks and associated vulnerabilities, and increasing resilience. Just as our emissions reduction goals are being shaped by climate science and the Paris Agreement, our disaster risk reduction goals in Canada are being guided by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction – a global, non-binding agreement signed by 187 countries that focuses on best practices for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience building.

In this first video, we hear from Dr. Matt Godsoe, Director with Public Safety Canada, the federal agency responsible for emergency and disaster management. Dr. Godsoe shares his research on the current and future state of disaster risk reduction in Canada and what the current trends suggest about the future human, economic and environmental costs of disasters and and our capacity for resilience:

Video attribution: “Climate Change Adaptation Fundamentals – Dr. Matt Godsoe, Director with Public Safety Canada” by Stewart Cohen, Climate Change Fundamentals, Adaptation Learning Network is licensed under CC BY 4.0. The images used in the slides in the video are not CC BY.

The provincial government is currently revising the Emergency Management Act, to better reflect the DRR goals of the Sendai Framework’s and support a more fulsome integration and consideration of indigenous knowledge and rights, and climate change.

At the same time, the province is also crafting a new climate preparedness and adaptation strategy to better reflect the climate risks identified in the BC Climate Risk Assessment discussed in Module 2. These separate but related initiatives highlight the need for coordinated planning and cross sector collaboration. In the following video lecture we will explore some of the challenges and opportunities for such planning, including some examples currently underway in British Columbia.

Video attribution: “Climate Change Adaptation Fundamentals – Module 3.1: What can we do?” by Stewart Cohen, Climate Change Fundamentals, Adaptation Learning Network is licensed under CC BY 4.0. The images used in the slides in the video are not CC BY.

Now let’s return to the CBC podcast 2050: Degrees of Change to get a sense of the range of adaptation already underway in BC. We begin with a clip featuring Doug Smith, the City of Vancouver’s Director of Sustainability talking about the Olympic Village neighbourhood in Vancouver, and the implications of sea level rise for that neighbourhood and the city more generally:

Start listening at 5:15 and Stop listening at 5:57 and return to this screen.

Podcast attribution: This podcast is © CBC/Radio-Canada 2021. All rights reserved. You may also find and listen to this podcast on their website.

 

The next clip features John Vanderden, a Vancouver based engineer discussing dyke adaptations along the Fraser River as another approach to adapting to sea level rise:

Start listening at 20:30 and Stop listening at 23:57 and return to this screen.

Podcast attribution: This podcast is © CBC/Radio-Canada 2021. All rights reserved. You may also find and listen to this podcast on their website.

 

The final podcast clip features forest-fire ecologist Robert Gray discussing the ways we will need to adapt to support forests being resilient to forest fires and drought in the future:

Start listening at 8:14 and Stop listening at 10:47 and return to this screen.

Podcast attribution: This podcast is © CBC/Radio-Canada 2021. All rights reserved. You may also find and listen to this podcast on their website.

Discussion

Share 1-2 tools or indicators you currently use in your adaptation work, along with a brief example of how you’ve put them into practice.

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Climate Change Adaptation Fundamentals by Stewart Cohen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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