Photo: Michele Patterson
Welcome to Module 3.
In this module you will be learning about climate adaptation policy relevant to your specific discipline.
The BC Adaptation Learning Network (ALN) project, through which this professional development course and others were developed (https://alnportal.ca/all-courses/) involves both partners from BC universities and many of BC’s disciplinary-based professional organizations/regulatory bodies whose members may need to know about climate change adaptation. These organizations are:
- Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC
- BC Society of Landscape Architects
- Engineers and Geoscientists BC
- BC Institute of Agrologists
- College of Applied Biology
- Planning Institute of BC
- Association of BC Forest Professionals
Some professional organizations have more specific climate change policy resources than others. However, all have professional practice guidelines, bylaw, ethical statements, and other kinds of documents that provide a policy foundation for any kind of professional activity. Many of these are also based in provincial legislation. In BC, the new Professional Governance Act (BC) (discussed below in Overview), also provides new regulation and policy guidance for many of these self-regulating professional groups.
So what will you be doing in this module? You will:
- Complete a short survey about climate change policy and your professional organization (regulatory body). I will share results of this information with the class in Module 4. Survey link here: Climate Change Policy Professional Association Survey
- Everyone taking the course will review the sub-module called “Overview.” (There is a Part 1 and a Part 2 of this Overview section).
- Find the ONE other sub-module below most relevant to your discipline and complete the readings and activities in there. There is also a short quiz associated with each sub-module, but you only have to do one.
If you are not based in BC, and/or you are not part of one of these professional associations (ie: you work for government or some other body), please pick one of these disciplinary areas that is the most interesting to you, or most relevant to your day to day function. Alternatively, there is a module below, specific to government employees.
Welcome to Module 3!
Overview: For All Industry Professionals (Part 1 & Part 2)
OVERVIEW: PART 1 (Quiz)
[please note the quiz is omitted for the Creative Commons licensed version of this course]
This overview section is focused on the British Columbia context, however, even if you are not based in BC (or not working in one of the disciplinary areas noted above), please work through this section. The information here reflects that dealing with climate change adaptation in resource management professions is an overall issue of ethics, standards and professionalism. Additionally, other jurisdictions (and disciplines) are also considering issues of industry self-regulation so this may be an issue that comes your way in the future.
A new policy document (legislation) now guides many of BC’s professional associations in their activities – the Professional Governance Act (PGA). This piece of legislation came into force in 2021. Here is a description of what “professional governance” is all about.
“Professional governance relates to the oversight of a profession and its designated professionals by a governing body. This includes professional self-regulation which is an agreement between an occupational group or profession and the government to regulate the activities of its registrants. Self-regulation is a privilege granted to a profession through legislation to protect the public interest. In this arrangement, government trusts professionals to set aside their self-interest in favour of professional standards set in the public interest, and relies on an ethos of professionalism that includes a commitment to public service. This system is used by government to reduce the risks of incompetent and unethical practice. It allows government some control over the practice of the profession while enabling professionals to use their expertise to set and enforce appropriate requirements.” (Retrieved from: https://professionalgovernancebc.ca/about/professional-governance/)
It is important to note that the relationship between the PGA and climate adaptation policy is not explicit in this new legislation, however the PGA provides for industry self-governance, ensuring competent, ethical, and accountable professional practice in the activities of all its regulatory bodies. (This might include things like, for example, ensuring the public interest is protected by the requirement to report situations where potential climate change impacts are not being considered, but need to be.)
For this Overview section, please complete the short quiz [note: omitted from CC licensed course] on professional governance (below) after reviewing information from the following resources:
- Professional Governance Act: https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/legislation-debates-proceedings/41st-parliament/3rd-session/bills/third-reading/gov49-3
- Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance website: https://professionalgovernancebc.ca/
- PGA-Overview video (below…watch 1:00 to 3:00 for an overview and then 10:00 to 23:00 approx. for more details)
PART 2: Five of the seven regulatory bodies covered under the PGA have also developed a joint statement on climate change: https://www.cab-bc.org/file-download/joint-statement-climate-change.
In looking at Section 1 of this joint statement: “Commitment of Professional Organizations”, pick one bullet point and expand on it in terms of what it means to you and your own discipline. How might it be applied? What are some examples of this?
Geoscience & Engineering
Agrologist Lens: Pierre Iachetti, PAg., Resilience Environmental Solutions, Victoria, BC
Video attribution: “Agrologist Lens: Pierre Iachetti, PAg., Resilience Environmental Solutions, Victoria, BC” by Michele Patterson, Introduction to Climate Policy for Climate Adaptation Professionals, Adaptation Learning Network is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
Please watch the video above for Pierre’s responses to the following two questions:
- Your current work as an agricultural consultant for the District of Saanich has involved implementing some new food security planning. In particular you have drafted some bylaws that are climate adaptation focused as they are aimed at building resilience into the food supply. Could you describe a bit more about this work?
- Indigenous people in BC have been adapting to changes in environmental conditions affecting food supplies for thousands of years. As an agrologist who works with indigenous communities, can you give us some examples of indigenous approaches to adaptation in agriculture that would be smart to weave into BC’s agricultural policy frameworks?
Applied Science Technologists & Technicians
Forestry Lens: Dr. Bill Beese, RPF, Forestry Professor, Vancouver Island University
Video attribution: “Forestry Lens: Dr. Bill Beese, RPF, Forestry Professor, Vancouver Island University” by Michele Patterson, Introduction to Climate Policy for Climate Adaptation Professionals, Adaptation Learning Network is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
Please watch video above to see Bill’s answers to the following two questions:
- Adapting to climate change in a forestry context means adapting how we manage forests. What are some of the policy challenges foresters and the sector face in dealing with climate change?
- A few years ago you created a climate change strategy for one of BC’s forest companies. What were some of the aspects of that policy framework as they related to climate adaptation?
Professional Planner Lens: Christine Callihoo, Climate Change Advisor, and Sr. Planner, Vancouver, BC
Video attribution: “Professional Planner Lens: Christine Callihoo, Climate Change Advisor, and Sr. Planner, Vancouver, BC” by Michele Patterson, Introduction to Climate Policy for Climate Adaptation Professionals, Adaptation Learning Network is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
Please watch video above to see Christine’s answers to the following three questions:
- It would seem to me that climate change adaptation is really fundamental in terms of municipal planning. How would you characterize, in general, the planning community’s perspective and knowledge about climate change, and climate change adaptation in particular?
- Planning for climate change impacts to municipal infrastructure (eg: road networks, sewer systems, buildings, and other assets) should be a part of climate change adaptation planning. Can you talk about the benefits of ensuring this kind of asset management planning is a focal point of municipal climate change policy frameworks?
- You have been working with a First Nation in the Yukon as they develop a community plan for their traditional territory that includes the climate lens (including bringing in climate projections for the region to inform all relevant aspects of the plan). How will adapting to climate change impacts figure into this community plan?
Public Health Professionals
Johns Hopkins Public Health on Call Podcast Episode 218: The Health Impacts of Climate Change (14 min)
Video: Public Health Lens: Shannon Turner, Executive Director, Public Health Association of BC, Victoria, BC
Video attribution: “Public Health Lens: Shannon Turner, Executive Director, Public Health Association of BC, Victoria, BC” by Michele Patterson, Introduction to Climate Policy for Climate Adaptation Professionals, Adaptation Learning Network is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
Please watch the video above to see Shannon’s answers to the following two questions:
- As Executive Director for the Public Health Association of BC you lead an organization that focuses on promoting health, wellbeing and social equity. PHABC provides resources to public health professionals to increase professional competency; and also advocates on issues relevant to public health, including climate change. Can you tell us a bit about what PHABC has done in terms of providing policy guidance about climate change to your members?
- Climate change will impact some people and communities much more negatively than others. What are some adaptation strategies in public health that can reduce the impacts of climate change on marginalized people and communities? Any examples you could share from your experience?
If you work as a government employee in resource management or other fields, you may be the one charged with developing policy to guide the actions of people who work in professional organizations like planners, or foresters or hydrologists, etc. The three links below provide examples of how government agencies are planning for climate change adaptation through policy development in different areas of professional practice.
Please review one or all, and then complete the quiz below based on the reading you did. [Note: Quiz removed from Creative Commons licensed version of this course]
- The City of Copenhagen – Cloudburst Management Plan 2012
- National Park Service, US Department of the Interior – Resist-Accept-Direct (RAD) – A Framework for the 21st-century Natural Resource Manager. Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/CCRP/NRR—2020/ 2213. Dec 2020
- (Two short related articles)
- Planning and Planting Future Forests with Climate Change in Mind: https://eos.org/articles/planning-and-planting-future-forests-with-climate-change-in-mind
- Assisted Migration: What it Means to Nursery Managers and Tree Planters: https://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2014_williams_m002.pdf