A number of CCARG members, collaborators and affiliated researchers will be participating in the ArticNet 2013 conference. Dr. James Ford is a poster judge and will also be chairing the Climate Adaptation, Health and Indigenous Knowledge (IK-ADAPT) topical session on Friday, December 13th starting at 11pm in Room 301. IK-ADAPT will also be holding it’s 2nd Annual Meeting concurrently with ArcticNet on Tuesday December 10th. The group is also presenting three poster. See below or view the conference program for details.
Wednesday December 11th
- 10:45am, Inuit Knowledge topical session chaired by Rachel Hirsch, Room 301. Talk titled “Tuktu and Climate Change: Inuit Hunting on Southern Baffin Island” by Knut Kitching
- 3:45pm, Community Health and Food Security topical session chaired by Sarah Statham, Room 304/305. Talk titled “Including the Intangible: Photo-Cards as a Method for Analyzing the Social and Cultural Importance of Food in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut” by Kaitlyn Finner
Thursday, December 12 th
- 3:30pm, Communities and Resource Development (Part II) topical session chaired by Frank Tester, Room 303. Talk titled “Our Baffinland: Inuit Knowledge, Mining and Video Cartography” by Ian Mauro
- 4pm, Education and Outreach (Part II) topical session chaired by Jennifer Provencher, Room 204/205. Talk titled “From the Minds of Youth: Using Participatory Video to Explore Youth Resilience in a Changing Climate” by Joanna Petrasek MacDonald and Jordan Konek
- 4pm, Community Health and Well-Being topical session chaired by Mylène Riva, Room 304/305. Talk titled “Assessing Mental Health Impacts from a Changing Climate in Northern Canada: A Nunatsiavut Regional Perspective” by Ashlee Cunsolo Willox
- 4:15pm, Communities and Resource Development (Part II) topical session chaired by Frank Tester, Room 303. Talk titled “The Socio-Ecological Dimensions of Hydrocarbon Development in the Disko Bay Region of Greenland: Opportunities, Risks, and Tradeoffs” by Graham McDowell
Friday, December 13 th
Climate Adaptation, Health and Indigenous Knowledge (IK-ADAPT) topical session chaired by James Ford, Room 301
- 11:00am, talk titled “Consensus Workshop on Indigenous Values for Health Systems in Circumpolar Regions” by Ian Mauro
- 11:15am, talk titled “From Community-Based to Community-Led: Understanding Research as a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Public Health in the North” by Charlotte Wolfrey
- 11:30am, talk titled “Indigenous Values and Health Systems Stewardship” by SusanChatwood
11:45am, talk titled “Growing Strong? Reflections on the Participatory Evaluation of a Community-Based Health Intervention in Nain, Nunatsiavut” by Rachel Hirsch
Perspectives on the formalization of knowledge transmission: A case study from Ulukhaktok, NWT (#165)
Eleanor Stephenson 1; Tristan Pearce 2,3; Ashlee Cunsolo Willox 4; James Ford 1
Nunamin Illihakvia: Learning from the Land (#164)
Pearce, Tristan1,2, E. Stephenson3, S. Kaodlak4, D. Akhiatak4, A. Kudlak4, L. Nakoneczny3 and J.D. Ford3
IHACC: Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change Project (#93)
Ford, J.D.,1 Harper, S.,2 Edge, V.2 and the IHACC Team
Mya H. Sherman and James Ford. (2013). Climatic Policy. Find PDF here.
Institution-oriented, top-down and community-oriented, bottom-up stakeholder approaches are evaluated for their ability to enable or constrain the implementation of adaptation in developing nations. A systematic review approach is used evaluate the project performance of 18 adaptation projects by three of the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) adaptation programmes (the Strategic Priority for Adaptation (SPA), the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), and the National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPA)) according to effectiveness, efficiency, equity, legitimacy, flexibility, sustainability, and replicability. The ten SPA projects reviewed performed highest overall, especially with regards to efficiency, legitimacy, and replicability. The five SCCF projects performed the highest in equity, flexibility, and sustainability, and the three NAPA-related projects were the highest-performing projects with regards to effectiveness. A comparison of top-down and bottom-up approaches revealed that community stakeholder engagement in project design and implementation led to higher effectiveness, efficiency, equity, flexibility, legitimacy, sustainability, and replicability. Although low institutional capacity constrained both project success and effective community participation, projects that hired international staff to assist in implementation experienced higher overall performance. These case studies also illustrate how participatory methods can fail to genuinely empower or involve communities in adaptation interventions in both top-down and bottom-up approaches. It is thus crucial to carefully consider stakeholder engagement strategies in adaptation interventions.
DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACT SUBMISSION: DECEMBER 10, 2013
IK-ADAPT team members Ashlee Cunsolo Willox and Ellie Stephenson will be organizing a session on climate change and health adaptation in the Circumpolar North at the 8th International Congress on Arctic Social Sciences at the University of Northern British Columbia, May 22nd to 26th and invite abstracts for the session by December 10th 2013.
Local observations and scientific monitoring have documented rapid changes in climate and environment throughout the Circumpolar North. These changes include rising temperatures, decreased sea ice extent and thickness, changing precipitation patterns, melting permafrost, rising sea levels, and changes in wildlife and vegetation patterns. Recent evidence has demonstrated that these changes are negatively impacting the health of some Circumpolar peoples, causing an increased frequency and distribution of foodborne, waterborne, and vectorborne diseases, increased respiratory challenges from changing air quality; increased incidences of heat stroke and sunburns; increased mortality and morbidity from changing travel conditions and extreme weather events; disruptions to food security and nutritional intake; and negative implications for mental and emotional health and well-being. Climate change has been identified as the biggest threat to public health in the 21st Century, and it is anticipated that the situation will be no different throughout the Circumpolar regions.
Clearly, the health impacts from a changing climate are an important public health issue in the North, and finding ways to adapt to the health effects of climate change is a priority. It is essential, then, that researchers, health practitioners, decision-makers, and communities work together to share information, conduct multi-scalar research, and mobilize findings to mitigate the health effects of a changing climate. This session aims to bring together diverse and multidisciplinary participants and presentations to discuss the numerous ways that climate change is, or is likely to, impact on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of Circumpolar peoples, with a particular focus on highlighting locally-appropriate health adaptation strategies. Participation from Circumpolar Indigenous peoples, community-based participatory projects, and those working in policy are particularly encouraged.
If you are interested in submitting an abstract to this session, please email the session organizers, Ashlee Cunsolo Willox and Eleanor Stephenson, an abstract (150 words maximum) complete with affiliation and contact information byMonday, December 9, 2013 at the emails below. Please note: if chosen for this session, you will then have to submit an abstract to the ICASS conference organizers by December 17, 2013, following their directions, and indicating that you are part of the Climate Change and Health Adaptation in the Circumpolar North session. Please visit the ICASS Website for more information. All presenters must be members of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association.
Ashlee Cunsolo Willox: Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Healthy Communities Assistant Professor in Community Health Department of Nursing, Cross-Appointed with Indigenous Studies Cape Breton University, Sydney, Nova Scotia, B1P 6L2. P: 902-563-1949; E: email@example.com
Ellie Stephenson: Research Associate and IK-ADAPT Project Coordinator Climate Change Adaptation Research Group Department of Geography McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0B9. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cunsolo Willox, Ashlee, Harper, Sherilee L., Ford, James D., et al. (2013). Climatic Change. Find PDF here.
As the impacts from anthropogenic climate change are increasing globally, people are experiencing dramatic shifts in weather, temperature, wildlife and vegetation patterns, and water and food quality and availability. These changes impact human health and well-being, and resultantly, climate change has been identified as the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century. Recently, research is beginning to indicate that changes in climate, and the subsequent disruption to the social, economic, and environmental determinants of health, may cause increased incidences and prevalence of mental health issues, emotional responses, and large-scale sociopsychological changes. Through a multi-year, community-led, exploratory case study conducted in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Canada, this research qualitatively explores the impacts of climate change on mental health and well-being in an Inuit context. Drawing from 67 in-depth interviews conducted between January 2010 and October 2010 with community members and local and regional health professionals, participants reported that changes in weather, snow and ice stability and extent, and wildlife and vegetation patterns attributed to climate change were negatively impacting mental health and well-being due to disruptions in land-based activities and a loss of place-based solace and cultural identity. Participants reported that changes in climate and environment increased family stress, enhanced the possibility of increased drug and alcohol usage, amplified previous traumas and mental health stressors, and were implicated in increased potential for suicide ideation. While a preliminary case study, these exploratory findings indicate that climate change is becoming an additional mental health stressor for resource-dependent communities and provide a baseline for further research.
Last week Joanna Petrasek MacDonald was in Ottawa to present her research at the Royal Canadian Geographic Society’s (RCGS) Annual General Meeting. Joanna received the 2013 Maxwell Studentship on Human Geography from the RCGS this past fall and was asked to attend the meeting to share her Masters work on exploring climate change impacts on Inuit youth mental health and the use of participatory video in enhancing youth resilience.
For more information about the Maxwell Studentship Research Grant, please visit: http://www.rcgs.org/programs/research_grants/maxwell_2013.asp
Former CCARG postdoctoral research fellow, Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, awarded a Canada Research Chair (Tier II)
“Having the opportunity to work with Dr. James Ford and the great team in the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group at McGillUniversity was a remarkable experience, and provided the training and opportunities that helped contribute to receiving this position,” explained Dr. Cunsolo Willox. “I am exceptionally grateful to have worked with Dr. Ford and this amazing network of colleagues who are working at the leading edge of research across the North, and doing so through the creation of meaningful and reciprocal partnerships with Northern communities and organizations. I look forward to continuing this work and these partnerships through my Canada Research Chair position at Cape Breton University.”
Our Baffinland, an IK-ADAPT-affiliated project examining climate change and mining in Nunavut, launched at the Royal Ontario Museum this week as part of the ROM’s inaugural “Climate is Culture” exhibit. Team members Ian Mauro and Zacharias Kunuk have used a new form of “Video Cartography” to explore place-based and oral Inuit knowledge about climate change and mining in Nunavut, where reduced sea ice is making mineral resources more accessible to exploit.
With Our Baffinland, Mauro and Kunuk have been exploring how multimedia tools can themselves facilitate adaptation to the impacts of climate change, including increasing industrial activity in the Arctic, by networking communities, increasing dialogue and awareness, and facilitating community-based consultation. Through the ”Climate is Culture” exhibit, Our Baffinland will provide southern visitors with opportunities to engage hands-on with place-based knowledge by exploring multimedia video content and interviews with Inuit Elders and hunters on interactive iPads, and by visualizing the scope of environmental changes through wall installations and photo exhibits:
Mauro and Kunuk also have their film “Qapirangajuq: Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change” playing in the exhibit. One of Mauro’s other multi-media projects, “Climate Change in Atlantic Canada,” is also in the exhibit and he will be touring it across Atlantic Canada with David Suzuki in late November.
“Climate is Culture” runs from October 19th 2013 to February 2nd 2014 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
Susan Kaodlak, coordinator of the Nunamin Illihakvia project in Ulukhaktok, spoke with CBC’s Wanda McLeod on the noon hour Northwind program on September 10th 2013. Susan talked about how and why the project got started, and upcoming activities such as sealskin sewing and tool-making workshops for winter hunting. If you missed it live, you can check out the recording!
Ford, J.D., Berrang-Ford, L., Lesnikowski, A., Barrera, M. and Heymann. S.J. (2013). Ecology and Society 18(3):40. Find full article and PDF here.
The need to track climate change adaptation progress is being increasingly recognized but our ability to do the tracking is constrained by the complex nature of adaptation and the absence of measurable outcomes or indicators by which to judge if and how adaptation is occurring. We developed a typology of approaches by which climate change adaptation can be tracked globally at a national level. On the one hand, outcome-based approaches directly measure adaptation progress and effectiveness with reference to avoided climate change impacts. However, given that full exposure to climate change impacts will not happen for decades, alternative approaches focus on developing indicators or proxies by which adaptation can be monitored. These include systematic measures of adaptation readiness, processes undertaken to advance adaptation, policies and programs implemented to adapt, and measures of the impacts of these policies and programs on changing vulnerability. While these approaches employ various methods and data sources, and identify different components of adaptation progress to track at the national level, they all seek to characterize the current status of adaptation by which progress over time can be monitored. However, there are significant challenges to operationalizing these approaches, including an absence of systematically collected data on adaptation actions and outcomes, underlying difficulties of defining what constitutes “adaptation”, and a disconnect between the timescale over which adaptation plays out and the practical need for evaluation to inform policy. Given the development of new adaptation funding streams, it is imperative that tools for monitoring progress are developed and validated for identifying trends and gaps in adaptation response.
Sherman, M., Ford, J. D. (2013). Global Food Security. Find PDF here.
This paper conducts a systematic realist review to examine how market engagement interacts with vulnerability to food insecurity after a climatic hazard event, focusing on rural areas of the developing world. It examines who is able to engage in the market after a climatic hazard and the barriers and opportunities that this engagement presents to food security. In the review, households were less able to effectively engage in the market to maintain food security when they had limited pre-hazard resources and/or were unable to mobilize these resources due to the biophysical and socioeconomic context following the climatic event. It is important to consider the volition behind market engagement after a climatic hazard and the consequences of using the market to maintain food security.
Nunamin Illihakvia: Learning from the Land, a Health Canada funded partner project to IK-ADAPT, launched this week in Ulukhaktok, NWT. The project brings together young Inuit adults with experienced hunters, sewers and elders to learn how to travel on the sea ice and hunt seals in the winter, how to prepare seal skins for sewing, and how to sew traditional seal skin clothing. By fostering skills for travel safety and improved winter food security, the program will also contribute to adaptation to the health impacts of climate change.
The launch was a success, with more than 60 Ulukhaktomiat attending to see the promo video, learn about the project and enjoy games, music and draw prizes for a seal skin. Sewing and tool-making classes will begin next week, with local youth researchers documenting the process.
The project is administered by the Ulukhaktok Community Corporation, under the coordination of Susan Kaodlak. IK-ADAPT researchers Tristan Pearce, Ellie Stephenson and Lesya Nakoneczny (communications) are working in partnership. The first phase of the project will run until March 31st, 2014. You can learn more about the project in a recent feature by News North and in an intro video:
Ford, J. D., King, D. (2013). Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. Find PDF here.
Adaptation readiness is proposed as a complimentary concept to adaptive capacity that captures the strength and existence of governance structures and policy processes which determine whether adaptation takes place. As such, adaptation readiness is concerned with examining actual experiences with planning for adaptation and seeks to characterize whether human systems are prepared and ready to ‘do adaptation.’ We propose a framework for evaluating readiness, identifying 6 overarching factors essential for adaptation taking place: political leadership, institutional organization, adaptation decision making and stakeholder engagement, availability of usable science, funding for adaptation, and public support for adaptation. For each readiness factor we identify potential indicators, data sources, and considerations for analysis, outlining approaches for quantitative scoring and qualitative examination. We briefly illustrate application of the framework using an example from the territory of Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic, a region projected to experience some of the most dramatic changes in climate globally this century. The framework provides a systematic approach for assessing adaptation readiness, and can be used – in combination with other approaches – to inform the identification and prioritization of adaptation support, guide resources to areas where need is greatest, and serve as a proxy for adaptation tracking.
Lab member Kaitlyn Finner receives Masters Scholarship from the Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments
Second year Masters student Kaitlyn Finner has been awarded a Masters Scholarship by the Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments for her ongoing research project in partnership with the Rigolet Inuit Community Government. The project focuses on food security at a community level in the Nunatsiavut region of Labrador.
The scholarship is a training award that seeks to support early career researchers in developing the necessary skills for research focused on complex health and environmental relationships within Inuit communities in Northern Canada. Kaitlyn also held this award for the 2012/2013 academic year.
To read more about Kaitlyn’s research, visit jamesford.ca/about#kaitlyn
McLeman, R. A., Dupre, J., Berrang Ford, L., Ford, J., Gajewski, K., Marchildon, G. (2013). Population and Environment. Get PDF here.
This article provides a review and synthesis of scholarly knowledge of Depression-era droughts on the North American Great Plains, a time and place known colloquially as the Dust Bowl era or the Dirty Thirties. Recent events, including the 2008 financial crisis, severe droughts in the US corn belt, and the release of a popular documentary film, have spawned a resurgence in public interest in the Dust Bowl. Events of the Dust Bowl era have also proven in recent years to be of considerable interest to scholars researching phenomena related to global environmental change, including atmospheric circulation, drought modeling, land management, institutional behavior, adaptation processes, and human migration. In this review, we draw out common themes in terms of not only what natural and social scientists have learned about the Dust Bowl era itself, but also how insights gained from the study of that period are helping to enhance our understanding of climate–human relations more generally.