The impact of climate change on Arctic communities is so great that it limits their ability to adapt, or at least that’s what has long been assumed. But according to a recent study in Nature Climate Change, it’s non-climatic factors that obstruct adaptation.
To read the piece, entitled Arctic Communities Turn Challenges Brought On By Climate Changes Into Advantages, click here.
Featured on Adjacent Government, Ashlee Cunsolo Willox and Anna Bruce present a new piece on gendered dimensions of climate change and mental health.
— Ashlee CunsoloWillox (@CunsoloWillox) February 9, 2016
Dylan Clark, CCARG Masters Candidate, recently received a grant from the Government of Nunavut Department of Health to run an intervention informed by his research in the territory. Dylan and partners, including the Arviat Film Society and Arviat Wellness Center, will be carrying out the project “Building IQ through Film: Bringing Young Hunters and Elders together to Improve Land Safety” over the next few months.
The project will include a series of classes where elders and active hunters will prepare a group of youth for a hunting trip and discuss safety on the land. Youth will be selected from the Arviat Film Society given their expertise in cinematography, as well as from the Arviat Young Hunters Program. Priority be given to youth that have not had many opportunities to participate in harvesting activities. The project will culminate with one or two land trips (based on current caribou or seal harvesting locations). The trip will provide an opportunity for the youth to learn from their mentors, and for the youth to film their experience on the land. Footage will be edited and produced into documentary form by the Arviat Film Society so that their experience and learning can be shared with other communities.
Over the past year, Dylan has been working in Nunavut communities studying the impacts of climate change and social processes in the Nunavut on search and rescue and land safety. One of the key findings from his research, and echoed in other studies, is that youth are among the most vulnerable to land injuries due to lack of experience on the land, decision making of the age group, and limited avenues to learn safety practices.
Ford, J.D., Petrasek Macdonald, J., Huet, C., Statham, S., and MacRury, A. (In Press). Find PDF here. Social Science & Medicine. [Available online January 2016].
Food insecurity is widely reported to be at a crisis level in the Inuit territory of Nunavut, Canada. Various policies, programs, and initiatives have been proposed to tackle the problem, with increasing interest in developing a system of country food markets (CFMs) similar to Greenland. We examine if CFMs offer a feasible, sustainable, and effective model for strengthening food systems in Nunavut, examining the model of Greenland and drawing on semi-structured interviews with key informants (n=45). The Greenland experience indicates that CFMs can provide access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food on a regular basis, and can diversify locally available foods. These benefits are transferable to Nunavut, although knowledge gaps, regulatory and institutional conditions, and concerns over how CFMs might affect the cultural basis of food systems, underlies apprehension over their development in the territory. We conclude that Nunavut is not currently in the position to develop CFMs, but the role of such markets in potentially strengthening food systems should not be discounted. Future development would need to solicit community input on CFMs, resolve regulatory issues around wildlife management and harvesting, and study how future risks would affect sustainability and effectiveness.
Alex Lesnikowski and Michelle Maillet present on climate change policy to Secondary 5 students at St-Johns School in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC
This morning Alex Lesnikowski (CCADAPT & TRAC3) and Michelle Maillet (CCADAPT & IHACC project) made their way to St-Jean-sur-Richelieu for invited talks in two Secondary 5 World Issues classes at the St-Johns School in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
The event was a great opportunity for Alex and Michelle to talk about their research with the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group, while introducing students to concepts of ecological footprints and processes involved in the context of climate change policies and practice.
Alex and Michelle are both very happy to have had the opportunity to share some of their knowledge and experience with them, and look forward to any new outreach opportunities in the future.
To the wonderful students we had the chance to meet with today, thank you for being so engaging, and keep up the good work!
The CCADAPT team would like to congratulate Stephanie Austin for wining the Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement (MSFSS) award!
The MSFSS award is a supplement to the Canada Graduate Scholarship and provides financial support to graduate students for study and research abroad.
Araos, M., Austin, S., Berrang-Ford, L., and Ford, J.D. (2015). Find PDF here. International Journal of Health Services.
Climate change will have significant impacts on human health, and urban populations are expected to be highly sensitive. The health risks from climate change in cities are compounded by rapid urbanization, high population density, and climate-sensitive built environments. Local governments are positioned to protect populations from climate health risks, but it is unclear whether municipalities are producing climate-adaptive policies. In this article, we develop and apply systematic methods to assess the state of public health adaptation in 401 urban areas globally with more than 1 million people, creating the first global baseline for urban public health adaptation. We find that only 10% of the sampled urban areas report any public health adaptation initiatives. The initiatives identified most frequently address risks posed by extreme weather events and involve direct changes in management or behavior rather than capacity building, research, or long-term investments in infrastructure. Based on our characterization of the current urban health adaptation landscape, we identify several gaps: limited evidence of reporting of institutional adaptation at the municipal level in urban areas in the Global South; lack of information-based adaptation initiatives; limited focus on initiatives addressing infectious disease risks; and absence of monitoring, reporting, and evaluation.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity in 21st century. Here at McGill, the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group (@ccadapt) is working at the forefront of research that seeks to understand the risks posed by climate change, identify opportunities for adaptation, and track adaptation progress at regional to global scales. Indigenous peoples, Arctic regions, community based approaches, and health are cross-cutting themes. read more…
To read the piece, please click on the box below.
Bunce, A., and Ford, J. (2015). Access PDF here. Environmental Research Letters. 10: 123003.
The gendered dimensions of climate change have received increasing interest in climate change adaptation, resilience, and vulnerability (ARV) research. Yet concerns have been expressed that engagement with ‘gender’ in this work has been tokenistic. In this context, we ask: how is climate change ARV research engaging with gender? To answer this question, we develop an assessment framework capturing key attributes of engagement and use it to evaluate peer reviewed ARV articles with a focus on gender published since 2006 (n = 123). Results indicate an increase in ARV studies with a gender focus over this period, with the level of gender engagement also increasing. There are a relatively equal numbers of studies categorized as engaging gender at a high, medium, and low level, with studies from Sub-Saharan Africa consistently exhibiting high levels of gender engagement. Gender focused ARV has a strong focus on examining female experiences, with few studies explicitly focusing on men, and no work accounting for those identifying outside the gender binary.
The CCADAPT team would like to congratulate Anna Bunce for finishing your Masters in Geography!
To read the abstract of Anna’s thesis, entitled Gender and the human dimensions of climate change: Global discourse and local perspectives from the Canadian Arctic, click here.
Anna’s e-thesis will be available in the McGill eScholarship Library Collection here shortly.
By Dr. James Ford, Lead of the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group
With the negotiation of the Paris climate agreement, an election of a new government here in Canada, and record breaking temperatures, it has been quite a year for climate change! The Climate Change Adaptation Research Group has been busy trying to understand what many of these changes mean, both for communities and policy makers, and with 2015 nearly at a close I would like to recap some of the team’s achievements in the last year. read more…