CCADAPT at Adaptation Canada 2016

2016 April 12

Members and collaborators will be attending the 2016 Adaptations Canada conference in Ottawa April 12-14. Details can be found here.

Keep up on the action on twitter!







Including indigenous knowledge and experience in IPCC assessment reports

2016 March 24

Ford, J.D., Cameron, L., Rubis, J., Maillet, M., Nakashima, D., Willox, A.C., and Pearce, T. (2016) Find PDF here. Nature Climate Change. 6, 349-353.


The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change, forming the interface between science, policy and global politics. Indigenous issues have been under-represented in previous IPCC assessments. In this Perspective, we analyse how indigenous content is covered and framed in the Working Group II (WGII) portion of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). We find that although there is reference to indigenous content in WGII, which increased from the Fourth Assessment Report, the coverage is general in scope and limited in length, there is little critical engagement with indigenous knowledge systems, and the historical and contextual complexities of indigenous experiences are largely overlooked. The development of culturally relevant and appropriate adaptation policies requires more robust, nuanced and appropriate inclusion and framing of indigenous issues in future assessment reports, and we outline how this can be achieved.

CCADAPT featured on CBC News

2016 April 20

@ccadapt work for the coastal assessment was profiled on CBC news. Article can be found here.

Dr. James Ford co-leads northern charter of coastal assessment

2016 April 13

Read about the news release entitled “Minister Carr to Speak to Adaptation Canada 2016 and Release Report on Climate Change Adaptation Along Canada’s Marine Coasts” here.

Dylan Clark featured on CBC News

2016 April 12
Students learn about navigation on the land from Dominic Pingushat of Arviat.

Students learn about navigation on the land from Dominic Pingushat of Arviat.

Last week, CCADAPT masters student Dylan Clark along with Keenan Lindell of Arviat led a two week land safety course in Arviat, Nunavut. Keenan and Dylan developed the course to help engage youth in the community in land activities and safe practices on the land. IHACC member, Sarah Macvicar, also played a role through teaching wilderness first aid and helping to organizing day trips. More can be found about the program here.

Also find information on NunatsiaqOnline here.

Anna Bruce Featured in Environmental Research Letters

2016 April 8

To learn more about Anna Bruce and her work, read the interview article entitled How does gender affect vulnerability to climate change? here.

IHACC team in Montreal March 8-9 to develop IHACC2 project proposal

2016 March 18

Members of the IHACC team were in Montreal last week to work on developing a project proposal for phase two of the IHACC project, planning for another five years of work as phase one comes to an end this year. Team members from Canada, Uganda and South Africa were at the table at the McGill Faculty Club in this first meeting of the proposal development stage, including Dr. James Ford and Dr. Lea Berrang-Ford, Dr. Sherilee Harper, Dr. Shuaib Lwasa, Dr. Mark New, Mr. Didacus Namanya, and Ms. Michelle Maillet. Canadian team members will soon head to Peru to meet with the team there and work on finalizing the proposal later this spring. Keep an eye out for more news on plans for phase two of the project as the team continues to build the proposal.

Team gathers for a discussion on IHACC2

Team gathers for a discussion on IHACC2

Community-level climate change vulnerability research: trends, progress, and future directions

2016 March 9

McDowell, G., Ford, J.D., and Jones, J. (2016) Find PDF here. Environmental Research Letters. 11(3), 1-9


This study systematically identifies, characterizes, and critically evaluates community-level climate change vulnerability assessments published over the last 25 years (n = 274). We find that while the field has advanced considerably in terms of conceptual framing and methodological approaches, key shortcomings remain in how vulnerability is being studied at the community-level. We argue that vulnerability research needs to more critically engage with the following: methods for evaluating future vulnerability, the relevance of vulnerability research for decision-making, interdependencies between social and ecological systems, attention to researcher / subject power dynamics, critical interpretation of key terms, and consideration of the potentially positive opportunities presented by a changing climate. Addressing these research needs is necessary for generating knowledge that supports climate-affected communities in navigating the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Kaitlyn Finner trip to Rigolet

2016 March 6




Kaitlyn Finner spent the past week in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut sharing the findings of her Masters research with residents of the Labrador community.

From May 2013 to May 2014, community members participated in photo card interviews and four sets of food inventories to assist the research team in characterizing Rigolet’s food system.

Pamphlets describing the project and its findings were shared with all households in the community and an open house was held on February 25th. Despite stormy weather over 50 residents stopped by for a bowl of soup, and to hear more and discuss the project!

The project in numbers:
16 Weeks of food inventories
27 Households
48 Participants
72 Photo cards
1,051 Wild food entries
14,969 Store food items

National-level progress on adaptation

2016 February 25

Lesnikowski, A., Ford, J.D., Biesbroek, R., Berrang-Ford, L., and Heymann J.S. (2016) Find PDF here. Nature Climate Change. 6, 261-264


It is increasingly evident that adaptation will figure prominently in the post-2015 United Nations climate change agreement1, 2. As adaptation obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change evolve, more rigorous approaches to measuring adaptation progress among parties will be critical. In this Letter we elaborate on an emerging area of research referred to as ‘adaptation tracking’, which has potential to inform development of a global adaptation monitoring framework3. We evaluate this potential by presenting evidence on policy change for 41 high-income countries between 2010 and 2014. We examine whether countries that were in early stages of adaptation planning in 2010 are making progress to close adaptation gaps, and how the landscape of adaptation in these countries has evolved. In total we find an 87% increase in reported adaptation policies and measures, and evidence that implementation of concrete adaptation initiatives is growing. Reflecting on the strengths and challenges of this early methodology, we further discuss how adaptation tracking practices could guide development of a robust framework for monitoring global adaptation progress and inform future research on policy change across countries.

Dylan Clark featured in NunatsiaqOnline article on SAR

2016 February 16
Ice Landscape

McGill University graduate student Dylan Clark, through his research, discovered a very interesting connection between search and rescue events in Nunavut and temperature.

23-year-old masters student Dylan Clark has been studying the connection between Nunavut’s changing weather and search and rescue events in Nunavut. Seeing how search and rescue events have more than doubled since 2006, Clark was interested to find certain triggers for SAR missions.

This is only just the beginning for Clark, who looks towards a future where drones may be used for SAR missions.

To learn more about this, read the article entitled Researcher links Nunavut SAR events with mild weather here.

The basic of the project is to understand how all the environmental changes that’s happened up North and all the social change that’s sped up over the last half century is impacting the safety of the land users

David Murphy, Nunatsiaq News reporter, Iqaluit, Nunavut.

This article was originally posted on NunatsiaqOnline.

Dr. James Ford featured in The Huffington Post

2016 February 10

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.

Ashlee Cunsolo Willox and Anna Bruce featured in Adjacent Government

2016 February 10

Featured on Adjacent Government, Ashlee Cunsolo Willox and Anna Bruce present a new piece on gendered dimensions of climate change and mental health.

To read the piece, entitled The gender dimensions of climate change and mental health, click here for the pdf or here to go to the website.

Arviat Film Society member, Samuel, shooting a scene near town this past summer

2016 February 4

Arviat Film Society member, Samuel, shooting a scene near town this past summer.

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.

Food policy in the Canadian North: Is there a role for country food markets?

2016 January 27

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.