Araos, M., Berrang-Ford, L., Ford, J., Austin, S.E., Biesbroek, R., Lesnikowski, A. (2016). Climate change adaptation planning in large cities: A systematic global assessment. Environmental Science & Policy. DOI 10.1016/j.envsci.2016.06.009.
Cities globally face significant risks from climate change, and are taking an increasingly active role in formulating and implementing climate change adaptation policy. However, there are few, if any, global assessments of adaptation taking place across cities. This study develops and applies a framework to track urban climate change adaptation policy using municipal adaptation reporting. From 401 local governments globally in urban areas with >1 m people, we find that only 61 cities (15%) report any adaptation initiatives, and 73 cities (18%) report on planning towards adaptation policy. We classified cities based on their adaptation reporting as extensive adaptors, moderate adaptors, early stage adaptors, and non-reporting. With few exceptions, extensive adaptors are large cities located in high-income countries in North America, Europe, and Oceania, and are adapting to a variety of expected impacts. Moderate adaptors usually address general disaster risk reduction rather than specific impacts, and are located in a mix of developed and developing countries. Early stage adaptors exhibit evidence of planning for adaptation, but do not report any initiatives. Our findings suggest that urban adaptation is in the early stages, but there are still substantive examples of governments taking leadership regardless of wealth levels and institutional barriers.
Last week CCARG master’s candidate Dylan Clark participated in a search and rescue (SAR) training mission with the Royal Canadian Air Force Squadron 424 and the Civil Air Search & Rescue Association (CASARA). The mission goals were to build SAR capacities in Northern Communities, cultivate relationships between community SAR volunteers and national agencies, and discuss prevention and land safety opportunities. Dylan provided insight into the leading causes of SAR needs in the North, a topic of his master’s research. He also led discussions about how communities may improve land safety and shared information about various community-based programs that are ongoing throughout the territory.
The trip was a fantastic opportunity to engage with the committed volunteers in Nunavut and Nunavik and to share what we have heard from discussions with Elders, active hunters, and youth over the past few years. With 251 searches across Nunavut in 2015, there is a lot of interest in figuring out how to make sure family and friends are safer on the land.
Ford, J., Berrang-Ford, L. (2016). The 4Cs of adaptation tracking: consistency, comparability, comprehensiveness, coherency. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. 21(6), 839-859.
Adaptation tracking seeks to characterize, monitor, and compare general trends in climate change adaptation over time and across nations. Recognized as essential for evaluating adaptation progress, there have been few attempts to develop systematic approaches for tracking adaptation. This is reflected in polarized opinions, contradictory findings, and lack of understanding on the state of adaptation globally. In this paper, we outline key methodological considerations necessary for adaptation tracking research to produce systematic, rigorous, comparable, and usable insights that can capture the current state of adaptation globally, provide the basis for characterizing and evaluating adaptations taking place, facilitate examination of what conditions explain differences in adaptation action across jurisdictions, and can underpin the monitoring of change in adaptation over time. Specifically, we argue that approaches to adaptation tracking need to (i) utilize a consistent and operational conceptualization of adaptation, (ii) focus on comparable units of analysis, (iii) use and develop comprehensive datasets on adaptation action, and (iv) be coherent with our understanding of what constitutes real adaptation. Collectively, these form the 4Cs of adaptation tracking (consistency, comparability, comprehensiveness, and coherency).
Melanie is in Potsdam, Germany this week taking part in a Permafrost Young Researcher Network workshop and attending the International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP2016) which will run until Friday. Melanie presented the research from her master’s thesis on evaluating adaptation projects in a permafrost environment. The talk focused on some of the key aspects of creating usable science when producing community hazard maps for permafrost and outlined the importance of monitoring and evaluation in adaptation projects in order to provide learning opportunities ad identify best practice in climate change adaptation actions. Keep up with the conference through Melanie’s Twitter account (MelanieFlynn88). Find Mel’s PowerPoint slides here.
Vulnerability and adaptive capacity of Inuit women to climate change: a case study from Iqaluit, Nunavut
Bunce, A., Ford, J.D., Harper, S., Edge, V., and IHACC Research Team (2016) Vulnerability and adaptive capacity of Inuit women to climate change: a case study from Iqaluit, Nunavut. Natural Hazards, 1-23.
Climate change impacts in the Arctic will be differentiated by gender, yet few empirical studies have investigated how. We use a case study from the Inuit community of Iqaluit, Nunavut, to identify and characterize vulnerability and adaptive capacity of Inuit women to changing climatic conditions. Interviews were conducted with 42 Inuit women and were complimented with focus group discussions and participant observation to examine how women have experienced and responded to changes in climate already observed. Three key traditional activities were identified as being exposed and sensitive to changing conditions: berry picking, sewing, and the amount of time spent on the land. Several coping mechanisms were described to help women manage these exposure sensitivities, such as altering the timing and location of berry picking, and importing seal skins for sewing. The adaptive capacity to employ these mechanisms differed among participants; however, mental health, physical health, traditional/western education, access to country food and store bought foods, access to financial resources, social networks, and connection to Inuit identity emerged as key components of Inuit women’s adaptive capacity. The study finds that gender roles result in different pathways through which changing climatic conditions affect people locally, although the broad determinants of vulnerability and adaptive capacity for women are consistent with those identified for men in the scholarship more broadly.
Food system vulnerability amidst the extreme 2010–2011 flooding in the Peruvian Amazon: a case study from the Ucayali region
Sherman, M., Ford, J.D., Llanos-Cuentas, A., José Valdivia, M., and IHACC Research Group (2016) Food system vulnerability amidst the extreme 2010–2011 flooding in the Peruvian Amazon: a case study from the Ucayali region. Food Security, 8(37), 1-20.
Projections of climate change indicate an increase in the frequency and intensity of climatic hazards such as flooding and droughts, increasing the importance of understanding community vulnerability to extreme hydrological events. This research was conducted in the flood-prone indigenous community of Panaillo, located in the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon, examining how the 2010–2011 flooding affected the food system at community and institutional levels. Drawing upon in-depth fieldwork using participatory research methods over multiple seasons—including semi-structured interviews (n = 74), focus groups, and seasonal food security calendar and historical timeline exercises—the flooding was documented to have created several opportunities for increased fishing and agricultural production in Panaillo. However, households lacked the resources to fully exploit the opportunities presented by the extreme conditions and increasingly turned to migration as a coping mechanism. International aid organizations were drawn to Ucayali in response to the flooding, and introduced additional programming and provided capacity-building sessions for local institutions. However, local institutions remain weak and continue to generally disregard the increasing magnitude and frequency of extremes, documented in the region over the last decade. Moreover, the long-term implications of community-level and institutional responses to the extreme flooding could increase food system vulnerability in the future. This case study highlights the importance of considering both slow and fast drivers of food system vulnerability in the aftermath of an extreme hydrological event.
— Melanie Flynn (@MelanieFlynn88) May 16, 2016
— Melanie Flynn (@MelanieFlynn88) May 17, 2016
The lab wishes Kaitlyn Finner all the best in her new position as a policy analyst with Nunatsiavut Secretariat. She began her position in April following on her MA research in Rigolet and work with the Policy and Evaluation Division at IDRC. Nunatsiavut Government (NG) is a self-governing regional Inuit government – the first among Inuit regions in Canada to achieve self-government Kaitlyn has been a valued member of the ccadapt team since 2012, conducting her MA research on climate change and food systems in Nunatsiavut
Prevalence and risk factors of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasitemia among Indigenous Batwa and non-Indigenous communities of Kanungu District, Uganda
Donnelly, B., L. Berrang-Ford, J. Labbe, S. Twesigomwe, S. Lwasa, B.D. Namanya, S.L. Harper, M. Kulkarni, N.A. Ross, IHACC Research Team, and P. Michel (2016) Prevalence and risk factors of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasitemia among Indigenous Batwa and non-Indigenous communities of Kanungu District, Uganda. Malaria Journal 15:254.
Major efforts for malaria prevention programs have gone into scaling up ownership and use of insecticidal mosquito nets, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where the malaria burden is high. Socioeconomic inequities in access to long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are reduced with free distributions of nets. However, the relationship between social factors and retention of nets after a free distribution has been less studied, particularly using a longitudinal approach. Our research aimed to estimate the ownership and use of LLINs, and examine the determinants of LLIN retention, within an Indigenous Batwa population after a free LLIN distribution. Two LLINs were given free of charge to each Batwa household in Kanungu District, Uganda in November 2012. Surveyors collected data on LLIN ownership and use through six cross-sectional surveys pre- and post-distribution. Household retention, within household access, and individual use of LLINs were assessed over an 18-month period. Socioeconomic determinants of household retention of LLINs post-distribution were modelled longitudinally using logistic regression with random effects. Direct house-to-house distribution of free LLINs did not result in sustainable increases in the ownership and use of LLINs. Three months post-distribution, only 73% of households owned at least one LLIN and this period also saw the greatest reduction in ownership compared to other study periods. Eighteen-months post distribution, only a third of households still owned a LLIN. Self-reported age-specific use of LLINs was generally higher for children under five, declined for children aged 6–12, and was highest for older adults aged over 35. In the model, household wealth was a significant predictor of LLIN retention, controlling for time and other variables. This research highlights on-going socioeconomic inequities in access to malaria prevention measures among the Batwa in southwestern Uganda, even after free distribution of LLINs, and provides critical information to inform local malaria programs on possible intervention entry-points to increase access and use among this marginalized population.
Last week, Dr. James Ford and master’s candidate Dylan Clark attended the Transforming Health Care in Remote Communities conference hosted by the University of Alberta School of Public Health. The conference was attended by researchers and health care practitioners and policy makers from across the Canadian North, Greenland, Iceland, and Alaska. Dr. Ford moderated a session focusing on climate change impacts on health, and Dylan delivered an oral presentation and a poster based on his master’s research. More can be found on the THCRC conference here.
Members and collaborators will be attending the 2016 Adaptations Futures conference in Rotterdam from May 10-13. The programme and additional information can be found here.
Find out how the CCADAPT team is involved here.
Members attending, organizing, presenting and chairing:
Dr. James Ford