Preparing for the health impacts of climate change in Indigenous communities: The role of community-based adaptation

2018 March 10

Ford, J., Sherman, M., Berrang-Ford, L., Llanos, A., Carcamo, C., Harper, S., Lwasa, S., Namanya, D., Marcello, T., Maillet, M., Edge, V. (2018). Preparing for the health impacts of climate change in Indigenous communities: The role of community-based adaptation. Global Environmental Change, 49, 129-139.

Climate change presents substantial risks to the health of Indigenous peoples. Research is needed to inform health policy and practice for managing risks, with community based adaptation (CBA) emerging as one approach to conducting research to support such efforts. Few, if any, studies however, have critically examined the application of CBA in a health or Indigenous peoples context. We examine the strengths, challenges, and opportunities of health-related CBA research in Indigenous community settings, drawing on the experiences of the multi-nation interdisciplinary Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC) project. Data collection was guided by a framework developed to evaluate CBA projects. Semi-structured interviews (n = 114) and focus groups (n = 23, 177 participants) were conducted with faculty-based researchers, institutional partners, community members, students, and trainees involved in the IHACC project in Canada, Uganda, and Peru. Results illustrate the importance of CBA in co-generating knowledge on climate-health vulnerability and adaptation options, capacity building, and informing decision choices. There are also significant challenges of conducting CBA which can have unintended negative consequences, with results emphasizing the importance of managing the tension between health research and tangible and immediate benefits; developing a working architecture for collective impact, including team building, identification of common goals, and meaningful engagement of knowledge users; and the need to continuously monitor and evaluate progress. CBA holds significant promise in a health adaptation context, but only in the ‘right’ circumstances, where considerable time is spent developing the work with partners.

James gives keynote at UK-Russia Arctic workshop

2018 March 9

James was in Arkhangelsk, Russia, from 28th Feb – 3rd March participating in the UK-Russia Research and collaboration network conference. He chaired the first session of the conference focusing on climate change, and gave a keynote presentation assessing 20 years of progress in Arctic climate change research. While @ccadapt research has mostly focused on Arctic Canada and Greenland to date, the goal is develop some new projects in Russia in the future.

The determinants of crop yields in Uganda: what is the role of climatic and non-climatic factors?

2018 February 21

Epule, T., Ford, J., Lwasa, S., Nabaasa, B., Buyinza, A. (2018). The determinants of crop yields in Uganda: what is the role of climatic and non-climatic factors? Agriculture & Food Security. 7:10.

Background: It is widely accepted that crop yields will be affected by climate change. However, the role played by climate in affecting crop yields vis-a-vis non-climatic stresses, is often unclear, limiting decision choices around efforts to promote increased production in light of multiple stresses.

Results: This study quantifies the role of climatic and non-climatic factors affecting multiple crop yields in Uganda, utilizing a systematic approach which involves the use of a two-stage multiple linear regression to identify and char-acterize the most important drivers of crop yield, examine the location of the key drivers, identify the socio-economic implications of the drivers and identify policy options to enhance agricultural production. We find that non-climatic drivers of crop yields such as forest area dynamics (p= 0.012), wood fuel (p= 0.032) and usage of tractors (0.041) are more important determinants of crop yields than climatic drivers such as precipitation, temperature and CO2 emis-sions from forest clearance. Climatic drivers are found to multiply existing risks facing production, the significance of which is determined by variability and inadequate distribution of precipitation over the crop growing seasons.

Conclusion: The significance and validity of these results is observed in an f-statistic of 50 for the final optimized model when compared to the initial model with an f-statistic of 19.3. Research and agricultural policies have to be streamlined to include not only the climatic elements but also the non-climatic drivers of global, regional and national agricultural systems.

Dylan testifies before Senate

2018 February 15

Dylan Clark, testified in front of the Senate Fisheries and Oceans Standing Committee on February 13th. During the hearing, Dylan shared results from the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group’s research over the past 5 years on Inuit land-use and search and rescue. In Dylan’s testimony, he highlighted the need for additional prevention and emergency response resources across the region, emphasizing the inequality between south and north search and rescue coverage, and increasing demand across the Canadian Arctic.

Read Dylan’s opening statement here, and watch the full testimony here!


Antonia hosts Qualitative Comparative Analysis workshop @ McGill

2018 January 29


From January 22 to 24, 2018, Antonia organized and hosted a methods workshop on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) at McGill. Professor Benoît Rihoux and Priscilla Álamos-Concha from Université catholique de Louvain taught the three-day intensive training on QCA. As a research approach, QCA is geared towards systematic cross-case comparison, a form of synthesis between ‘case-oriented’ and ‘variable-oriented’ approaches, the formalization of statements of necessity and sufficiency, an emphasis on complex causality, the possibility to formulate modest generalizations.

As a set of techniques, Benoit and Priscilla provided training in crisp-set QCA (csQCA) and fsQCA (fuzzy-set QCA) and discussed their different uses, including typology building and theory testing. Participants used different software options, such as TOSMANA and FS/QCA. The 18 workshop participants came from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The group brought many different perspectives from their work and research, including expertise in crisis management, health evaluation, business management, and forestry.