Readiness for climate change adaptation in the Arctic: a case study from Nunavut, Canada

2017 September 14

Ford, J.D., Labbé, J., Flynn, M. et al. (2017) Readiness for climate change adaptation in the Arctic: a case study from Nunavut, CanadaClimatic Change, OpenAccess.


There is limited knowledge on institutional factors constraining and enabling climate change adaptation in Arctic regions, or the overall readiness of governing bodies and communities to develop, implement, and promote adaptation. This paper examines the preparedness of different levels of government to adapt in the Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut, drawing upon semi-structured interviews with government personnel and organizations involved in adaptation. In the Government of Nunavut, there have been notable developments around adaptation planning and examples of adaptation champions, but readiness for adaptation is challenged by a number of factors including the existence of pressing socio-economic problems, and institutional and governmental barriers. Federally, there is evidence of high-level leadership on adaptation, the creation of adaptation programs, and allocation of funds for adaptation, although the focus has been mostly on researching adaptation options as opposed to supporting actual actions or policy change. The 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and increasing emphasis on climate change federally and in the Government of Nunavut, offer opportunities for advancing adaptation, but concrete steps are needed to ensure readiness is enhanced.

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