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TitleCommunicating climate change science to stakeholders for assessments of impact and adaptation: experiences at the municipal level in Canada
AuthorHill, P R; Mate, D; Tansey, J D
SourceEos, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union vol. 85, no. 47, Fall Meeting Suppl., 2004, 1 pages
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 2004224
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
Meeting2004 AGU Fall Meeting; San Francisco, Calif.; US; December 13-17, 2004
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formathtml
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut
NTS1; 2; 3; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 82; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -50.0000 90.0000 41.7500
SubjectsEconomics and Industry; Nature and Environment; climate; climate effects; permafrost; water levels; sea level changes; permafrost melting; coastal sea-level rise; municipal case studies; communication; alternate approach; climate change
ProgramReducing Canada's Vulnerability to Climate Change
AbstractThe assessment of climate change impacts and the identification of adaptation strategies require understandable communication of climate change science and its uncertainties to a diverse group of stakeholders. This paper will report on the experience being gained from a set of municipal case studies conducted in Canada, where climate change impacts such as water resource depletion, permafrost melting and coastal sea level rise are being addressed. Two aspects will be discussed: the local process of stakeholder interaction and the effort to bring the local experiences to a national level through development of municipal best practice guides. Ideally, stakeholders are engaged at the local level through a structured process. This is to avoid the common problem that pre-existing tensions between stakeholders tend to dominate unstructured discussions and distract attention from the target issue. One-on-one interviews with the stakeholders and research into the socio-economic history of the communities provide background on the issues that may arise before group workshops are attempted. When workshops involving stakeholders are held, they are professionally facilitated and the science delivery is carefully rationed into digestible portions that enable informed discussion of specific climate change scenarios. Municipalities can be engaged at political, practitioner and public levels not only as major stakeholders, but also as key partners in the communication process. We have used presentations to council, direct involvement of city planning departments and public events such as Science and Technology Week to nurture two-way communication. We have also put considerable thought into the effort to communicate these experiences to the over one thousand communities across the country that will not benefit from a case study. Our initial approach was to develop best practice guides on climate change topics based on the successes and lessons learned in the case studies. While the idea has been generally welcomed by organizations representing Canadian municipalities and professional planners, the large matrix of user groups and climate change issues makes the development of generic climate change best practice guides extremely challenging. An alternate approach would be to contribute climate change sections to existing and future best practice guides developed by the professional organizations concerned with municipal infrastructure, environment and land use. We are presently organizing a national workshop to canvas user groups on the best form for the guides.

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