Blog Contributor: Michaela Jennings
On March 11th, 2021, the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) hosted a panel for the Sustainability Seminar Series. The panel provided an opportunity for students, municipal partners, and community members to learn from climate adaptation professionals about the successful implementation of climate adaptation actions and initiatives.
The panel was moderated by Dr. Jessica Blythe, who leads the Niagara Adapts partnership. The three panelists were Joanna Eyquem, Director of Climate Programs, Quebec at the Intact Centre, Katie Thompson, Risk Management Official at the City of Barrie, and Jacob Porter, Climate Adaptation Coordinator at the City of Thunder Bay.
The discussion was structured around five questions:
- What does climate adaptation planning look like for your municipality or organization?
- Why are municipalities the right group to implement climate adaptation actions?
- What successes has your municipality or organization experience in implementing climate adaptation actions? And what factors led to those successes?
- What are the main challenges your municipality or organization has experienced in implementing climate adaptation actions? What would help you overcome those barriers in the future?
- Going forward, what do you hope to see in the municipal climate adaptation space?
Panelist engaged in an honest discussion of both the successes and the challenges associated with implementing climate adaptation actions in Canadian municipalities. Their varying backgrounds and perspectives lead to a rich array of insights and examples on adaptation planning.
An important theme that emerged from the panel, was that as actions, projects, and initiatives are created, implementation is key in developing a plan for how those actions will be initiated, maintained, and measured at the municipal level.
The panelists discussed a variety of important aspects in both the planning process and implementation. For example, the reflected on the benefits of collaborating with internal and external stakeholders as a key attribute to successful implementation strategies. The panelists also highlighted that working with community organizations, departments, and community members is an important step in successful implementation strategies. The discussion concluded with questions from the audience about measuring implementation, risk preparedness, and scale.
Throughout the discussion the panelists highlighted resources and tools they have used in their own planning and implementation processes. The resources are beneficial in furthering an understanding of climate adaptation planning processes in Canada. Those resources are available here.
If you missed the live event on Thursday, March 11th, a recording of the event is available on the ESRC’s YouTube channel here.