This Knowledge Synthesis examines how Canadian communities can proactively advance climate resilience to effectively reduce the risk from climate change impacts.
Our synthesis reveals that some communities have prepared high level adaptation plans, but very few have a detailed implementation strategy with established funding frameworks. Most actions to build community resilience in Canada are unplanned and take place in recovery following an extreme loss event. Indigenous communities are at the forefront of climate change adaptation in Canada. Self-determination and adaptive capacity building through community-led risk assessments, planning, and disaster recovery organizations, while addressing the broader context of reconciliation gaps and opportunities for integration, are important for climate resiliency. Combining Western and Indigenous ways of knowing for effective knowledge translation is necessary for adaptation. Indigenous collaborations that promote nature-based solutions and conservation are critical to global GHG sequestration and resilience.
Local scale urban warming experienced by Canadian communities adds to the heat burden in the warm season and further exacerbates social, health and economic impacts. More research is needed to document and predict the occurrence of heatwaves and to develop heat adaptation strategies for Canadian cities. There are physical and mental health impacts of heatwaves and climate change.
To address the climate crisis, a more ambitious, strategic and collaborative approach to adaptation is required. Proven tools exist to proactively improve climate resilience. A major issue is lack of funding and direction for governments and indigenous communities to address climate resilience. The executive summary of the full report provides key messages.
Citation of this paper:
McBean, G.A., P. Kovacs, J.A. Voogt, G.A. Kopp 2021 Building climate resilient communities: Living within the Earth's carrying capacity. SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Grant Report, April 2021, 57 pp.