Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Project

As a coastal province, Newfoundland and Labrador must learn to adapt to already changing climate patterns. In fact there is a long list of communities who have already experienced various impacts due to climate change. The decision makers in these communities must prepare to adapt using tools and techniques that are based on sound science and available resources. In Newfoundland and Labrador and Atlantic Canada more generally most decision makers are unaware of available tools regarding climate change adaptation and there are very few adaptation tools developed specifically for the region. The scope of this research ranged from reviewing literature to community consultations and developing climate change workbooks to be used by community leaders to effectively plan for climate change-related challenges. The project was carried out in four phases, each of which is briefly described below.

The first phase included compiling a topical review as well as an executive summary covering: toolkit approaches; Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA) literature review; alternative theoretical approaches (resilience, multiple community capitals, systems theory, and blended or comprehensive methods);municipal context and applications (emphasizing national and regional content/examples); and an illustrative selection of community RVA tools/toolkits. Aside from these deliverables, a Powerpoint based on above for use in community consultations was also developed. The second phase entailed identifying six pilot communities from a variety of regions in Newfoundland. These consisted of Ferryland, Logy Bay – Outer Cove – Middle Cove, Corner Brook, Irishtown – Summerside, Indian Bay, and Fortune. This phase also produced a draft Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Toolkit as well as  Community Assessment Pilot Reports. The third phase of the project resulted in a Pose-pilot Evaluation Report and Post-pilot Workbook revisions. The fourth (and final) phase of the project six case studies were written to document the climate change adaptation experiences of six communities and their reflections on the use of the Community Vulnerability Assessment Tool and future directions for their adaptation efforts. The case studies completed will include four of the pilot communities involved in earlier phases as well as two communities participating in similar initiatives in New Brunswick.

Research Team

  • Kelly Vodden, Memorial University
  • Norm Catto, Memorial University
  • Sarah Chan, Memorial University
  • Melanie Irvine, Memorial University
  • Kathleen Parewick, Memorial University
  • Janelle Skeard, Memorial University
  • Nicole Renaud, Memorial University
  • Kristina Turner, Memorial University