Appendix A: Adaptation theme streams and program elements

Brief descriptions of the Adaptation Theme streams and the program elements within them are provided below.

1. Enhance the science foundation to understand and predict climate and assess climate change impacts

Program elements under this stream aim to address gaps in understanding the impacts and associated risks posed by climate change. They are designed to improve climate change prediction and scenarios and to better understand ecological changes in Canada’s marine and northern terrestrial ecosystems.

  • Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program (ACCASP) [DFO] – This program element aims to develop knowledge about the risks, impacts and opportunities created by climate change and to integrate it into the delivery of departmental programs and policies. The program element has three components: 1) assessment of climate change risks and vulnerabilities in four large basins, 2) research to understand the impacts of climate change and 3) research to create applied science to adapt to climate change.
  • Climate Change Prediction and Scenarios Program (CCPSP) [ECCC] – This program element has both a science and a policy component. The science component is intended to provide scientific expertise, information and tools (for example, global and regional climate models, future climate scenarios, information on climate extremes for infrastructure design, codes and standards, tailored websites), in order to provide foundational knowledge for understanding and predicting climate change for effective federal, provincial, territorial and community adaptation planning and the development of climate policy at the global and regional levels. It aims to generate information on climate change and variability and tools to facilitate integration of this information into decision making. The policy component is intended to provide policy support in the form of analysis and coordination within and among departments for issues associated with climate change adaptation. As federal policy lead for adaptation, ECCC’s work includes advancing the Federal Adaptation Policy Framework and policy development and coordination for senior policy committees such as the Deputy Ministers Committee on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment.
  • Understanding Climate-Driven Ecological Changes in Canada’s North (UCECCN) [PCA] – This program element is aimed at better understanding how climate change is affecting and is predicted to influence ecological changes in the North at scales relevant to national park management and how these changes will affect ecological integrity and traditional lifestyles in the North. The approach is to intensify and focus park inventory, monitoring, research and modeling to assess current change and to predict how park ecosystems and traditional use may change under a range of scenarios in the near future. Information from this program element is intended to support local and regional park co-operative management decisions and to provide a comprehensive assessment of how arctic terrestrial systems are changing across the North.

2. Enhance public health and safety

Programs under this stream aim to expand on previous work to enable existing systems (for example, emergency response) and individual Canadians to effectively respond to health-related climate risks by extending the infectious disease research and surveillance program and expanding the heat alert and response systems to additional high-risk communities and regions. Program elements include:

  • Heat Alert and Response Systems (HARS) [HC] – The objectives of this program element are to take concrete action to reduce the vulnerability of Canadians to extreme heat by supporting the adoption of HARS in at-risk communities and to enhance the capacity of the health care system to prevent, diagnose and treat heat-related illnesses, especially among vulnerable populations, through the provision of accredited training to health care professionals. The program focuses on four areas of activity: establish pilot provincial and regional HARS; expand HARS into highly vulnerable regions and communities; increase the network of experts to maximize sharing and development of information; and develop, in collaboration with partners, accredited training materials for public health professionals.
  • Preventative Public Health Systems and Adaptation to Climate Change Program (PPHSACC) [PHAC] – The objective of this program element is to protect the health of Canadians by developing adaptation strategies to address the impacts of climate change on vector-borne, water-borne and food-borne diseases. The program element was designed to focus on six areas: developing risk modeling tools and databases for scenario-based projections of the impacts of climate change on public health risks from microbial threats to food and water safety; testing and refining a climate change infectious disease toolkit designed to help decision makers mitigate public health risks; developing a public health and water-borne illness research tool by compiling public health-issued water advisories and associated attributable water-borne illnesses; conducting a study on the burden of gastrointestinal illness in the Canadian North; establishing a public health network to facilitate federal knowledge transfer on climate change health and adaptation; and conducting an economic valuation of the health impacts related to climate change.


3. Build resilience in the north and climate-sensitive Aboriginal communities

This stream aims to support adaptation work in the North and climate sensitive Aboriginal communities in order to contribute to the implementation of key federal policies, such as the Northern Strategy and to advancing the development of safe, sustainable and prosperous northern communities through programs designed to integrate climate risks into codes and standards for northern infrastructure and by enabling the development of adaptation plans. Program elements include:

  • Climate Change and Health Adaptation for Northern First Nations and Inuit Communities (CCHAP) [HC] – This program element has three main objectives: to enable northern First Nations and Inuit communities to identify and assess key vulnerabilities and health impacts related to climate change; to develop scientific and community-relevant information to support northern First Nations and Inuit communities in adapting to climate change; and to combine traditional knowledge with formal science through community-based research to support sound adaptation policy development. The intent is to provide funding to assist communities to determine their health and adaptation priorities, conduct research and develop adaptation plans that meet most pressing needs.
  • Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Program for Aboriginals and Northerners (CARPAN) [INAC] – This program element is intended to continue to fund the development of community-relevant information and tools for Aboriginal and Northern communities, governments and organizations to assess vulnerabilities to climate change and to develop adaptation plans. This is expected to result in plans, actions and decisions that enhance the resiliency of communities. It is intended to focus on areas where the impacts of climate change are already visible and vulnerability is high (for example, infrastructure, water quality and availability).
  • Integrating Adaptation into Codes and Standards for Northern Infrastructure (NISI) [SCC and INAC] – This program element, also known as the Northern Infrastructure Standards Initiative (NISI), is delivered through a partnership between SCC and INAC. It is intended to help Aboriginal and Northern communities build and design safer and more resilient infrastructure by applying building codes, standards and related instruments. It is intended to deliver a coordination mechanism between the federal departments and agencies engaged in Northern infrastructure; a Northern panel, building on existing structures and networks in the North pulling together practitioners involved in infrastructure issues across the North; the identification of gaps and needs with respect to the adequacy of codes and standards; a risk assessment identifying categories of infrastructure impacted by climate change in the North and a plan addressing those risks; new guidelines to address priority categories; and a process to incorporate new guidelines into existing standards and codes or to develop new standards reflecting the unique circumstances of the North.

4. Enhance the competitiveness of climate-sensitive economic sectors and systems

This stream aims to assist decision makers within all levels of government and among stakeholder groups in understanding the relevance of climate change on their operations and equip them with the tools and information needed to effectively adapt.

  • Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate (also referred to as the NRCan Adaptation Program) [NRCan] – This program element is designed to reach the private sector, specifically natural resource sectors including forestry and mining and the communities whose economies are closely tied to them, since they are particularly sensitive to climate change through impacts on resource supply, consumer demand and natural hazards (for example, flooding, wildfires) impacting infrastructure and the cost of getting products to market. It is intended to work with Regional Adaptation Collaboratives (RAC), including providing contributions to develop, transfer and integrate targeted adaptation information and tools.
  • Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative (NTAI) [TC] – The objectives of this program element are to improve the resilience, responsiveness and adaptability of Canada’s northern transportation system by incorporating climate change considerations into infrastructure design and maintenance, by mitigating future maintenance costs and losses in economic productivity and by building northern science capacity; and work with stakeholders to develop strategic adaptation measures for northern transportation infrastructure to ensure a sustainable northern transportation system.
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