How we got here: The evolution of the National Adaptation Strategy


Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy reflects two years of extensive engagement with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments; First Nations, Inuit, and Métis representatives; key experts and stakeholders; and people from across Canada. Engagement on the Strategy began with bilateral discussions in early 2021 with provinces and territories, National Indigenous Organizations, and other key partners. This engagement continued throughout 2022 to inform the development of the Strategy and federal actions and to ensure the specific priorities of partners would be reflected.

Strategy engagement highlights:

  • An international peer-learning event in May 2021, where international best practices in the development of national adaptation strategies and action plans were shared. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Japan, Germany, and the United States, were among the experts who shared their knowledge and lessons from their experiences.
  • A virtual Strategy Development Forum in June 2021 identified early ideas for Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy. The over 60 participants included representatives from all provinces and territories, National Indigenous Organizations, professional and industry associations, youth organizations, climate service providers, research institutes, municipal and local community networks, and other non-governmental organizations.
  • Five expert Advisory Tables were created in fall 2021 to provide advice on transformational goals and objectives within five key systems: Health and Wellbeing; Natural and Built Infrastructure; and Environment, Economy, and Disaster Resilience and Security. These tables included diverse representatives from Indigenous Peoples, youth, professional associations, the private sector, environmental organizations, academia, adaptation experts, and others. Reports by the Advisory Tables are available here.
  • A public consultation was launched in May 2022, beginning with a national symposium, which brought together experts, practitioners, and policy makers. The symposium highlighted the urgency for action, adaptation efforts across the country, the Strategy’s systems, and potential short-term measures. Nearly 1,400 participants attended the symposium.
  • Throughout the public engagement period, more than 20 thematic workshops created opportunities for key actors across Canada to share their input on adaptation actions, while increasing awareness of the importance of adaptation, its impacts, and opportunities for individuals and the private sector. Topics included each of the five systems, agriculture, and monitoring and evaluation.
  • An online engagement platform was launched to support public consultations, with more than 27,000 site visits and 16,000 contributions (i.e., ideas, comments, votes on ideas). Engagement resulted in over 800 written submissions from key organizations, stakeholder groups, and the public (e.g., Canadian municipalities, NGOs, universities, and professional associations).
  • On November 24, 2022, the draft National Adaptation Strategy was released for final comments from partners. Throughout the winter of 2023, the Government of Canada engaged with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, and representatives from the provincial and territorial governments on the Strategy.
  • On June 27, 2023, the final Strategy was released to the public.

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