CHAPTER 4: Moving Forward with Planned Adaptation

Navigation by transport trucks of a remote northern winter road
Photo courtesy of Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.

Adaptation involves a wide range of actors: individuals, community groups, civil society, the private sector and all orders of government. A proactive adaptation approach – which involves consideration of climate change impacts in planning processes – reduces short- and long-term risks and avoids the significantly higher costs associated with reactive measures. Collective approaches can help achieve multiple policy goals for various orders of government. The implementation of adaptation measures is essential for municipal governments to protect the well-being of citizens and to manage public resources effectively.

Successful adaptation actions require planning and appropriately resourced strategies. Mainstreaming adaptation into existing and new municipal plans, policies and regulations – including capital, infrastructure, land use and emergency response plans – may be the most efficient means of reducing vulnerability to climate change while also contributing to other sustainable development goals. Nevertheless, some communities facing acute impacts may choose to develop detailed climate change adaptation plans to address local priorities.

Information resources are available to help municipalities, whether they are just starting to think about adaptation, conducting a vulnerability assessment or preparing to plan and implement discreet adaptation measures. As a start, Appendix B includes Web sites and resources on climate change impacts and adaptation, ranging from material created for a general audience to resources intended for the scientific community. General information is readily accessible, and regionally specific resources are constantly evolving.