Adaptation Planning

Adaptation planning tools guide users from the risk assessment stage through to the identification and implementation of adaptation responses.

The tools were developed with the support of the Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Division (CCIAD), Natural Resources Canada. They are made available here in the language of the author, and do not constitute an endorsement of content or recommendations.


« Vers l'adaptation aux changements climatiques »

This online tool, created by Ouranos, facilitates access to adaptation resources, complete with a search engine for finding references on adaptation measures for Quebec.


« L’évaluation économique des biens et services écosystémiques dans un contexte de changements climatiques »

Cover page of the guide, titled « L’évaluation économique des biens et services écosystémiques dans un contexte de changements climatiques ; Un guide méthodologique pour une augmentation de la capacité à prendre des décisions d’adaptation»
(PDF, 7.46 MB, 218 pages)
(2013) (French only)

This adaptation guide proposes to standardize and make consistent the use of environmental economic assessment tools by looking at key components, from the definition of ecosystem goods and services, to the methods used to ascertain their usefulness.


Adaptation capacity building for local public management and land use planning in Nunavik

Cover page of the guide, titled « Renforcement des capacités et sensibilisation face aux changements climatiques pour la gestion publique locale et la planification territoriale au Nunavik»
(PDF, 3.39 MB, 82 pages)
(2013) (French Only)

This project aims to raise awareness and inform Nunavik municipalities on the impact of permafrost thawing. It also provides the various municipal actors with knowledge and tools to improve land use management and to build local adaptation capacity.


Parking lot development that limits urban heat islands

Cover page of the guide, titled «Lutte aux ilots de chaleurs urbain – Aménagement des aires de stationnement – Guide à l’intention des concepteurs»
(PDF, 7.51 MB,104 pages)
(2013) (French Only)

This guide, produced by the Bureau de Normalisation du Québec, is a tool to help landscape architects, developers and urban planners design parking lots and manage runoff that limits urban heat islands.


Municipal Climate Change Action Plan Guidebook

This guide is part of a project by the Canada-Nova Scotia Infrastructure Secretariat to assist municipalities in the preparation of Municipal Climate Change Action Plans (MCCAP) as required under the Canada-Nova Scotia Agreement on the Transfer of Federal Gas Tax Revenues. It provides a six-step planning framework for climate change adaptation priorities and three steps to creating a corporate mitigation plan for greenhouse gas emissions. Additional tips are provided in the companion document, the MCCAP Learning Assistant.


Preparing for Climate Change: An Implementation Guide for Local Governments in British Columbia

This guidebook identifies tools for local governments to build adaptive capacity and implement adaptation strategies. The tools presented may be applied in other regions and cover subjects such as: land use planning, infrastructure, transportation systems, community services, financial planning and emergency management.


Land use planning tools for local adaptation to climate change

This document, created by Natural Resources Canada, describes planning tools that are being used by communities to adapt to climate change. The tool provides information on decision-support tools and resources to help planners and local decision makers take effective adaptation action. Examples from Canadian communities are included.


Sea Level Rise Adaptation Primer: A Toolkit to Build Adaptive Capacity on Canada’s South Coasts

This primer, lead by the B.C Ministry of Environment, presents 21 tools that local governments and other coastal authorities across Canada can use to implement a climate change adaptation strategy for sea-level rise. A variety are presented, including regulatory (shoreline and floodplain development), land-use, and structural and non-structural tools.


Climate Change Planning and Visioning Training Modules

Developed by the University of British Columbia’s Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP), these three training modules provide guidance for users across Canada to: develop their own local, future climate change scenarios; identify relevant spatial data; assess visualization needs; and, determine visualization media and production methods for local implementation.

Related resources include:


Changing Climate, Changing Communities: Guide for Municipal Climate Adaptation

This guide is intended to assist local governments in creating an adaptation plan to address climate change impacts. Created by ICLEI-Canada, it guides users through five milestones and provides examples from various municipalities. It contains a main guide, a workbook for practitioners and information annexes.


« Élaborer un plan d’adaptation aux changements climatiques »

Cover page of the tool, titled « Élaborer un plan d’adaptation aux changements climatiques »
(PDF, 5.98 MB, 48 pages)
(2010) French Only

This tool, produced by Ouranos for Quebec communities, discusses the need for adaptation and provides an overview of the expected climatic changes and impacts for Quebec as they relate to municipalities. The tool takes users through a process that results in the development of an adaptation plan.


Canadian Communities’ Guidebook for Adaptation to Climate Change

The tool, created by Environment Canada and the University of British Columbia, guides users through a decision process that combines sustainable development, adaptation and mitigation. This guidebook includes Canadian case studies, examples of potential adaptation actions, and an appendix on various analytical methods used in the adaptation decision-making process.