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Natural Resources Canada
2010/55
July 20, 2010


REGINA — Funding for a series of projects to advance regional adaptation to climate change decision making was announced today by the governments of Canada, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, together with the University of Regina.

Ending in March 2012, the Prairies Regional Adaptation Collaborative (Prairies RAC) initiative is aimed at helping decision-makers in the Prairie provinces target local climate change issues such as reducing risks from drought and floods and managing changes to forest and grassland ecosystems.

David Anderson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for the Canadian Wheat Board, announced that Natural Resources Canada would provide $3.3 million of the $6.6-million funding for the Prairies RACto help integrate climate change adaptation considerations into decision making in policy, planning and operations including drought and flood protection.

“The Harper government is taking action to generate new information, tools and partnerships to help Canadians adapt to climate change,” said Mr. Anderson. “As new knowledge and lessons learned are shared by decision-makers throughout adaptation networks, many sectors and all regions of Canada will benefit.”

Regionally led by the University of Regina, the projects will tackle climate change impacts by involving partners across the Prairies in local initiatives. These partners include federal, provincial and municipal governments, First Nations and non-governmental organizations, industry and academia.

“We are pleased to be the lead in coordinating this regional effort to help stakeholders and decision-makers take action to adapt to our changing climate,” said Dr. Vianne Timmons, President of the University of Regina. “Through the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative, housed here at the university, we have built a strong Prairies-wide expertise in climate change impacts and adaptation science and policy. This new project builds on that strong foundation of collaboration, partnership and leadership in the climate change field. We will all have to adapt to some degree of climate change, and this project will help us do so proactively and intelligently.”

“By working together, we will improve our ability to plan for climate extremes like drought and floods,” said Dustin Duncan, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Watershed Authority and Minister of the Environment. “This will ensure Saskatchewan’s population and economy can continue to grow.”

“Through this collaborative effort, Manitoba will be better prepared to cope with the effects of climate change, such as floods, droughts and water shortages,” said Bill Blaikie, Manitoba Minister of Conservation. “By joining with our partners in Alberta and Saskatchewan, we will also enhance our ability to include plans for dealing with climate change in the management of important natural resources.”

“Albertans recognize that collaboration is key in the global effort to combat and adapt to climate change,” said Rob Renner, Minister of Alberta Environment. “By working together, we can take comprehensive and coordinated actions to help Canadians living in the Prairies prepare for — and continue to achieve success in — a changing climate.”

Deliverables will include best practices development, policy recommendations, capacity building and risk assessments. The solutions developed through these projects will be shared across the Prairies and nationally to ensure that Canadian communities are well-positioned to make appropriate decisions as the climate changes.  


FOR BROADCAST USE:

A $6.6-million adaptation program will help Canadians in the Prairie provinces deal with the impacts of climate change on water resources and forest and grassland ecosystems. Led by the Government of Canada, the University of Regina and the Prairie provinces, the three-year Regional Adaptation Collaborative program is part of the federal government’s investment to help Canadians adapt to climate change.

Media may contact:

Richard Walker
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447

Lori Boothman
Communications, Office of the Minister
Saskatchewan Watershed Authority
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
306-694-8914

John Thorpe
Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism
Winnipeg, Manitoba
204-945-4997

Dale Johnson
Manager, External Communications
University of Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan
306-585-5439

Ogho Ikhalo
Communications
Ministry of the Environment
Edmonton, Alberta
780-427-1693

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E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

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