The Clayoquot Sound Climate Change Adaptation program recently concluded its second phase, and communities are moving forwards clear in the knowledge that while change is happening, they will be able to work with it.
Reporting for The Westerly, Yasmin Aboelsaud writes, “The executive summary of Ecotrust Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation in Clayoqout Sound says participating First Nation communities are more concerned about ocean and marine environment than the terrestrial environment and forests.
The project, a response to the call for proposals from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), began about 18 months ago.”It was a funding proposal, and it was focused on communities and how the communities respond and adapt to climate change issues,” explains Neil Hughes, Ecotrust Canada’s forestry program director.
So far, the project has undertaken two phases:
- During the first phase, the three First Nations communities provided feedback on their experiences in terms of objective views of climate change, what changes they have seen in their lifetimes, and what is most valued by the communities that may be affected by climate change.Throughout the first phase, Ecotrust used a computer program called Climate BC to assist them with climate change modelling. The program predicts changes to temperatures, rainfall, and precipitation.Existing data from throughout Clayoqout Sound was entered into the program, which then releases predicted data for a specified time frame. For this project, the years 2000 to 2080, which formed the basis of data that was then used in the second phase of the project.
- The second phase involved scientists taking the climate change predictions and interpreting impacts to the ocean environment and ecosystem, including animals, fish, marine life, fresh water and impacts on communities in terms of infrastructure and livelihood. Perhaps not surprisingly, Aboelsaud reports that the climate change model predicted an increase in temperature over the next 80 years.