Climate-change strategies focus of agreement for Brock, federal government and Swedish institute

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Climate-change strategies focus of agreement for Brock, federal government and Swedish institute

Published on March 25 2010


Adapting national and international climate-change research to local level strategies is the aim of a new tripartite agreement involving researchers from Brock University, Environment Canada and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in Sweden.

The five-year agreement is intended to formalize the parties’ intentions to co-operate in collaborative research in the area of adaption and impacts, for the benefit of both countries.

Each group brings integral skills and background to the agreement, which is intended to advance both knowledge and practice.

“Even with present and potential mitigation efforts, impacts from climate change are, and will, influence social-ecological systems. How we adapt to these impacts is a collective challenge,” said Ryan Plummer, associate professor, Tourism and Environment at Brock. “As a research interest, we want to better understand and apply adaptive strategies that are participatory, learning oriented and concerned with governance.”

Brock’s representatives provide expertise in collaborative and adaptive governance strategies in a broad sense, as well as in the realm of community climate change planning. They include Plummer, and Liette Vasseur, professor, Biological Sciences. Vasseur’s experience includes projects with coastal communities in Eastern Canada, and work with the Greater Sudbury Consortium on climate-change. Plummer is working with Aboriginal populations in Central Ontario. He has a three-year project documenting the water management issues faced by the Six Nations of Grand River and Oneida Nation of the Thames. The collaborative project also explores how the communities can adapt to climate change and severe events.

“This is a wonderful demonstration of Brock’s ability to collaborate on projects with an international impact and appeal,” said Ian Brindle, vice-president Research. “The results of this research will prove vital to communities at the local, national and global level.”

Through this agreement, Environment Canada will provide scientific expertise and an historical perspective concerning large, national output models as they relate to climate change adaptation research. Environment Canada representatives will use their experience as an international and national leader in climate change science and research, to assist in the development of local-level initiatives while applying community-based decision support tools for adaptation.

“This agreement reflects the Government of Canada’s continual commitment to tackling climate change through collaborative research that addresses the effects of climate change and adaptive measures while advancing shared knowledge and common practices,” said Don MacIver, manager of Adaption and Impacts Research.

Swedish representatives from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) will provide relevant input from ongoing research which explores how stakeholders in the Stockholm region perceive climate related risks and whether and how they can learn from interactions with other stakeholders to deal with such risks in the future. “This work includes studying the role of climate change models in stakeholder deliberations and will help us better understand how useful scientific information is for practitioners who will have to consider climate change risks in their everyday work,” said Åsa Gerger Swartling, senior research fellow and theme leader of SEI. The SEI representatives include Swartling and Neil Powell, co-theme leader and senior research fellow.

The formalized documents were developed after several networking conversations during recent climate change conferences and the development of new research proposals. The agreement outlines research activities, including meetings to exchange information and develop mutually beneficial research projects.