MONTREAL, March 17, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR) and the Ouranos consortium on regional climatology and adaptation to climate change are proud to present Adaptation Canada 2016: the first national symposium in ten years on the preparation for and management of risks associated with climate change. The event will be held from April 12 to 14 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa, bringing together nearly 500 participants from the research community, industry, government, NGOs, the environmental network, practitioners and policymakers around 189 subjects spread over 62 sessions. The official opening of the symposium will be attended by Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.
Building on the success of COP 21 and, more recently, the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change, Adaptation Canada 2016 will be a one-of-a-kind forum for information, learning and networking. In particular, it will present concrete examples of climate change adaptation and risk reduction in Canada. According to Alain Bourque, executive director of Ouranos, "This is a unique opportunity to take stock of current research on climate change and to learn about the latest products and tools concerning the climate change impacts in Canada and the adaptation to these changes."
Three prominent speakers
Among the many renowned experts from around the country who will speak at the event, we feature the following three distinguished guests:
- Katharine L. Jacobs (April 12, around 9 am): Currently director of the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions of the University of Arizona, Ms. Jacobs served as an assistant director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy of the United States in the Executive Office of the President between 2010 and 2013. As director of the National Climate Assessment, she also led a team comprising 300 authors and more than 1,000 collaborators and served on nine committees of the National Research Council (NRC) of the United States. She also chaired the NRC panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change and was a member of the panel on America's Climate Choices.
- Roger B. Street (April 14, from 3 pm): Roger B. Street is Technical Director of Adaptation Science at UKCIP, a British organization seeking to advance climate change adaptation. He is also a fellow in the intergovernmental consortium Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) and researcher at Oxford University. At UKCIP, he leads the technical and scientific work guiding risk, vulnerability and adaptation assessments and the development of new supportive tools and resources. He also plays a leading role in the United Kingdom and internationally in the development and delivery of climate information aiming to promote informed decision-making on adaptation.
- Ian Burton (April 14, from 3 pm): Researcher and independent consultant, Mr. Burton works as Scientist Emeritus with Environment Canada, where he is the director and founder of the Adaptation and Impacts Research Division as well as a senior policy advisor. He is also Emeritus Professor at the University of Toronto, where he formerly directed the Environmental Institute (now the School of the Environment). In his current role as fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK, and consultant for the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn, Germany, he is interested mainly in climate change and more particularly in adaptation and related policies.
A program focused on reflection and action
The three-day symposium will offer plenary sessions, talks and presentations of implemented adaptation measures revolving around several strategic themes: the economic benefits of adaptation and climate change predictions (Day 1); adaptation in the private sector and efforts undertaken by the provinces (Day 2); and public health issues and the reduction of natural disasters (Day 3). This rich and varied program will highlight the large volume of research studies, information and tools that have been developed to understand and manage climate risk, in turn leading to better preparedness and a more effective implementation of measures to reduce impacts on the environment, population, and economy. In addition, the Embassy of France in Canada is organizing a panel session and discussion with the public on the implementation of the Paris Agreement at different levels of governance. This panel and discussion will take place on April 13 starting at 18:30.
"Recent weather events that affected different parts of Canada, alongside the general mobilization around climate issues we are seeing both at home and around the world, demonstrate the importance of actively addressing these challenges by adapting to climate change. The symposium aims to equip the participants such that they can effectively contribute to Canada's leadership in this area," says Al Douglas, director of OCCIAR.
Media representatives who wish to attend the symposium for live coverage or to prepare reports to be broadcasted or published later must complete the accreditation form available at adaptationcanada2016.ca/media/. This document is essential to attend any of the conferences, panels and other events of the symposium.
The Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR) at MIRARCO is dedicated to assisting communities and sectors adapt to climate change through the provision of climate science and adaptation tools. The Centre is also a resource hub for researchers and stakeholders searching for activities, events and resources on climate change impacts and adaptation.
Ouranos was founded in 2001 from the shared vision of the Government of Quebec, Hydro-Québec and Environment Canada and the financial support of Valorisation-Recherche Québec. Integrating some 450 scientists and professionals from different disciplines, Ouranos focuses on climate science, in particular climate vulnerability, impacts and adaptation. The consortium's mission is to acquire and develop knowledge on climate change and its impacts as well as on socio-economic and environmental vulnerabilities to allow informing policymakers about climate change and to consult them about how to best identify, evaluate, promote and implement local and regional adaptation strategies.
For further information: For interviews and information: Hémisphère relations publiques, Marie-José Bégin, 514-994-0802