Climate Change Adaptation

Award Winning Poster: Steven Lam

The next poster highlighted in our Award Winning Poster Series, is a poster that was presented by Steven Lam at the Canadian Evaluation Society’s 40th annual conference in Halifax, Canada.

Steven’s poster won the "People's choice poster award”.

Congratulations Steven!

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Award Winning Poster

Canadian Evaluation Society 2019

How is community-based monitoring used to support Indigenous food security in a changing climate? Read our new publication to find out!

Congratulations to Steven Lam for his new publication….

Climate change is expected to exacerbate existing food security challenges, especially in Indigenous communities worldwide. Community-based monitoring (CBM) is considered a promising strategy to improve monitoring of, and local adaptation to climatic and environmental change. Yet, it is unclear how this approach can be applied in food security or Indigenous contexts. Therefore, this paper examined how community-based monitoring is used to support Indigenous food security in a changing climate. We found that monitoring was either collaborative (51%) or externally-driven (37%), and focused primarily on tracking wildlife (29%), followed by natural resources (16%), environmental change (15%), and fisheries (13%).

Abstract

Climate change is expected to exacerbate existing food security challenges, especially in Indigenous communities worldwide. Community-based monitoring (CBM) is considered a promising strategy to improve monitoring of, and local adaptation to climatic and environmental change. Yet, it is unclear how this approach can be applied in food security or Indigenous contexts. The objectives of this paper are to: (1) review and synthesize the published literature on CBM of Indigenous food security; and, (2) identify gaps and trends in these monitoring efforts in the context of climate change. Using a systematic search and screening process, we identified 86 published articles. To be included, articles had to be published in a journal, describe a CBM system, describe any aspect of food security, and explicitly mention an Indigenous community. Relevant articles were thematically analyzed to characterize elements of CBM in the context of climate change. Results show that the number of articles published over time was steady and increased more than two-fold within the last five years. The reviewed articles reported on monitoring mainly in North America (37%) and South America (28%). In general, monitoring was either collaborative (51%) or externally-driven (37%), and focused primarily on tracking wildlife (29%), followed by natural resources (16%), environmental change (15%), fisheries (13%), climate change (9%), or some combination of these topics (18%). This review provides an evidence-base on the uses, characteristics, and opportunities of CBM, to guide future food security monitoring efforts in the context of climate change.

Citation

Lam, S., Dodd, W., Skinner, K., Papadopoulos, A., Zivot, C., Ford, J., Garcia, P.J., IHACC Research Team, Harper, S.L. (2019). Community-based monitoring of Indigenous food security in a changing climate: Global trends and future directions. Environmental Research Letters. 14: 073002. Click here to access the article (free open-access)

Canada Research Chair in Climate Change and Health

Sherilee Harper was recently awarded a Canada Research Chair. Canada Research Chairs are awarded to “world-class scientists and scholars from diverse backgrounds who are working on new discoveries and innovations that help our environment, health, communities and economy thrive.” The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, recently announced the new Canada Research Chairs, which are funded by the Government of Canada.

As a Canada Research Chair in Climate Change and Health, Dr. Harper will conduct research focusing on “adaptation strategies to protect health in Inuit communities.”

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Canada Research Chair

Climate Change and Health

Metrics that Matter: Award Winning Poster by Alexandra Sawatzky

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In our series on award winning posters, we are pleased to share another poster created and presented by the talented Dr. Alex Sawatzky. In this poster, Alex presents research that she conducted in collaboration with Rigolet Inuit to examine Inuit-identified metrics for monitoring and responding to climate change in the Circumpolar North.

Alex presented this poster at the 2018 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting, and won the poster prize - for the third year in a row!

Congratulations Alex!

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Award Winning Poster

2018 ArcticNet ASM

Award Winning Poster: Alexandra Sawatzky's Literature Review

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As part of our series on award winning poster presentations, it is pleasure to share a poster presented by Alex. At the 2017 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting, Dr. Alex Sawatzky presented the results of her literature review about integrated environment and health surveillance in the Circumpolar North. Her poster won a poster prize at the conference, and this work has been published since then (click here to access the free article).

Congratulations Alex!

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Award Winning Poster

2017 ArcticNet ASM

National Science Assessment: Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate 2021

About the Assessment Report

The World Health Organization has identified climate change as the greatest threat to global health and to health systems in the 21st Century. Climate change risks to the health of Canadians are increasing and many impacts are already being observed.  Using the latest evidence, and engaging experts from across the country, the Government of Canada is conducting a climate change and health assessment, which is expected to be released in the summer of 2021. The report, Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action, will provide an assessment of the risks of climate change to the health of Canadians and the health care system. It will also support actions by health decision makers at local, provincial/ territorial and national levels, as well as those who work in public health, health care, emergency management, research and community organizations. 

Sherilee Harper is a Lead Author working on the Food Security and Food Safety Chapter in this report. Additionally, team members Amreen Babujee and Katharine Neale have been providing research support on this Chapter.

Assessment Timelines

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Learn more about the Assessment:

Visit the website to learn more https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/environment/impacts-adaptation/21189

Crystal Presents at the Canadian Nutrition Society Conference

Crystal Gong recently returned from the Canadian Nutrition Society conference in Niagara Falls.

Crystal presented her systematic scoping review of the climate change and nutrition literature in the North. Her review aimed to answer the question: how does food security and nutrition research enhance our understanding of climate change impacts and adaptation?

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Crystal Noted,

“It was an amazing experience having the opportunity to connect with students studying diverse research topics across the nutritional sciences and listening to talks from the pioneers of maternal nutrition research. Leaving the national meeting for the Canadian Nutrition Society held at the Sheraton in Niagara Falls I felt bright-eyed and hopeful for the future of nutrition.”

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How can technology support community-led monitoring in a changing climate? Read our new article to find out!

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We are excited to share our recent publication on the need for community-led, integrated and innovative monitoring programmes when responding to the health impacts of climate change in the Circumpolar North.

How does climate change impact health in rural and remote regions in Canada?

It's our pleasure to share our new publication, which provides a synthesis of the forthcoming first order draft of the Canadian Government’s National Assessment on Climate Change ‘Rural and Remote’ chapter, highlighting key health concerns from the literature associated with climate change in rural and remote regions, as well as existing and future adaptation strategies.

Award Winning Poster: Jacqueline Middleton

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Congratulations to Jacqueline Middleton for winning the poster prize at the Labrador Research Forum in Happy Valley - Goose Bay in May 2019!

In Jacquie’s poster, she explores the role of community-identified metrics and modifiers that matter in a changing climate.

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Award Winning Poster

Labrador Research Forum 2019

How can integrated health & environmental monitoring support climate change adaptation? Check out our new publication to find out!

Congratulations to Alexandra Sawatzy on her recent publication. Alex reviewed integrated surveillance used for responding to climate and environmental change impacts on human health in the Circumpolar North. The article can be accessed, for free, at: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/12/2706

Key Messages:

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Key Message 1:

The wide range and diversity of integrated surveillance systems described in the literature can help guide and target evidence-based public health responses in support of climate change adaptation in the North.

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Key Message 2:

2: Findings offer insight into how these systems can be designed to be more responsive to public health concerns within rapidly shifting Northern environments.

What are key components of integrated surveillance?

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Recommendations & Next Steps:

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Article citation:

Sawatzky, A., Cunsolo, A., Jones-Bitton, A., Middleton, J., Harper, S.L. (2018). Responding to Climate and Environmental Change Impacts on Human Health via Integrated Surveillance in the Circumpolar North: A Systematic Realist Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health.15(12), 2706. Click here to access the article (free open-access)

Abstract:

Environments are shifting rapidly in the Circumpolar Arctic and Subarctic regions as a result of climate change and other external stressors, and this has a substantial impact on the health of northern populations. Thus, there is a need for integrated surveillance systems designed to monitor the impacts of climate change on human health outcomes as part of broader adaptation strategies in these regions. This review aimed to identify, describe, and synthesize literature on integrated surveillance systems in Circumpolar Arctic and Subarctic regions, that are used for research or practice. Following a systematic realist review approach, relevant articles were identified using search strings developed for MEDLINE® and Web of Science™ databases, and screened by two independent reviewers. Articles that met the inclusion criteria were retained for descriptive quantitative analysis, as well as thematic qualitative analysis, using a realist lens. Of the 3431 articles retrieved in the database searches, 85 met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. Thematic analysis identified components of integrated surveillance systems that were categorized into three main groups: structural, processual, and relational components. These components were linked to surveillance attributes and activities that supported the operations and management of integrated surveillance. This review advances understandings of the distinct contributions of integrated surveillance systems and data to discerning the nature of changes in climate and environmental conditions that affect population health outcomes and determinants in the Circumpolar North. Findings from this review can be used to inform the planning, design, and evaluation of integrated surveillance systems that support evidence-based public health research and practice in the context of increasing climate change and the need for adaptation.

The article can be accessed, for free, at: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/12/2706

How can understanding hospital admission patterns inform climate change adaptation for the healthcare sector in Uganda? Read more to find out!

Kate Bishop-Williams and co-authors recently published an article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The article explored how understanding hospital admission patterns can promote climate change adaptation. Through this article, we illustrate how analyzing hospital data alongside meteorological parameters may inform climate-health planning in low-resource contexts.

How do non-climatic factors reinforce maladaptation trajectories? Check out this new publication to find out.

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Congratulations to Dr. Carol Zaveleta for her recent publication in PLoS One.  Her participatory, community-based study was conducted in collaboration with Shawi communities. Together, they worked to characterize the food system of the Shawi in the Peruvian Amazon, climatic and non-climatic drivers of their food security vulnerability to climate change, and identify potential maladaptation trajectories. They found that transformational food security adaptation should include consideration of Indigenous perceptions and priorities, and should be part of Peruvian food and socioeconomic development policies.  Click here for free article (open access).

Citation:

Zavaleta, C., Berrang-Ford, L., Ford, J., Llanos-Cuentas, A., Carcamo, C., Ross, N., Lancha, G., Sherman, M., Harper, S.L., IHACC Research Team. (2018) Multiple non-climatic drivers of food insecurity reinforce climate change maladaptation trajectories among Peruvian Indigenous Shawi in the Amazon. PLoS ONE 13(10): e0205714. Click here for free article (open access).

Abstract:

Background: Climate change is affecting food systems globally, with implications for food security, nutrition, and the health of human populations. There are limited data characterizing the current and future consequences of climate change on local food security for populations already experiencing poor nutritional indicators. Indigenous Amazonian populations have a high reported prevalence of nutritional deficiencies. This paper characterizes the food system of the Shawi of the Peruvian Amazon, climatic and non-climatic drivers of their food security vulnerability to climate change, and identifies potential maladaptation trajectories.

Methods and findings: Semi-structured interviews with key informants (n = 24), three photovoice workshops (n = 17 individuals), transect walks (n = 2), a food calendar exercise, and two community dissemination meetings (n = 30 individuals), were conducted within two Shawi communities in Balsapuerto District in the Peruvian Loreto region between June and September of 2014. The Shawi food system was based on three main food sub-systems (forest, farming and externally-sourced). Shawi reported collective, gendered, and emotional notions related to their food system activities. Climatic and non-climatic drivers of food security vulnerability among Shawi participants acted at proximal and distal levels, and mutually reinforced key maladaptation trajectories, including: 1) a growing population and natural resource degradation coupled with limited opportunities to increase incomes, and 2) a desire for education and deforestation reinforced by governmental social and food interventions.

Conclusion: A series of maladaptive trajectories have the potential to increase social and nutritional inequities for the Shawi. Transformational food security adaptation should include consideration of Indigenous perceptions and priorities, and should be part of Peruvian food and socioeconomic development policies.

PhD position in participatory climate modeling, ethnoclimatology, and human health in the Arctic

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Looking for a great PhD research project with an interdisciplinary research team?  Apply today! Position is co-supervised by James Ford (Leeds University) and Sherilee Harper (University of Alberta). The position is primarily based in the UK.

Apply by 31 October 2018.

For more details:

http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/admissions-and-study/research-degrees/sri/projects-with-guaranteed-funding/participatory-climate-modeling-ethnoclimatology-and-human-health-in-the-arctic/

America Adapts! The Climate Change Podcast

Congratulations to Kate Bishop Williams, PhD Candidate, for her recent interview on the America Adapts, the Climate Change Podcast.

Listen to the podcast by clicking here!

In this episode, Kate talks about how she used an America Adapts episode, “Deconstructing a Climate Change Skeptic” as part of her class curricula at the University of Waterloo. Specifically, in this interview, "Kate discusses why she chose this episode to use a tool to teach her students effective climate communication."

Kate touches on the following topics in her interview:

  • Using podcasts in the classroom to promote environmental change;

  • Learning that climate skepticism is more prevalent than many realize;

  • Developing guidelines for listening to a podcast and talking climate change;

  • Understanding the role of open access educational materials, especially climate resources;

  • Students explain how listening to a climate skeptic enhanced their ability to communicate climate change.