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Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy: Building Resilient Communities and a Strong Economy

Across the country climate change is affecting Canada in a multitude of ways, from warming temperatures to seal-level rise. Canadian provinces and territories, municipalities, and the federal government have been developing and implementing adaptation measures for a number of years. However, Canada needs to establish a wholistic approach to match the magnitude of climate threat. Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy: Building Resilient Communities and a Strong Economy outlines the framework to organize federal adaptation actions going forward to support a more climate resilient Canada, and build communities that are able to thrive for generations to come.

Read the news release. Read the backgrounder. Read the action plan. Read the full strategy.

The federal action plan organizes targeted measures in the five areas that are laid out in the Strategy:

  • Disaster Resilience

  • Health and Wellbeing

  • Nature and Biodiversity

  • Infrastructure

  • Economy and Workers

The federal action plan will complement the adaptation work and strategies of provinces, territories and Indigenous partners. In addition to the federal plan, separate provincial and territorial action plans will advance efforts on shared priorities, and Indigenous climate leadership will support self-determined action. Taken together, these efforts will make Canada more climate resilient as the country continues to face the impacts of climate change, now and in the future. The National Adaptation Strategy and action plans will be updated every five years – informed by up-to-date information on climate risks and impacts and solutions from across the country.The announcement includes $1.6 billion in new federal funding commitments to help protect communities from coast to coast to coast. The additional funding builds on existing federal commitments to adaptation, disaster resilience, and disaster response that total more than $8 billion to date.

Canada's coastal communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Canada is home to the longest coastline in the world, covering about 243,000 km. Over seven million people live in coastal communities in Canada, and more than $400 billion in goods are shipped annually through Canadian ports. Sea-level rise and storm surges are exposing coastal communities to flooding, saltwater intrusion, and coastal erosion. Likewise, species, including fish and shellfish, are shifting in abundance and migratory patterns due to changing ocean conditions. These compounding impacts reduce the viability of coastal communities and reliable access to coastal infrastructure.

The Canadian Centre for Climate Services has developed a Map of Adaptation Actions, which features a collection of climate change adaptation examples that provide useful information to decision-makers and those taking action on climate change adaptation.

This searchable, interactive map began as a way to explore the case stories that are included in reports under the national assessment process, Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action. The Map also includes examples from a variety of other sources in Canada, including federal programs, provincial and territorial programs, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, non-governmental organizations, and academia, among others. Learn about the steps Canadians are taking to understand how climate change affects them and the solutions they find to adapt and increase their resilience.

See the map.

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