Planning for Climate Change in Nunavut: Lessons from Upagiaqtavut

Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 11:00am – 12:30pm Poster Presentations

The impacts of climate change are already affecting Canada’s arctic territory of Nunavut in profound ways, and include the reduction of sea ice, degradation of permafrost, coastal erosion, and changing patterns of species migration. Unfortunately, the global impacts of climate change are predicted to manifest most rapidly and acutely in arctic regions and are projected to increase in the coming decades. It is imperative that the territorial government and local communities of Nunavut actively engage in adaptation planning to meet these urgent challenges. This presentation deconstructs the Government of Nunavut’s overarching climate change adaptation policy – Upagiaqtavut: Setting the Course – and will evaluate the plan based on three thematic assessment frameworks, which focus on (1) natural hazards, (2) social vulnerability, and (3) implementation processes. The three-part approach will explore the strengths and weaknesses of Upagiaqtavut as a territory-wide adaptation policy, and makes some recommendations for improving the strategy to foster a more resilient Nunavut.