Climate change is having an unprecedented impact on social and biological systems and presents a significant threat to sustainable development globally. BC is already experiencing the impacts of climate change and will need to adapt to the unavoidable impacts while simultaneously working to reduce emissions.
How we address societal issues that result from effects of climate change will define 21st century public strategies and actions. The Inspiring Climate Action: BC Professionals Adaptation Network is an example of public strategies and actions – a 3-year initiative led by Royal Roads University and focused on increasing capacity of working professionals in BC to advise and make informed decisions on infrastructure, natural resources, food security, and cultural resources issues which are being affected by climate change.
The Inspiring Climate Action project includes 7 BC post-secondary institutions who are collaborating in the design and development of high-quality, continuing professional development courses with topics focused on climate change adaptation. The courses will be delivered through a variety of channels by the continuing professional development (CPD) units of these universities. All resources developed will be open access, using Creative Commons licenses so even if people don’t take a course, they can still access resources (e.g. tools, frameworks, open access papers, etc.) to help in addressing the urgent issues of climate change.
The project will also implement a learning community (BC Professionals Adaptation Network) to share and leverage the expertise and motivations of professionals and other stakeholders, engaging participants in knowledge exchange and personal and professional connections through a website, social media, and community events
The Inspiring Climate Action project team is led by Dr. Robin Cox of Royal Roads University. The project is funded by Natural Resources Canada BRACE and the BC Climate Action Secretariat with contributions from BC universities, professional associations, and organizations with supporting expertise for this project.
Participating BC universities include UBC, SFU, University of Northern BC, University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University, Capilano University, and Royal Roads University. Participating professional associations currently include the BC Institute of Agrologists, Engineers and Geoscientists BC, the College of Applied Biology, the Planning Institute of BC, the BC Society of Landscape Architects, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC. Other contributing partners include Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, Stockholm Environmental Institute, StudentEnergy and other experts.
The Inspiring Climate Action: BC Professionals Adaptation Network will make a significant contribution to the mobilization of climate change adaptation capacity in BC by increasing the number of professionals who have the necessary knowledge, training, and access to resources to integrate climate change considerations into their practice. Building a learning community based on climate change adaptation will also make this province’s approach to climate change more effective by building bridges between multiple and diverse stakeholders thus encouraging a shared and consistent response. In addition, resources and tools generated through the project will be available for sharing, repurposing, and remixing in this province and other jurisdictions throughout Canada and the world.