IT’S TIME TO
7 Steps to Assess Climate Change
Vulnerability in Your Community
Letter from the Minister
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The Government of
Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes the seriousness of this challenge and is
taking action to lower emissions and help communities prepare for the impacts.
Many communities across the province have already been affected by changing
temperatures and precipitation patterns. The workbook, 7 Steps to Assess Climate
Change Vulnerability in Your Community, has been designed to help community
leaders take action today and be better prepared for the future.
The workbook, designed in collaboration with Memorial University, Municipalities
Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Professional Municipal Administrators, will
assist communities in anticipating and preparing for weather hazards. While every
community faces a unique set of challenges, the workbook is set-up to allow
community leaders to focus on the specific issues affecting their community. While
climate change is a global problem, adapting to climate change is best addressed
at the local level. This workbook will help communities incorporate climate change
considerations into their planning, development and decision making processes.
7 Steps to Assess Climate Change Impacts in Your Community has been developed
through the Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions Association, part of the Regional
Adaptation Collaborative program supported by Natural Resources Canada. The
workbook is part of a larger suite of projects in the Atlantic Provinces. Additional
information on climate change adaptation is available in the Resource Guide at the
back of the workbook and through the website www.atlanticadaptation.ca.
TOM HEDDERSON, MHA
Letter from Glenn Davis
Communities in the Atlantic Provinces have a unique relationship with the weather,
the land, and the sea. Most of our communities have been built along the coast and
on rivers, where they benefit from access to the sea but are also at risk to erosion,
storm surges and hurricanes. As the climate continues to change we must work
together to keep our communities safe and resilient to extreme weather. That work
can be accomplished more effectively through sharing knowledge, experiences
and best practices.
7 Steps to Assess Climate Change Vulnerability in Your Community is a workbook that
was designed to help community leaders start the process of determining where
their communities are vulnerable and what steps they might take to be prepared. At
the back of the workbook there are case studies from across the Atlantic provinces,
highlighting some of the challenges that communities face and also some options
for how to adapt to those challenges.
In Partnership with Natural Resources Canada, the Atlantic Climate Adaptation
Solutions Association has helped to coordinate a series of projects in the Atlantic
Provinces that have been designed to advance our understanding of how climate
change will affect our communities. You can access this workbook 7 Steps to Assess
Climate Change Vulnerability in Your Community, along with reports and guides from
many other projects, on our website atlanticadaptation.ca.
Council of Atlantic Premiers
Eastern Canadian Premiers Secretariat
With kind permission from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), this guide has been adapted from the NOAA Coastal Services Centre’s
Community Vulnerability Assessment Tool which is available at www.csc.noaa.gov/
Funding for this project has been provided by Natural Resources Canada and
the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Environment
The workbook has been developed by Memorial University of Newfoundland,
Department of Geography (Dr. Kelly Vodden and Dr. Norm Catto, Melanie Irvine,
Kathleen Parewick and Nicole Renaud and with Kristina Turner, Sarah Chan, Gail
Collins and Janelle Skeard) in partnership with: Government of Newfoundland and
Labrador, Department of Environment and Conservation (Kimberly Bittermann and
Tammy Keats); Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (Robert Keenan and
Churence Rogers); and Professional Municipal Administrators (Derrick Bragg and
Edited and compiled by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador,
Department of Environment and Conservation (Kimberly Bittermann, Courtney
Blundon, Nicole Rowsell and John Drover).
Special thanks to Memorial University of Newfoundland, Department of Geography
(Dr. Trevor Bell, Dr. Joel Finnis and Dr. Johanna Wolf) Government of Newfoundland
and Labrador, Department of Environment and Conservation - Water Resources
Management Division, Department of Natural Resources – Geological Survey
Division (Dr. Martin Batterson), Forest Engineering and Industry Services Division (Eric
Earle and Dan Lavigne), the communities of Corner Brook, Ferryland, Fortune, Indian
Bay, Irishtown-Summerside and Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove, and our Atlantic
Partners from New Brunswick (Robert Hughes and Sabine Dietz), Nova Scotia (Will
Green and Danny Walmsley) and Prince Edward Island (Erin Taylor and Don Jardine).
Comments provided by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Rural
Secretariat, Department of Municipal Affairs and the Atlantic Planners Institute are
also gratefully acknowledged.