Climate change is a serious global issue with the potential for catastrophic effects on infrastructure and human safety. Increased frequency of storm events, increased wave action, coastal erosion and more intense rainfall, as well as other changes, are predicted. With 90% of the population living near the coast, communities will be affected. Climate change will affect our lifestyles, our economies, our health and our social well-being.
It is a certainty that our climate is changing and that we have to take measures to protect community infrastructure, people and property. Each community will be affected differently depending on localized geographical conditions. Areas vulnerable to climate impacts, like flooding, are those areas at sea level or near a river. Vital connecting roads may be vulnerable to wash out during a heavy rainfall event or infrastructure may be built where coastal erosion occurs.
Integrating climate change into existing planning processes is an effective approach to adaptation. Rather than dealing with adaptation in isolation from other factors, integrate climate change adaptation into your planning and decision making processes. This approach can provide efficiencies in the use of both financial and human resources, where these resources are usually the most limiting.
Climate change "adaptation involves making adjustments in our decisions, activities, and thinking in response to observed or expected changes in climate, with the goal of moderating harm and taking advantage of new opportunities that may be presented by these changes". (Natural Resource Canada October 29, 2008)
ICLEI Adaptation Workshop
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