Also available in: Français (French)

Coming Soon: Agents of Change Project

Mobilizing community residents towards net zero and climate resilience goals is a crucial element of any municipal climate action planning process.  Yet, that level of outreach and engagement is often lacking.  That’s why ICLEI Canada is launching the Agents of Change project in January 2022, to help build volunteer engagement programming in municipalities across Canada.  We’re sharing this information with you now so you can anticipate the Call for Applications that will be launched in early January.

Information sessions will be held on January 19 at 1pm Eastern in English and January 20 at 1pm in French.  Register here!

A Few Facts About the Project

This project will help municipalities engage residents in their local climate action planning progress by:

  • Designing municipally-supported volunteer engagement programs
  • Identifying collaborators and stakeholders in within their communities
  • Recruiting and supporting volunteers
  • Developing and delivering training programs for volunteers
  • Providing $15,000 each to 10 municipalities to support the hard costs of program set-up

What Can You Expect?

  • The Call for Applications will be issued on January 11, 2022. Submissions will be due on February 25, 2022.
  • A brochure will be shared with all the project details including the collaborators, duration, benefits of participation, municipal commitments, and application requirements.
  • A thorough set of Frequently Asked Questions will be issued.
  • Two virtual information sessions in late January and early February will be held to help address any questions you may have. One of these sessions will be held in French.

If your municipality is ready to engage your residents in local climate action through a municipally-supported volunteer engagement program, we encourage you to stay tuned to the ICLEI Canada Newsletter for more information.

This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada.

COP26 – In Brief

The eyes of the world were on Glasgow, United Kingdom for two weeks in early November as they hosted the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.  Headlines abounded.  To make sense of it all and consider the implications for local governments, we recommended some light reading:

Partners for Climate Protection’s 4-Part Article Series
ICLEI’s CityTalk Blog article on COP26 Outcomes

climate equity partnership opportunity

National partnership, co-led by ICLEI Canada, seeking five Canadian municipalities interested in piloting innovative program designed to enable more equitable climate action through deeply-rooted systems change.

The Context

The world is changing at an accelerating rate and the complexity of the challenges municipalities face is dramatically increasing. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, has demonstrated that while higher levels of government play a critical role in disaster response and resource mobilization, municipalities bear the brunt of the challenges. Globally, the pandemic forced local governments to adapt on the spot, create solutions to complex emergencies, coordinate with multiple levels of government, and forge new and deeper relationships with stakeholders. This experience has heightened some emerging and critical realizations about managing for complexity: (1) conventional municipal governance systems (management structures, budgeting, policies, practices, etc.) are increasingly insufficient for the growing complexity of the challenges emerging; (2) the unintended consequences resulting from this inadequacy disproportionately affect already marginalized communities; and (3) there is a need to move from responding with incremental and shorter-term solutions toward transformative change.

The Opportunity

Led by VERiS at Wilfrid Laurier University in partnership with ICLEI Canada, the Toward Equity & Accessibility in Municipal Climate Action project is focused on enabling municipalities to overcome systemic barriers that limit the equitability and accessibility of climate action. It is recognized that issues of inequity and accessibility cannot be resolved inside of a climate action planning and implementation process alone; nor can a complex, systemic issue like climate change be effectively addressed within a planning process that occurs on the periphery, separate of core strategy and performance management.

Leveraging a rich pool of expertise, resources, and funding, a motivated peer group of municipalities will participate in an organizational development program designed to enable senior leadership teams to transform strategic management practices. By supporting the adoption and operationalization of systemic management methods and tools, the program helps municipalities become more adaptive, efficient, equitable, and resilient.  This pilot program will test a highly collaborative, hands-on approach that supports learning experientially and developing both new leadership and organization capabilities.  The project is being led by a strong, international collective of academics, municipal actors, equity-seeking groups, and innovators preparing to apply for a five-year, ~$2.5 million grant from the Social Sciences and Research Council (SSHRC) in February, 2022. 

You can click here to learn more about this opportunity, including timelines, the potential benefits and expectations of participating municipalities.  In case you are interested in this opportunity or have questions please contact veris@wlu.ca

WELCOME TO CITIES WITH NATURE

Now, more than ever, there is a need to unite and embrace nature, reconnect communities with nature, become CitiesWithNature!

Become part of this unique initiative that recognizes and enhances the value of nature in and around cities across the world.  It provides a shared platform for cities and their partners to engage and connect, working with shared commitment towards a more sustainable urban world.  Let’s help show the world how Canadian municipalities value nature.  Join now!

The City of Gatineau releases its Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Report

The Risks and Vulnerability Assessment Report, published by the City of Gatineau, was created by ICLEI Canada and Ouranos, as part of the adaptation component of the municipality’s Climate Plan, which also includes a GHG mitigation component.

Several workshops held with municipal departments in 2019 allowed to assess the severity of the consequences of 28 future climate hazards (or group of hazards) and their probability of occurrence by 2050. This exercise subsequently led to the development of impact statements. These served as a foundation for the discussions the City has had on risks and vulnerabilities.

The main adaptation issues covered by the report are landslides, wildfires, exposure of heritage neighbourhoods, along with the vulnerability of the water treatment plant to flooding and the need for water infrastructure to be adapted to new precipitation patterns.

The Climate Plan will be adopted by the City Council by the end of 2021. For more information, contact Anne-Marie Legault, Quebec Office Manager, at anne-marie.legault@iclei.org. 

Advancing Adaptation:

Climate Change Resilience Training for Ontario Municipalities

We are currently well into the throes of the project with each community participating in group trainings and workshops, while at the same time applying those new skills locally with key partners and collaborators. For example, one cohort is currently in the process of preparing for a local climate vulnerability assessment while another is identifying specific adaptation actions and solutions that will be integrated into a local climate adaptation plan. No matter what stage of the adaptation process the communities are working through, we are already seeing the benefits of working in cohorts in terms of ideas exchange, overcoming obstacles, and also having a group of shoulders to lean on!

At the same time, we are very excited to be presenting a suite of new and existing resources. These resources are being highlighted together to act as a kit of essential information for local governments embarking on adaptation work. They include:

  • Engaging Meaningfully: Leveraging Community Engagement to Advance Implementation, Guides municipalities through the process of engaging with multiple institutions and stakeholders to identify and capitalize on outside resources to better leverage implementation efforts. Launching December 14, 2021.
  • Getting Started: Exploring Entry Points into Adaptation, will provide guidance on integrating climate change adaptation into municipal decision-making and the various entry points where this can be done (e.g., asset management, public health, land use planning, etc.). The document aims to present municipalities with tools to effectively embark on climate adaptation work in a way that suits the needs and demands of their unique community, available resources, and existing programs and initiatives. Launching January 2022.
  • Talking it Through: A Guide for Local Government Staff on Climate Adaptation Created on behalf of the Municipal Climate Service Collaborative, Talking it Through assists local government staff in facilitating conversations with senior decision makers and elected officials about the implications of climate change in their local contexts.  

Resources will be available at www.icleicanada.org

The projects mentioned above are made possible with financial support from the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) alongside from Environment and Climate Change Canada through the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes.

Manitoba Climate Resiliency Training

ICLEI Canada is pleased to announce that courses are now available through the Manitoba Climate Resilience Training (MCRT) Project.

The MCRT Project is part of the Building Regional Adaptation Capacity and Expertise (BRACE) initiative of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The Project aims to build the capacity and expertise of professionals (including engineers & planners), the business community in Northern Manitoba, and Indigenous organizations and communities to address the risks associated with climate change.

As part of this project ICLEI Canada along with the project sectors have created a suite of 18 training courses that enhance climate knowledge and help integrate climate risk and opportunities into decision-making and planning within Northern Business, Indigenous, Planning, and Infrastructure sectors in Manitoba.

On January 18th, ICLEI Canada will be presenting ‘Communicating Climate Change’, a workshop-style course on HOW to talk ABOUT climate change.

We invite you to click here and explore the courses being offered through the MCRT Project and register for courses that interest you.

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Also available in: Français (French)

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