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SCARP 2012 Final Project Shah

SCARP 2012 Final Project Shah

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Published by Tim Shah

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Published by: Tim Shah on Sep 07, 2012
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AN EVALUATION OF CLIMATE ADAPTATION PLANNING IN PRACTICE:A CASE STUDY OF THE DISTRICT OF ELKFORD, BRITISH COLUMBIAbyTimothy M. ShahB.A. (Hons), Trent University, 2010A PROJECT SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTS (PLANNING)inTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESSchool of Community and Regional PlanningWe accept this project as conformingto the required standard................................................................................................................................................................THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAAugust 2012© Timothy Shah, 2012
 
 
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Executive Summary
The planning profession has an indispensable role to play in helping communities adapt to climatechange. This report describes how various professionals have recognized the salience of climatechange adaptation and have prepared guidelines, suggestions, and best practices on how a jurisdictionshould go about adapting to the desired condition. This study reviews the literature on climate changeadaptation and in particular, relevant guidelines that have been created to assist communities throughthese complex processes. The author synthesizes these guidelines into a set of common fundamentalobjectives that are used to analyze the District of Elkford, British Columbia, the case study of thisproject and the first community in the province to integrate climate adaptation into its officialcommunity plan (OCP).After reviewing publicly available documents on Elkford, and interviewing individuals involved inElkford's adaptation planning process, the author found the following results:
 
Communicating about the risks associated with climate change is of utmost importance whendoing adaptation planning with smaller communities.
 
Engaging a representative and diverse group of stakeholders can assist decision-making andoffer the public an avenue to voice their concerns.
 
There are many constraints in place to do climate adaptation planning and implementation of action items. This may include rigid and inflexible design standards and bylaws that preventa community from becoming more resilient. Reforming these standards to account foruncertainty could be a cost-effective strategy in light of a changing climate.
 
Evaluating the costs and benefits of adaptation options is a challenging proposition given thehigh uncertainties. However, simple financial analyses comparing adaptation alternatives canbe done, and could be presented to the public to boost capacity for action.The author includes a series of recommendations at the end of the report for consideration by theDistrict of Elkford and for BC Provincial Ministries. The conclusion summarizes some major lessonslearned, and highlights opportunities for further research on this topic.
 
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Table of Contents
Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................... iiAcknowledgements ............................................................................................................................... ivSection 1 | Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 11.1 | Study's Objective and Purpose ................................................................................................... 21.2 | Structure of Study ....................................................................................................................... 3Section 2 | Relevant Concepts ................................................................................................................ 32.1 | Climatic Uncertainty and non-stationarity ................................................................................. 42.2 | Adaptive Capacity ...................................................................................................................... 62.3 | Risk Perception and Communication ......................................................................................... 7Section 3 | Method ............................................................................................................................... 103.1 | Review of the Guidelines ......................................................................................................... 113.2 | Institutional led adaptation planning ........................................................................................ 113.3 | Individual or Autonomous led adaptation planning ................................................................. 213.4 | The need for good objectives in climate change adaptation planning ......................................... 243.4.1 | Objectives pertaining to climate change adaptation .......................................................... 253.4.2 | Objective 1: Foster social acceptability ............................................................................. 253.4.3 |Objective 2: Foster good governance ................................................................................. 273.4.4 | Objective 3: Minimize adverse impacts of climate change ............................................... 293.4.5 | Objective 4: Keeping costs low when adapting ................................................................. 303.4.6 | Objective 5: Promote and maximize potential for learning ............................................... 323.5 | The District of Elkford: A Case Study ......................................................................................... 34Section 4 | Results ................................................................................................................................ 384.1 | Fostering social acceptability .............................................................................................. 384.1.2 | Risk communication .......................................................................................................... 404.2 | Good governance .................................................................................................................. 424.2.1 | Community advisory committee ....................................................................................... 434.3 | Minimizing adverse impacts of climate change ................................................................... 434.4 | Keeping costs low when adapting ........................................................................................ 454.5 | Promote and maximize potential for learning ...................................................................... 46Section 5 | Discussion .......................................................................................................................... 475.1 | Why adapt to climate change? .............................................................................................. 48

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