The Risk Sciences International (RSI) in cooperation with the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources, now Climate Risk Institute (CRI), released a workshop presentation report titled, “Climate Change Adaptation for Infrastructure and Planning: Case Studies.”
The report provides practical guidance on how local governments and communities can design and implement their climate adaptation strategies. It explains how projections from climate models vary and laden with uncertainties as to the timing, impacts, and intensity of extreme weathers making its usefulness and application challenging to any local area.
However, using the risk-based approach in decision-making and planning, it can guide local governments and communities in their climate adaptation plans and use of engineering designs to adapt infrastructure to climate change. Robust data-gathering and monitoring of extreme climate events, while carefully observing emerging trends, will come with this approach.
Some of the highlights of the report include:
- Importance of infrastructure resilience and the pathways towards it which includes legal responsibilities of local governments to protect and safeguard communities against disasters and severe weather events through infrastructures, use of warning systems, and application of soft (ecosystem-based) and hard engineering designs;
- Incorporating future climate change into asset management;
- Use of municipal and land-use planning to reduce risk from climate change and realize opportunities from climate change;
- Potential impacts of the changing climate to assets in a community, and identifying structures (electric, water, roads & bridges, buildings) that are at most risk to various extreme climate events;
- Importance of forensic climate-engineering to understand infrastructure failures from climate/weather events and to help identify infrastructure failure thresholds and the breaking point climate threshold of structures and assets to help adapt to climate change and build resilience;
Lastly, the report says that science is continuously changing, and it is vital to keep updated. Climate change projections should also be put in context with historical climate.
Communication and interpretation of science are essential especially to decision-makers, and for them to be able to use it to formulate realistic adaptation actions and policies.
Brief information about the two organizations, RSI and CRI:
The RSI helps organizations both public and private from various sectors understand and manage risk and offers support in risk-based decision making (RSI, 2020). CSI, on the other hand, is a non-profit and academic-based entity that provides climate change impacts and adaptation support based on science and local evidence to improve preparedness and resilience. Their projects include delivering climate change impacts and adaptation training to professional planners in Ontario and providing vulnerability assessments in a Northwestern Ontario forest among many others (Climate Risk Institute, 2019).
To read the entire report, click on the link below:
Climate Change Adaptation for Infrastructure and Planning: Case Studies (2015). Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources.pdf. Retrieved from http://www.climateontario.ca/doc/workshop/AICCID/CaseStudyPresentation.pdf
About RSI (2020). Risk Sciences International, Inc. Retrieved from https://www.risksciences.com/about-rsi/