Climate Change Information Products for Agriculture, Municipalities and Indigenous Communities in Bruce, Grey and Huron Counties of Southern Ontario (2020-2022)
Over the course of the past two years, the Council of the Great Lakes Region, with funding from Bruce Power and technical expertise and modelling from the Climate Risk Institute, has engaged agricultural, municipal, and Indigenous communities in Grey, Bruce, and Huron counties to produce knowledge and information products that address opportunities and risks related to climate change and specific environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic values and activities of importance to the communities.
Over the course of our research work we assembled and reviewed literature on climate change vulnerabilities, risks and opportunities and developed risk scenarios to capture current and projected risks to different components of the agricultural sector. Consultations with stakeholders representing the local farming community, agricultural organizations, municipalities and conservation authorities helped obtain information about their experiences of past changes in relation to climate change impacts, risks and weather concerns. An online working session was held to review and present risk assessment findings and discuss options for priority climate risk and information products.
Through our research and engagement work, we have learned that information on climate risks needs to be supported with information on solutions. With that in mind, we have developed information products that raise awareness on key climate risks, support planning, design and implementation of adaptation solutions and recognize how agriculture can be an integral aspect of this work across the region.
An online webinar was hosted to present our main findings, explain key climate risks and demonstrate developed information products. The products include infographics, case studies of successful implementation of best management practices (BMPs) and Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS), and a web map displaying key climate hazard indicators, risk sensitivity factors and areas most likely to benefit from the adoption of BMPs. Please click on the links below to explore the products that were developed.
Infographics focused on the agricultural sector in Grey, Bruce and Huron counties summarize:
Providing solution-oriented information and demonstrating the importance of Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) is key to finding and implementing effective solutions to existing and future climate issues. The case studies series report showcases various BMPs and ALUS projects implemented across Grey, Bruce and Huron counties. Selected case studies range in scale, from regional-level to on-farm applications, highlighting the benefits and outcomes of each project.
The map shows historic and projected values for key climate variables and indicators for the region overlaid with sensitivity factors such as soil type, slope, crop type and more. Sensitivity to erosion, drought, flooding and frost are featured along with BMPs that could be most effective as solutions to existing and future issues. Baseline data on topography, hydrological features such as lakes and streams, as well as municipal boundaries and population centers are included. Please contact Anna Zaytseva for more information.
The project team has worked with Indigenous and Métis communities in Grey, Bruce and Huron Counties to produce knowledge and information products that address opportunities and risks related to climate change and specific environmental, cultural and socioeconomic values and activities of importance to the communities.
Consultations with partners from Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON), Historic Saugeen Métis (HSM) and Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) played a crucial role in the project and helped establish a common understanding of key needs and interests. Over the course of our research work we assembled and reviewed information on climate sensitivities of specific habitats and species of particular importance to the communities and prepared an overview of past and projected changes in climate conditions to which the identified habitats and species are particularly sensitive. The assembled information on climate-related sensitivities, and experienced and projected climate change impacts, was then used to establish a risk registry and assess the degree of risk as it relates to environmental consequences of climate impacts. Social, cultural, and economic consequences associated with each risk scenario were informed by conversations and consultations with communities’ members and assessed using a qualitative approach. These discussions also helped identify the types of risk information products that would be of greatest interest and use to the communities, such as ArcGIS-based story maps. Descriptions below provide brief overviews of the products that were developed and shared with community partners.
Summary Risk Register
Results from a detailed risk assessment process were summarized in a summary risk registry. The summary document provides context for the project and details of the work that was completed. It gives an overview of the risk assessment process, key habitats, habitat components, climate drivers and impacts, current and future risk scores and confidence levels.
Climate Risk Narratives Report
A risk narratives report was developed to provide more methodological and qualitative information about the assessment to complement the risk registry. For each critical habitat that was assessed the report outlines current and projected future climate trends, assessed hazards and indices, vulnerability considerations, environmental consequences and potential opportunities. Additionally, it provides details on community-specific social, cultural and economic impacts derived from multiple rounds of consultations and engagement.
ArcGIS-based Story Maps
Research and engagement work with SON, MNO, and HSM communities resulted in the development of three story maps that explore climate trends, impacts and opportunities for key terrestrial, aquatic and rare habitats on traditional Indigenous lands in Grey, Bruce and Huron counties. Each story map (e.g., the one developed for the Historic Saugeen Métis) features information on expected changes in climate, species and habitat vulnerability, environmental impacts, community consequences and potential opportunities that is supported by videos, photos and graphs as well as interactive elements such as web maps.
For more information, please contact Anna Zaytseva.