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Climate Change Adaptation

Climate change continues to bring challenges that municipalities need to face head-on and manage proactively. Ontario is experiencing warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, resulting in a variety of environmental, social and economic impacts.

Vision:  Barrie will adapt to changing Climate Change conditions and embrace new opportunities to remain a vibrant, healthy and sustainable waterfront community.

Mission:  The City of Barrie will demonstrate leadership by taking progressive and innovative steps to achieve the vision of the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.  We have a responsibility to anticipate and prepare for potential impacts of Climate Change on our community. The City is committed to taking action in the face of uncertainty.

Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

The City has developed a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to build community resilience to the risks inherent in Climate Change.  The development of the strategy was guided by ICLEI Canada's  Building Adaptation and Resilient Communities (BARC) program.  A five milestone adaptation planning framework for local governments.

The purpose of the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy is to mainstream adaptation actions into City operations and to reduce the risk Climate Change poses to Barrie’s physical, economic, social and ecological systems.

Goals

There are seven goals in the Strategy, which outline high level intentions the Barrie will strive towards:

  1. Maintain Public Health and Safety
  2. Minimize Risk to Buildings and Properties
  3. Strengthen Infrastructure Resilience
  4. Help Local Businesses and the Tourism Industry Adapt to Changing Conditions
  5. Protect Biodiversity and Enhance Ecosystem Functions
  6. Minimize Disruption to Community Services
  7. Build Community Resilience

Each goal outlines numerous actions for the City and community to undertake to build resiliency to anticipated impacts of Climate Change.

What’s Next?

The focus of 2017/2018 is to work towards Milestones Four- Implement and Five-Monitor and Review by developing an Implementation Plan, and beginning implementation of some 'quick win' actions. The Implementation Plan will outline the details of how the City is going to achieve the actions outlined in the Strategy, identify community partners, and determine how we will report back on the implementation of the Adaptation Plan.

Framework for a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

In May 2015, the City hosted a conference on climate change. This conference took participants through:

  • The Science of Climate Change
  • Best Practices from the City of Barrie and other Municipalities
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Emergency Management
  • Non-Governmental Organization’s Practices and Research
  • Leading-edge Case Studies
  • Adaptation Planning

The main take-home message from the event was that Climate Change is here, and collaborative action must be taken now in order to help our communities become more resilient to extreme weather events. Conference Summary Report

As a follow up to the conference, two half-day workshops were facilitated in November 2015 to engage key stakeholders from the City, and develop a framework for the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

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