Disaster Management and Climate Change Adaptation in the Canadian North

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: social sciences, climate change, adaptation planning, emergency response

Principal Investigator: Morgan, Christine A (1)
Licence Number: 14260
Organization: Gartner Lee Limited
Licenced Year(s): 2007
Issued: Oct 16, 2007
Project Team: Ed Norrena (Project Director, Gartner Lee Limited), Dr. John Stone (Climate Change Advisor, Gartner Lee Limited), Michael Salib (Risk and Emergency Management, The Zeta Group), Dr. Eric Shipley (Disaster Management, The Zeta Group), Fred Weihs (Northern Economic Development, The Consilium Group), Chris Grosset (Socioeconomic and Environmental Issues Specialist, Aarluk Consulting)

Objective(s): The purpose of this study is to investigate how might climate change-related risks be better integrated into disaster management (prevention, preparedness, response, recovery) legislation, agreements, policies and planning, especially in relation to risk management of built infrastructure in the Canadian North.

Project Description: The purpose of this study is to investigate how might climate change-related risks be better integrated into disaster management (prevention, preparedness, response, recovery) legislation, agreements, policies and planning, especially in relation to risk management of built infrastructure in the Canadian North.

The Project Team will conduct regional/local stakeholder engagement sessions in three communities, one in each of the territories (Yukon, NWT, Nunavut) across the North. At these two-day sessions, they will use a direct dialogue process with people knowledgeable about infrastructure and services in the locale under examination to extract the key information and estimates necessary to assess the role of each candidate infrastructure in the provision or support of critical services.
The people involved in this process will be selected because they are expert and knowledgeable in their own areas of operation, even if they have little or no knowledge of the concept of critical infrastructure. The working session with this group will start with an introduction, background, rationale and explanation of their role in the session that usually is expressed through lots of questions and answers. Extracting the required information and estimates results when representatives of the various services in the community/locale are gathered together for face-to-face dialogue that facilitates and enables discussion regarding the infrastructure in the community and the importance of the services that it provides.

The information being sought is of a somewhat technical/mechanical nature, but is necessary as it will lead to an understanding about which infrastructure is critical to the health and well-being of the residents in each of these communities and those of neighboring areas.
A small group of individuals knowledgeable about the provision of public utilities and other services in the community will be asked to take part in a group session that will consist largely of questions and answers and associated discussion. The people the researchers will be interested in speaking with will be, primarily, government officials that have knowledge and experience in the following areas: public works - roads, sewers, water, etc.; medical services - hospitals, clinics, others as appropriate; first responders - fire, police, ambulance,
etc.; social services - welfare, aged, disabled; communications - telephone, broadcast, internet; government operations - including military, coastguard, RCMP; finance; banking sector; manufacturing - mining, others as appropriate; energy and utilities - including pipelines; and transportation - all modes, including pipelines other than energy.
Each session will be led by professionals experienced in carrying out this kind of work, and the questions are straightforward and will deal with the provision of information regarding utilities such as water, electricity, sewage disposal, as well as other services in areas such as medical, social, fire protection and policing. All the questions are more or less technical in nature with the purpose being to identify which infrastructure is critical because it supports the provision of critical services, and to categorize that infrastructure by its degree of criticality.
Identification of critical infrastructure and its degree of criticality will be determined by a proprietary technique developed by The Zeta Group called CritiCalc.
The participants in the exercise do not need to have any special knowledge of the critical infrastructure or how to categorize it. Rather, their input is limited to factual information and some estimates that only they are in a position to provide as individuals responsible for the provision of critical services to the community in question. After the results have been tabulated, participants are asked to review them to ensure that they are "grounded" and reflect the group discussion. Information obtained by this exercise can be useful to the community in its disaster management planning as well, as being vital to this study.

A summary of the research will be provided to the Aurora Research Institute. A copy of the final project report would require approval by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy for release.

Fieldwork will be conducted from October 16 to December 31, 2007 in Inuvik.