, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 825-837
Date: 15 Mar 2012

Climate change adaptation planning in remote, resource-dependent communities: an Arctic example

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Abstract

This paper develops a methodology for climate change adaptation planning in remote, resource-dependent communities. The methods are structured using a vulnerability framework, and community members, local stakeholders and researchers are engaged in an iterative planning process to identify, describe, prioritize and pilot adaptation actions. The methods include: (1) analysis of secondary sources of information, (2) community collaboration and partnership building, (3) adaptation planning workshops, (4) adaptation plan development, (5) key informant and community review and (6) pilot adaptation actions. Vulnerability to climate change is assessed in the context of other non-climatic factors—social, political, economic and environmental, already being experienced in communities and which influence how climate change is experienced and responded to. Key exposure-sensitivities and related adaptation options are identified in five sectors of a community: business and economy, culture and learning, health and well-being, subsistence harvesting, and transportation and infrastructure. This organization allows for focused discussions and the involvement of relevant stakeholders and experts from each sector. The methodology is applied in Paulatuk, an Inuit community located in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR), Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada, and key findings are highlighted. The methods developed have important lessons for adaptation planning in remote, resource-dependent communities generally and contributes to a small but growing scholarship on methodology in the human dimensions of climate change.