How Demographic Change and Migration Influence Community-Level Adaptation to Climate Change: Examples from Rural Eastern Ontario and Nunavut, Canada

  • Robert McLeman
  • James Ford


Vulnerability and the capacity to adapt to climatic variability and change are shaped by dynamic interactions between social, economic, cultural, political and institutional processes operating at a variety of scales. Demographic processes and trends are also closely linked to adaptive capacity, as both an influence on vulnerability and as an outcome of adaptation. This chapter outlines the linkages between climate, vulnerability, adaptation and demographic processes, with particular attention to how these play out at the community level. Using case studies from communities in rural eastern Ontario and Nunavut, Canada, this chapter illustrates how various demographic trends affect local level adaptive capacity. Residents of these communities are already engaged in adaptation to changing climatic conditions, but are experiencing very different trends in fertility and migration. Understanding the connections between demographic processes and adaptation facilitates greater understanding of climate change vulnerability more generally, and provides important considerations for policies and programs targeted at building adaptive communities.


Adaptation  Climate change  Climate migration  Demographic change  Vulnerability  


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geography and Environmental StudiesWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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