Ecology Action Centre

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Climate Change Adaption in Cheticamp

Climate change adaptation in Cheticamp (2011-2013)

Climate change will bring significant changes to the key economic sectors that sustain rural coastal communities. In Nova Scotia, fisheries and tourism are significant industries that will be directly impacted by climate change, as their viability depends greatly on factors such as weather, gas prices, infrastructure, and abundance and condition of natural resources. Cheticamp Village
The Ecology Action Centre is working with community and provincial partners on a climate change adaptation project in Cheticamp, Western Cape Breton.  The project focuses on helping the tourism and fisheries sectors in Cheticamp understand climate change risks and opportunities specific to their sector.  This project is funded by Canada’s Rural Secretariat under the Knowledge Development Partnership.
Climate change adaptation is about building the capacity, knowledge and innovation to be able to thrive in the face of new climate realities. The Cheticamp climate change adaptation project is working with the community to develop tools and approaches to reduce vulnerability and increase adaptive capacity.    
Project objectives:
  • To build knowledge about barriers, issues, and knowledge gaps associated with climate change with tourism and fisheries sectors in a coastal Acadian community;
  • To develop toolkits to help the fisheries and tourism sectors develop the capacity to remain competitive in the face of climate change; and
  • To transfer knowledge, tools and methodologies generated from this project to coastal, rural communities in the region, especially French speaking communities.
Project Approach
The project has high levels of community partnership ranging from the economic development association to the local school in Cheticamp.The project tries to bring together local and outside sources of knowledge, experience, and information to identify and answer local research questions related to fisheries, tourism and climate change. We use local focus groups, workshops, community learning events, and informal interviews to identify local issues and priorities.   The project relies on a network of project partners in the community and throughout the region to help the community generate answers and options about climate change adaptation, often through student projects. The project team also provides for local schools to learn about the work and become involved in the research.
Project Team
The local researcher (Glen Bourgeois) is responsible for community engagement, building and maintening local partnerships, and working with students and researchers when they are in the community.   He also ensures the information generated throughout the project is relayed to the local community through community radio, social media, presentations and other forums. Veronika Brzeski is the Research Coordinator. Her role is to direct the research on climate change and fisheries and tourism, and coordinate all the partners efforts to address local issues and generate new knowledge about how the fisheries and tourism sectors can respond to climate change.   Jennifer Graham is the Ecology Action Centre’s coastal coordinator. She helps integrate the Cheticamp project into provincial and regional adaptation projects and guides the development of toolkits.
Project Partners
Conseil Économic de Chéticamp/ Chéticamp economic council
Breton Highlands National Park
Coopérative Radio-Chéticamp (CKJM)
Harbour Authority of Chéticamp
Conseil de développement économique de Nouvelle-Écosse (CDENE)
Gulf Aquarium and Marine Station Cooperative Ltd. (GAMS)
Eastern District Planning Commission
Strait Highlands Regional Development Agency
Strait Highlands Regional Development Agency
Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus
Municipality of the County of Inverness
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Gulf Region
St. Francis Xavier University
NS Dept. Natural Resources
Climate Change Directorate, NS. Dept Environment
Cameron Consulting
School of Planning, Dalhousie University
Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS)
Department of Business & Tourism, Mount Saint Vincent University
In_CoaST Research Unit, Dept. of Geography, St. Mary’s University
Tourism Division, Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development and Tourism
Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Coalition on Sustainability, University of Moncton

Canada WordmarkThis project is funded in part by Canada’s Rural Partnership, an initiative of the Government of Canada.

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