23 Mar, 2021
Your Questions Answered about ClimateWest
Since launching 3 months ago, we’ve received some great questions about ClimateWest. We wanted to take a moment share responses for everyone. We always welcome curiosity and the change to get to know others interested in climate adaptation in the Prairies. Don’t hesitate to reach out: email@example.com.
QUESTIONS ABOUT DATA
Q: What kind of info/data will be made available? Past climate data? Future projections under different scenarios (i.e. high vs low emissions)? Temp, precipitation, etc.
A: A huge amount of climate data and information already is available if you know where to look. A key part of ClimateWest’s function is to curate and connect to existing information. One of our founding partners, the Prairie Climate Centre, created and maintains the Climate Atlas of Canada. As a regional hub with the Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS), we also have a role in advancing Climatedata.ca, home to Canadian data from an array of models, emission scenarios and variables. Finally, an additional founding partners, PARC, provides access to Prairie-focused applications of regional climate models and paleo-climate data (climate of the past +1000 years) .
If you aren’t sure where to look or are struggling to find the data you need, do reach out to our Help Desk as we may be able to assist (and it helps us to know what gaps out there!).
Q: Are people going to be able to contribute data, information, knowledge, stories, to ClimateWest?
A: We welcome relevant data, information and your suggestions for relevant case studies or stories. As a hub, we want to be a place where others turn to. However, we’re not aiming to be an exhaustive resource; our value comes in curating information and resources with a Prairie lens.
Q: How supportive are the government partners in providing/accessing their data/information related to adaptation to this portal?
A: Governments currently provide public access to a considerable amount of data and information related to climate change and adaptation. We have not yet had a discussion with them about access to data and information that currently is not publically available. If there is demand for not-yet-available climate data, we’d be keen to hear about it! Drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
QUESTIONS ABOUT TOOLS & SECTORS
Q: What are the sectors ClimateWest anticipates working with and what tools and approaches will you be using to work them?
A: Most “sectors” are touched by climate change and should consider their climate risk and opportunity. With ClimateWest’s broad mandate, we hope to have a role in supporting a very wide array of sectors. Kicking off, we have focusing more attention on agriculture, water, Indigenous communities and municipalities—areas which our founding partners have experience and where vulnerability remains significant. We remain open to hearing more about the needs in other sectors, and potential collaborations to drive climate adaptation.
The tools and approaches depend on the sector. However, ClimateWest’s founding partners have considerable experience with climate change vulnerability and risk assessment, and with supporting evidence-based adaptation planning.
Q: Do you know what types of tools and information services you might be supplying or developing through Climate West? And will there be opportunities for collaboration on projects with industry groups, NGOs and private sector?
A; ClimateWest offers various climate services in support of science-based adaptation planning and climate change risk assessment. The ClimateWest website provide links to tools (such as guides, frameworks, check lists) and data including several developed by our founding partners and by the Canadian Center of Climate Services. We will further develop tools, data and information, such as communication products and training opportunities.
ClimateWest certainly welcomes collaboration on projects with industry groups, NGOs and the private sector. Adaptation to climate change can be achieved only with a collaborative effort involving various stakeholders, types of knowledge and research disciplines. The mission of ClimateWest is to provide the data, information and knowledge required for adaptation to a changing climate; government, communities and industry are responsible for the adoption of policy, practices and frameworks, and thus we work closely with them.
QUESTIONS ABOUT COLLABORATION
Q: How can national partners or existing national adaptation platforms support your work?
A: National partners and adaptation platforms already support the work of ClimateWest. We are the Prairies hub in the Canadian Centre for Climate Service (CCCS) and ClimateWest is involved in the various CCCS activities and committees, working with the climate service providers in other regions of Canada. Our founding partners also are engaged with Natural Resources Canada adaptation programming such as BRACE and the national assessment of climate change. We anticipate further interaction with national partners and adaption platforms.
Q: How will ClimateWest work with other actors in this space such as environmental NGOs and other post-secondary institutions in the prairies
A: The founding partners of ClimateWest have a history of working with environmental NGOs and other post-secondary institutions in the Prairies. With the additional capacity provided by ClimateWest, we will expand and enhance these types of collaborations.
Q: How is Climate West different than the Prairie Regional Adaptation Collaborative (PRAC)?
A: Where PRAC’s primary focus is to share knowledge and information among practitioners, ClimateWest will offer a spectrum of climate services including data, impact and risk assessment support, training and knowledge exchange. That said, ClimateWest will work closely with the PRAC in the year ahead, and build on its body of work over the last 10+ years. All three provincial governments support both initiatives, and thus there’s lots of potential for synergy.
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