July 23, 2018
2018 Integrating Climate Change Information into Watershed Planning Forum
The “Integrating Climate Information into Watershed Planning Forum” was hosted jointly by the OCC and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), on June 11, 2018. The Forum brought together approximately 80 experts, representing a broad range of perspectives, to discuss how climate change information can be better integrated into watershed planning. Participants discussed the current state of information, challenges and opportunities, and what evolving climate information and science mean for watershed planning practice.
Through a series of presentations, a plenary discussion, and multiple interactive brainstorming sessions, several key points emerged including the need to: have a clear definition of roles and responsibilities of different governing authorities including CAs and all three levels of government; and find ways to address the mismatches between available data and data needs, as well as data uncertainties. There was consensus among participants that developing and applying a risk-based decision-making framework, adopting bottom-up assessment approaches, and developing justifiable and transparent methodologies can be helpful to address these challenges. Participants also highlighted the importance of effectively communicating the costs and benefits of climate change action at the Council level and across departments.
Based on feedback from participants, the Forum was very useful in terms of the presentation topics and depth of discussions. There is an appetite among participants to have access to more practical case studies and lessons learned, and hear more from the Province in terms of how climate change information can be integrated into watershed planning. As information continues to evolve, it may be worthwhile to reconvene stakeholders to continue the discussion and share updates or new case studies on how practitioners have been integrating climate data or implementing risk-based approaches across their watersheds.
Click here to read a high-level summary report of the Forum and here for access to the presentation slides.