November 28, 2016

Meeting of the Minds: Mapping Climate Change Adaptation Practitioners in Ontario

Context: Through our combined experience in the field of climate change adaptation, the Clean Air Partnership (CAP) and the Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC) observed the need for a network analysis of organizations working on adaptation in Ontario. This need has been echoes by our stakeholders working in government, non-governmental organizations, and academia.

By conducting a network analysis, we sought to answer many questions relating to adaptation in Ontario. Who is involved? How do we collaborate? With whom do we collaborate? How can we work to advance our collective adaptation goals? What are the opportunities, overlaps, and gaps for adaptation in Ontario? And is there willingness for more formal collaboration around adaptation?

Goals of the Meeting: This meeting was called to present the results of a network mapping exercise undertaken to quantitatively assess the desired levels of collaboration in the field, which also allowed for preliminary discussions to take place about what a future collaborative model could look like. In addition to satisfying our own stakeholder needs, this work will inform strategic recommendations to Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) regarding the development of the 2017 climate change adaptation plan.

Outcomes: There are many partnerships and collaborations happening among organizations working on adaptation in Ontario. These are relatively informal, unless a specific project dynamic formalizes a temporary collaboration. As such, collaborative efforts have tended to be dynamic and reactive, cohered by trust and reciprocity, and reflective of the relative infancy of adaptation in Canada, where the field has grown quickly and is yet to be fully understood. Collaboration to date has been mostly based on insider network knowledge and personal relationships. We also found that while levels of collaboration developed over the past decade are impressive, more formal collaborative structures were desired by the vast majority of participants.