Climate Resilience for Local Communities

Climate Resilience for Local Communities

The Adapt-action Web Tool

The Issue / Idea

How do municipalities adapt to a changing climate? How can they become more climate resilient?

The Project

After extensive research to determine the best way to help municipalities, the Adapt-action tool was created – a web-based decision-support tool for municipalities seeking guidance in taking action regarding climate change adaptation.

Adapt-action guides you through the climate change issues of adapting to water scarcity and adapting to flooding. Each is outlined from the environmental changes you will see, to the implications for your community, through to the strategies you can employ to adapt and become more climate resilient.

As you navigate through each issue narrative, you will be able to view and collect information about: predicted climate change impacts and their effects; implications of these impacts on agriculture, health, recreation, infrastructure and biodiversity in your community; and what your municipality can do to prepare and adapt to these expected changes.

The research and tool development were undertaken as part of ABMI’s Biodiversity Management and Climate Change Adaptation project


Adapt-action Web Site

Adapt-action Overview

Research Reports – Year 1

Possible Tools for Local Adaptation
Proposed Action Plan Approach

Research Reports – Year 2

Review of Municipal Policies
Downscaling Climate Data
Communications Strategy
Action Plan Process Review
Environmental Changes and Implications

Research Reports – Year 3

Ecosystem-based Adaptation
Navigating with Narratives
Blueprint for Engagement
Groundwork: Assumptions and Bases


(Did we miss something important? Let us know!)

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Miistakis Institute

Status

This was a multi-pronged research project begun in 2012, culminating in the release of Adapt-action in

April 2014

Supporters

ABMI Biodiversity Management and Climate Change Adaptation Project

Climate Change Emissions and Management Corporation

Edmonton Community Foundation

Intact Insurance

Bear Hazard Assessments for Alberta Municipalities

Bear Hazard Assessments for Alberta Municipalities

A series of assessments to determine the sources of human-bear conflict in specific Alberta communities.

The Issue / Idea

Can municipalities better plan for reducing conflict with bears by assessing their attractants and hazards?

The Project

As the urban and rural footprint and associated human activity in Alberta continues to increase so does the potential for human-bear interactions and conflicts. Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (ASRD) has developed the Alberta Bear-Smart Program (ABSP) as a province-wide initiative with the goal of reducing human-bear conflicts. The potential benefits of a successfully implemented ABSP include increased human safety, reduced bear mortalities and relocations and enhanced habitat security for bears.

The Bear Smart Program is a community driven process that is usually initiated with the development of a bear hazard assessment for the region of concern. A bear hazard report identifies historical and existing locations and practices that have led to human bear conflicts. These report identify gaps in the existing knowledge base in relation to bear-human conflicts and provides recommendations for reducing existing and potential conflict in the region of interest.

Three separate Bear Hazard Assessments were completed: Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass (2006), Fort McMurray Urban Service Area (2008), and the Smoky Region of Alberta (2011).


Smoky Region

Fort McMurry

Crowsnest Pass

Organization

These assessments were undertaken by

The Miistakis Institute

Status

These assessments were conducted in

2006, 2008, and 2011

Supporters

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Fish and Wildlife Division

Municipalities and Brownfields

Municipalities and Brownfields

Part 4 of the Municipalities and Environmental Law Series

The Issue / Idea

Municipalities need to better understand what authority they have to regulate brownfields within their boundaries.

The Project

Brownfields are located throughout Alberta and can contaminate the environment, detract from the appeal of communities, and hinder economic and social development. Meanwhile, brownfield redevelopment can provide environmental, economic and social benefits for Albertans. The fourth and final publication in the Environmental Law Centre’s Municipalities and Environmental Law Series explores when and how municipalities can manage and regulate brownfields and their redevelopment.


Report: Municipalities and Brownfields

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Environmental Law Centre

Status

Development of this publication began with the Municipalities and Environmental Law information series in Fall of 2016, and was completed in

June 2018

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation

Municipal Management of Industrial Development

Municipal Management of Industrial Development

Part 4 of the Municipalities and Environmental Law Series

The Issue / Idea

Municipalities need to better understand what they have to regulate industrial development within their boundaries.

The Project

The interface of municipal planning and industrial development poses a challenge for municipalities. The third publication in the Environmental Law Centre’s Municipalities and Environmental Law Series explores the sources of, and challenges to, municipal authority to regulate industrial development within its boundaries.


Report: Municipal Management of Industrial Development

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Environmental Law Centre

Status

Development of this publication began with the Municipalities and Environmental Law information series in Fall of 2016, and was completed in

May 2018

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation

Municipal Management of Water Bodies

Municipal Management of Water Bodies

Part 2 of the Municipalities and Environmental Law Series

The Issue / Idea

Municipalities need to better understand what authority they have to regulate the water bodies within their boundaries.

The Project

Alberta’s water bodies are a precious resource, and their regulation and proper management is essential for, among other things, safe drinking water, healthy aquatic ecosystems, and watershed resiliency. This second publication in the Environmental Law Centre’s Municipalities and Environmental Law Series explores when and how municipalities can regulate the water bodies within their boundaries.


Report: Municipal Management of Water Bodies

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Environmental Law Centre

Status

Development of this publication began with the Municipalities and Environmental Law information series in Fall of 2016, and was completed in

April 2018

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation

The Scope of Municipal Powers and the Environment

 

The Scope of Municipal Powers and the Environment

Part 1 of the Municipalities and Environmental Law Series

The Issue / Idea

Municipalities may be unclear as to the role they can play in environmental management.

The Project

Municipal decision-making is increasingly vital to effective environmental management. Today’s municipalities play a central role in developing human settlements and green spaces, managing water bodies, and regulating the ways in which these are impacted. In order to do so, municipalities rely on a variety of legislation that empowers them to make decisions and take action in this regard. The following publication is intended to clarify the sources and the scope of municipal authority with respect to the environment.


Report: The Scope of Municipal Powers and the Environment

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Environmental Law Centre

Status

Development of this publication began with the Municipalities and Environmental Law information series in Fall of 2016, and was completed in

November 2017

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation

Municipalities and Environmental Assessment: Primer and Model Bylaw

Municipalities and Environmental Assessment: Primer and Model EA Bylaw

Alberta’s Municipalities and Environmental Assessment: A Primer and Model Bylaw for Alberta’s Municipalities

The Issue / Idea

Through regulation of private land uses and through local land use planning, municipalities play an essential role in the management and protection of Alberta’s environment. While Environmental assessment is a tool that enables better decision-making considering environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts of proposed land uses, municipalities may need support in developing supporting bylaws.

The Project

To enable municipalities to implement effective environmental assessment (EA) processes, the Environmental Law Centre developed a Model EA Bylaw. The Model EA Bylaw is accompanied by a primer which provides relevant background information.

The Model EA Bylaw provides a template for a municipal EA bylaw along with explanatory annotations. The template includes provisions addressing:

  1. objectives/purposes,
  2. application of the bylaw,
  3. process,
  4. prohibitions, and
  5. definitions.

The companion primer provides background information on:

  1. municipal authority over environmental matters,
  2. municipalities and EA, and
  3. the elements of a municipal EA bylaw.

Municipal Environmental Assessment: A Model Bylaw for Alberta’s Municipalities

Alberta’s Municipalities and Environmental Assessment: A Primer to the Model Bylaw

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Environmental Law Centre

Status

Development of the primer and model bylaw began in the Fall of 2016 and was completed in

January 2018

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation

How Municipalities Apply Environmental Reserve in Alberta

How Municipalities Apply Environmental Reserve in Alberta: A White Paper

A discussion paper to inform municipal planners on how environmental reserve is applied in Alberta and observations on the implications of the new Conservation Reserve tool to ER

The Issue / Idea

How has environmental reserve been interpreted and applied in Alberta? And, did this change with the new conservation reserve tool enabled under the Municipal Government Act?

The Project

To respond to the issue, the Miistakis Institute distributed a survey to understand the municipal application of environmental reserve. The survey was distributed through APPI, AUMA and AAMDC.

Using the outcomes of the survey as a starting point, a discussion paper was developed to provide context for environmental reserve, what the intent is in the MGA, and comments on how it is interpreted and used by municipalities. The paper concludes with a comparison of the previous MGA and the modernized MGA environmental reserve policies, and observations on how the new conservation reserve tool may affect environmental reserve application by municipalities.


Environmental Reserve in Alberta: Discussion Paper

Conservation Reserve Resources

Conservation Reserves Summary
CR Municipal Survey – Summary

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Miistakis Institute

Status

This research began in Fall 2016 and was completed in

October 2017

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation

Conservation Easement Guide for Municipalities

A Conservation Easement Guide for Municipalities

A practical how-to guide for municipalities considering holding conservation easements or establishing a conservation easement program

The Issue / Idea

Municipalities are eligible holders of conservation easements, but have very little information on how – and why – municipalities might go about using this tool.

The Project

To respond to the issue, the Miistakis Institute developed a ‘How To’ guide that informs municipalities about what conservation easements are, the municipal considerations for using this tool, details on what a conservation easement includes, and direction on how to create and administer a conservation easement program. The guide also comes with several Alberta-based resources and templates.

The sections of the guide are:

  • The Basics (What is a conservation easement?)
  • Conservation Easements and Municipalities (policy, planning, financial, and special considerations
  • Administration (preparing, creating, and stewarding a conservation easement and/or program)

Municipal Conservation Easement Guide

Municipal Conservation Easement Fact Sheets

Fact Sheet 1
10 Things Municipalities Should Know About CEs
Fact Sheet 2
Comparison of 3 Municipal Conservation Tools
Fact Sheet 3
Conservation Easement Sequence of Events
Fact Sheet 4
Overview of a Municipality’s Potential Costs Related to CEs


Municipal Conservation Easement Program Resources

(Click on any item to go to it!)

Conservation Easement Web Resources

Templates and Drafting Resources

Example Plans and Policies

Provincial Legislation

Support Organizations

(Did we miss something important? Let us know!)

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Miistakis Institute

Status

This guide was released in

October 2017

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation

ALSA Tools Webinars

ALSA’s Conservation Tools for Municipalities: A Webinar Series

Informational webinars on conservation easements, transferable development credits, conservation offsets, and conservation directives

The Issue / Idea

The Alberta Land Stewardship Act has conservation and stewardship tools that could be of use to municipalities, but it is unclear how they would work for municipalities.

The Project

To respond to the issue, the Miistakis Institute organized a series of webinars on the four conservation and stewardship tools that are included in the Alberta Land Stewardship Act. Experts in each of the topics were asked to present a one-hour webinar, with each followed by a moderated Q&A session.

The webinars presented were:

Conservation Easements: Tuesday January 24, 2017
Kim Good, Legacy Land Trust Society

Transfer of Development Credits: Tuesday January 31, 2017
Guy Greenaway, Miistakis Institute

Conservation Directives: Tuesday February 7, 2017
Jason Unger, Environmental Law Centre

Conservation Offsets: Tuesday February 14, 2017
Dave Poulton, Poulton Environmental Strategies Inc. & the Alberta Association for Conservation Offsets

The webinars were well-received, with approximately 50 people attending each one. The follow-up evaluations saw the content rated as Excellent (9.5%), Very Good (57%), or Good (33%), with none rating the content as Poor or Fair.

Webinar Files

Conservation Easements (slide deck, video, resource)

Transfer of Development Credits (slide deck, video, resource)

Conservation Directives (slide deck, video, resource)

Conservation Offsets (slide deck, video, resource)

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Miistakis Institute

Status

The webinars were presented in

January and February 2017

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation