About this report

The purpose of the project was to summarize the state of available scientific understanding of current climate change impacts, projected climate changes, and potential future climate change impacts for the Northern Shelf Bioregion (NSB), British Columbia (BC), to prepare the region for climate change risk assessments and adaptation planning.

Potential adaptation strategies and strategic next steps for adaptation were presented to inform future work plans within the region and/or to address the needs of coastal communities. The literature in the field of climate change impacts, risk and adaptation is wide ranging and growing rapidly, and much of the work is in progress and therefore not published or readily available. Thus, the research presented here is based on peer-reviewed literature and government agency reports (federal and provincial) and informed by the insights offered by key experts. 

A mixed-methods approach was applied to integrate scientific climate change impacts information with adaptation planning considerations to a northeast Pacific coastal region that is undergoing an integrative marine planning and plan implementation process. Marine planning through the Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP) started in 2011 in BC, Canada, and four sub-regional marine plans for the North Coast, the Central Coast, North Vancouver Island, and Haida Gwaii were completed in the spring of 2015 (www.mappocean.org). Together, these sub-regions make up the NSB. Through MaPP, provincial and Indigenous (First Nations, FN) governments in BC are working collaboratively towards sustainable development, improving economic opportunity, and supporting ecological integrity for the North Pacific Coast. 

This project was co-developed with MaPP through the MaPP Climate Change Sub-Committee (made up of provincial and FN technical representatives from all four sub-regions), coordinated by the Regional Projects Coordinator, to shape the objectives, framing, and end products. Progress was presented on a biweekly basis to the Sub-Committee co-chairs and Regional Projects Coordinator over a 9-month period, to elicit feedback and ensure that the end products were targeted to the needs of MaPP. These meetings between the researchers and MaPP helped to ground the project’s goals and focus the research on relevant topics to planning practitioners in the region. Interim work products and the draft and final reports were shared with the whole Climate Change Sub-Committee, for review, comment and approval. Lastly, a summary webinar was presented to an inclusive audience of marine planners and managers who work within the NSB to advance the goals of increasing communication and awareness of climate impacts.

Read the executive summary (PDF)

Read the report online