Building a Climate-Resilient Future with Northern Standards
Canada’s North is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Northern communities and infrastructure are being impacted by changing temperatures and precipitation patterns, permafrost degradation, and coastal erosion.
In the Northwest Territories alone, evaluations of the potential loss suggest $1.3-billion in infrastructure is at risk across 33 communities. On an annual basis, this means that the economic losses are likely in the order of $51 million.
The urgency is clear. The North needs mechanisms to help adapt and reduce the vulnerability of its infrastructure to the impacts of climate change.
Since 2011, SCC has been working with communities, standards development organizations, and experts from across northern Canada to support the development of standards that consider climate change impacts in northern infrastructure design, planning and management. These standards - developed under the Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative (NISI) - help building owners and operators, as well as those responsible for public and community infrastructure, build and maintain infrastructure in a changing climate.
The establishment of the Northern Advisory Committee – made up of representatives from the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, and Nunavik – has been key to the success of NISI. The NAC also includes representation from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada who has supported NISI since inception. SCC is leveraging the expertise of this committee to establish roadmaps and identify solutions for reducing the North’s financial vulnerability and ensuring the continued health and safety of Canadians.
For more information about NISI contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The knowledge and tools developed through the Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative are facilitating the adaptation and mitigation of climate change to northern built infrastructure, while truly meeting the needs of northern communities in ensuring sustainable and quality infrastructure.
Nelson Pisco, Director, Technical Services, Department of Community and Government Services, Government of Nunavut and NAC Chair