Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Platform

Submitted by Robin Hocquet | published 7th Dec 2020 | last updated 5th Jan 2023
Canada's Climate Change Adaptation Platform - logo

Platform summary

Established in 2012, Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Platform is a national forum that brings together key groups in Canada to collaborate on climate change adaptation priorities.  Members include representatives from federal, provincial, and territorial governments, industry, communities, academics, and Indigenous, professional, and not-for-profit organizations.

The Adaptation Platform aims to create an enabling environment for adaptation, where decision-makers in regions and industry are equipped with the tools and information they need to adapt to a changing climate.

The Adaptation Platform is a multi-dimensional network which includes Plenary (the coordinating body), a series of theme-specific Working Groups and a Secretariat. A virtual, invitation-only workspace also exists to support the work of the Plenary and Working Groups.

  • Plenary is the coordinating forum for the Adaptation Platform, comprised of senior-level representatives who meet in-person twice a year to help define priority areas for Working Group efforts, to align interests and resources, and to identify emerging opportunities for adaptation. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, in-person sessions have been replaced with virtual meetings.
  • Working Groups bring together experts on specific issues or sectors, where participants collaborate to define, and then work towards achieving, their climate change adaptation objectives. These are listed below.

Host Organisation: The Platform is hosted by the Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Division, Natural Resources Canada, Government of Canada.

Launch date: 2012.

Update status: Members of the virtual workspace regularly update their internal workspaces. Work is currently underway to consider updates to the virtual workspace overall.

Funding: The Adaptation Platform is funded by Government of Canada. Targeted research and some activities are supported through external resources.

Team: Canada's Adaptation Platform is managed and operated by a secretariat that is housed within the Government of Canada. Portions of 3 FTEs support Plenary, manage a shared online workspace, facilitate interactions amongst Working Group Chairs and broader member collaboration, and promotes knowledge dissemination through regular newsletters, annual reports, and webinars. 

Main functions:

  • Channeling adaptation resources to key areas of work
  • Aligning climate change adaptation priorities across Canada
  • Raising awareness on the need for climate change adaptation
  • Providing decision-support tools for adaptation decision-making
  • Sharing adaptation solutions and case studies
  • Sharing scientific literature and research on adaptation

Intended audiences:

  • National-level decision makers / national government
  • City and regional-level decision-makers / local government
  • Private sector / businesses
  • Research community
  • Indigenous organizations
  • Professional sectors (engineers, accountants)
  • Natural resource sectors

Platform Working Groups:

  • Agriculture
  • Biodiversity
  • Coastal Management
  • Climate services (data collection and monitoring)
  • Economics
  • Energy
  • Forests and other ecosystems
  • Infrastructure / built environment
  • Measuring Progress
  • Mining

Why the platform was established

In response to the needs of stakeholders and the growing awareness of climate risks and the need to act, Canada's Climate Change Adaptation Platform was established in 2012 to connect and bring together key groups in Canada to collaborate on climate change adaptation priorities, reduce vulnerability, manage risks, and prepare for potential opportunities. Members work to align priorities and channel resources to focus areas of work. The Adaptation Platform creates an enabling environment for adaptation, with activities to enhance understanding of climate change, build capacity across Canada’s regions and economic sectors, provide decision-useful tools and information, and enable collaboration across the growing number of jurisdictions and sectors involved.