Canadian Forest Service Publications

Adapting sustainable forest management to climate change: an analysis of Canadian case studies. 2013. Johnston, M.H.; Edwards, J.E. Canadian Council of Forest Ministers, Ottawa, Ontario. 35 p.

Year: 2013

Available from: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35383

Language: English

CFS Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

Abstract

The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) has developed an approach to identifying options for adapting sustainable forest management (SFM) to climate change through the use of vulnerability assessment. The CCFM climate change adaptation initiative involved collaboration with 10 SFM vulnerability assessment projects to develop examples of good practices and lessons learned for applying this approach to SFM practices and policies. The projects, called case studies, encompassed a range of forest types and a wide variety of stakeholders and focused on a range of topics. These included biophysical modeling, policy analysis, community-based assessments, and integration of climate change into forest management planning. The leaders of each case study were interviewed and asked about three aspects of the case study: the enabling factors that led to establishment of the project, the results of the project, and how the results will be incorporated into policy or practice. Enabling factors included adequate funding, availability of data at relevant temporal and spatial scales, and a local champion to provide a bridge between researchers and local stakeholders. The results of the case studies generally did not lead directly to implementation of adaptation options. Rather, their value has been mainly in raising awareness of climate change as an issue in forest management and in building networks of forestry practitioners, researchers, and stakeholders that will address these issues through continuing collaboration. In some cases, local and provincial governments have incorporated climate change considerations into policy or have plans to do so. Mainstreaming adaptation (i.e., including climate change thinking in day-to-day planning and operations) is critical to ensure continued achievement of SFM in a changing environment.

Plain Language Summary

This report, one in a series by Canadian Council of Forest Minister’s Climate Change Task Force, follows on the report on vulnerability assessment by surveying 10 vulnerability assessment projects across Canada. It summarizes good practices and lessons learned from these case studies, which involved a wide variety of stakeholders and types of forests. The survey found that many projects benefited from factors that enabled them to assess vulnerability. These factors included adequate funding, availability of data covering the area and timeframe of interest, and a local “champion” who could provide a bridge between researchers and local stakeholders. Many projects were able to complete the planned vulnerability assessment, and even those that did not still benefitted from raised awareness and strengthened links between technical specialists and local communities and practitioners. Many assessment teams planned to continue their work beyond the original project. The report provides insight into the process of vulnerability assessment for natural resource management professionals considering conducting one.

Also available under the title:
Adapter l’aménagement forestier durable aux changements climatiques : analyse d’études de cas au Canada. (French)

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