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Northern Communities Working to Address Climate Change Challenges

From the Executive Council:

Through a funding commitment of $75,000, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is supporting a Nunatsiavut Government-led initiative aimed at finding ways to adapt to climate change in northern Labrador.

“Northern regions are most at risk due to the gradual warming of the earth, an outcome of climate change,” said the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Emissions Trading. “Impacts are already affecting the culture and economy of northern communities. We are happy to support the Nunatsiavut Government in its efforts to find sustainable solutions.”

Northern areas around the world are experiencing the most significant impacts of climate change, including reduced ice conditions, unstable and thawing permafrost, and changes in wildlife and vegetation.

“We’re pleased to be moving to the leading edge of innovation and community sustainability across northern regions of Canada,” said Daniel Pottle, Minister of Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology for the Nunatsiavut Government. “The Sustainable Communities Initiative emerged from a need identified by Labrador Inuit and community leaders throughout Nunatsiavut for more sustainable approaches to community planning and development. The knowledge, capacity and skills built through this initiative will serve Nunatsiavut well.”

In Charting Our Course: Climate Change Action Plan 2011, the Provincial Government committed to working with northern Labrador communities on issues pertaining to climate change adaptation. This work will help promote best practices in community development in the north that support long-term sustainability.

“This initiative will provide Inuit communities with the information and support needed to adapt to the already occurring and unavoidable impacts of climate change, while improving their resiliency and sustainability,” said Professor Trevor Bell of Memorial University, the principal research partner on the initiative.

The Provincial Government’s support will allow for the development of a report regarding impacts of the changing climate of Nunatsiavut. Specifics of the report can be found in the backgrounder below.

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