Partnership for Canada-Caribbean Climate Change Adaptation

The Caribbean is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to the impacts of climate change. What's more, there are still knowledge gaps concerning climate change risks faced by vulnerable groups and key economic sectors such as tourism and fisheries. In Atlantic Canada, communities are also experiencing the effects of climate change, such as sea-level rise. The Atlantic Environment Ministers identified the need to climate-proof development decisions through collaborative engagement of stakeholders affected by climate change.

The research

There is a need to assess the risks that climate change poses for the people and economies in the Caribbean and Atlantic Canada, and determine the most appropriate adaptation strategies. The main goal of this research project is to use a common community-based vulnerability assessment (CBVA) framework to integrate scientific and local knowledge from comparative “learning sites.” This will build understanding of the socio-economic, governance, and environmental conditions that shape vulnerability and capacity to adapt to climate change within and between communities. The specific objectives are to:

  • generate data (e.g., downscaled climate change scenarios, high-resolution elevation data and sea-level rise risk mapping, social/cultural values mapping, network analysis) to accurately assess the vulnerability to climate change of communities in the Caribbean and Atlantic Canada;
  • incorporate primary data generation activities into participatory research and adaptation planning processes (i.e., CBVA, community adaptation visioning) and make data available for related national and regional research and policy processes (e.g., adaptation community of practice, collaborations with other regional climate change initiatives);
  • establish scientific and professional networks that advance climate change vulnerability research and practice to increase adaptive capacity in the communities and regions;
  • deliver targeted training to highly qualified personnel (university graduate students, professionals);
  • develop and evaluate practical local adaptation portfolios that address community needs and cultural values;
  • facilitate the mainstreaming and scaling-up of adaptation into larger planning initiatives related to sustainable development (e.g., tourism planning, integrated coastal management, disaster management, fisheries and biodiversity) and incorporate local perspectives and values into governance arrangements, and national and regional adaptation planning; and
  • empower people in communities to effectively respond to climate change by strengthening institutional and governance structures.

Expected outcomes

The project aims to advance the CBVA approach by integrating the critical role of institutions and governance networks; expand the field of adaptation to climate change in coastal areas by training graduate students and researchers; create a Caribbean Climate Change Adaptation Community of Practice (CarA-Cop), and disseminate findings through a number of channels, including academic journals, conferences, and multi-media. 


Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

End Date

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


60 months

IDRC Officer

David O'Brien

Total funding

CA$ 2,500,000


West Indies, North and Central America, Canada, Barbados


International Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change

Project Leader

Murray C. Simpson


Caribsave Partnership Inc.

Institution Country


Institution Website

Project Leader

Daniel Scott


University of Waterloo

Institution Country


Institution Website