January 2016

Assessing Vulnerability to Climate Change: Useful Insights, Tools, and Considerations

Please Note
The webcast option of this seminar has been cancelled due to low registration. The live session will be proceeding.
Status: Advanced registration is now closed. A limited number of onsite registrations will be taken at the door.
Date: Friday, January 29, 2016
Time: 8:00 AM-8:30 AM: Registration and Hot Breakfast
8:30 AM-9:30 AM: Assessing Vulnerability To Climate Change - Live
Location: Best Western PLUS Chateau Granville Hotel & Suites (Granville Room), 1100 Granville Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 2B6
Presenter: Marc Nelitz, MRM, RPBio, Business Area Leader, Climate Change Adaptation - ESSA Technologies Ltd.
Credit: 1 Informal Professional Development Hours (PDH)
Cost: Early Bird Price Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member: $99.00 + GST = $103.95 until Jan 15, 2016

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member and EIT/GIT Regular Price: $129.00 + GST = $135.45

Non-Member Price: $129.00 + GST = $135.45

Student Member Price: $64.50 + GST = $67.73
Please Note: *A minimum number of registrations are needed by January 15, 2016 to proceed with this seminar. Please register early to avoid cancellation.
**All prices are subject to applicable taxes.
Contact: Gurjeet Phungura | Professional Development Coordinator
Direct: 604.412.4886
Toll Free: 1.888.430.8035 ext. 4886
Fax: 604.639.8180
Email: [email protected]
Note: Parking price with taxes will be $8.00(plus 21% city parking tax & 5% GST) total is $10.16 Parking Instructions: Please drive into the parking garage and ring the doorbell and the front desk will answer. Your can instruct the front desk that you are there for an APEGBC meeting and the Front desk will open the gate. Please be sure that you stop by the front desk to collect your discounted parking voucher $8.00. It must be placed face up on their dashboard. Parking: Location: Back alley of the building - 4 levels of basement parking.
The tools and practices of many professions today are largely based on an assumption that the future will be similar to the past. Recent events are illustrating that this assumption is no longer valid and that the impacts of climate change will become increasingly disruptive into the future. "Climate change adaptation" is a broad field of study and practice that involves individuals, households, businesses, communities, and governments preparing for the impacts of climate change by adjusting their activities to reduce vulnerability to the negative effects and take advantage of the potential opportunities associated with climate change.

In 2013, the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment (CCME) released a compendium of tools for assessing the vulnerability of watersheds to the impacts of climate change: http://www.ccme.ca/files/Resources/water/climate_change/pn_1494_vat.pdf.

This compendium describes tools to help practitioners assess the sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity to climate change of various human and ecological components of watersheds. Results from these tools can then be used to help identify needs and opportunities to prepare for future climate. Yet their use requires a clear understanding about the many sources and magnitude of unknowns about future climate, possible actions to reduce vulnerability, and the types of barriers that can inhibit professionals from considering the impacts of climate change in their work.
This breakfast session provides a perspective on the practice of climate change adaptation within the context of applying these vulnerability tools, specifically the speaker’s candid perspectives on the following questions:
Why prepare for the impacts of climate change?
What broad types of climate action can help us prepare?
How well do we understand future climate?
What tools are available to better understand vulnerability and adaptation in the context of the unknown?
What are some barriers that inhibit professionals from preparing for the impacts of climate change?


Marc Nelitz, MRM, RPBio - ESSA Technologies Ltd.
Mr. Marc Nelitz is Business Area Leader in Climate Change Adaptation with ESSA in Vancouver. His area of practice focuses on helping organizations strengthen the scientific defensibility and relevance of their actions to help them learn about what does and does not work in complex systems with imperfect information and competing viewpoints of stakeholders. A large portion of his work focuses on helping clients prepare for the impacts of climate change. Related experience has included assessing vulnerability and modelling the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, evaluating the preparedness of natural resource management agencies, developing policy recommendations to improve decision making, supporting the roles and functions of professionals to consider climate change in their work, and identifying adaptation strategies to improve the resilience of small Aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities. His work is often scrutinized in high profile and high stakes settings which has recently included polar bear tourism in western Hudson Bay, biodiversity monitoring in the oil sands of northern Alberta, a federal inquiry into the decline of sockeye salmon on the Fraser River, and water management for human needs and endangered species on the Missouri River.
Marc regularly speaks about his work having been a guest lecturer at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, and an invited speaker at various climate change adaptation workshops and meetings chaired by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, Planning Institute of BC, and BC’s Climate Action Secretariat. He has also published dozens of policy relevant technical reports, journal papers, and recently completed a book chapter describing participatory approaches to elicit the judgments, priorities and values of different audiences for environmental policy and decision making.

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