International climate change information website launched

The Yukon government has helped to launch a new website designed to help Arctic communities share information about how they are adapting to climate change.

The Yukon government has helped to launch a new website designed to help Arctic communities share information about how they are adapting to climate change.

The Arctic Adaptation Exchange is a project of the Arctic Council, a group that promotes co-operation between countries and communities from the circumpolar North.

The website has already collected more than 600 links to documents, videos and projects about climate change adaptation.

It features an interactive map, which allows the user to zoom to a geographical region of interest or filter contents by subject matter.

“Because the Arctic is so affected by climate change, it is important to learn from other jurisdictions and the work that’s happening elsewhere, so that we can inform our own adaptation efforts here in the Yukon,” said Stephen Roddick with Yukon government’s climate change secretariat. Roddick managed the project with input from partners in Canada and Alaska.

“If I was, for example, a member or an administrative official with a First Nation’s government, and I was looking at doing a housing development, or building a new office or something, and I was concerned about the effects of permafrost … I could turn to this portal and look to see what other people are doing and what other information is out there for construction in permafrost.”

This website makes that sort of information way more accessible, said Rebecca World, director of the climate change secretariat.

“Up to this point we really found that information was in a variety of places, and the information was relatively hard to access, so you kind of had to know about the organization to be able to get to the information. And so really what this does, again, is bring all of that information together in one spot – the one-stop shop, if you will.”

The information on the website allows the secretariat to easily see what other jurisdictions are doing, and consider if similar approaches could be used here, said World.

She gave the example of a homeowners’ guide to permafrost that was produced by the government of Nunavut. A similar document could be made for the Yukon, if a need was identified.

Anyone can upload and share additional resources about climate change adaptation through the portal. That information would be processed by an administrator, tagged for its location and theme and added to the map.

Now that the project has launched, the University of Alaska Fairbanks has taken on the management of the site. It intends to beef up interactive features to allow for more information sharing.

A advisory team composed of project partners will continue to oversee the direction of the site.

The budget for the project was $349,000, including about $125,000 from the government of Canada and $60,000 in in-kind support from the Yukon government.

Visit arcticadaptationexchange.com for more.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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