Increasing the Capacity of Nova Scotia Municipalities to Prepare Adaptation Focused Municipal Climate Change Action Plans

As a requirement for the 2010 – 2015 Gas Tax Agreement, municipalities will be required to prepare and submit to Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (SNSMR) a Municipal Climate Change Action Plan (MCCAP). The MCCAPs will move Nova Scotia towards honoring commitments made in “Toward a Greener Future - Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Action Plan” (2009). It is intended that the MCCAP will be an amendment to the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) that each municipality prepared and submitted to the Province in March 2010. The MCCAP will focus on climate change adaptation, and will describe how municipalities plan to respond to impacts associated with climate change. Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations is preparing a guide that outlines a step-by-step process to assist municipalities in the preparation of their MCCAPs. The MCCAP Guide (Guide) is slated for release in early fall of 2011. The release of the Guide presents an opportunity to do a “test-drive” of this adaptation planning framework and in particular the integration into the process of the tools and deliverables that have been, and are being, produced by the ACAS program. As well this serves as an operational setting to more fully understand the possible capacity and information resource challenges of municipalities in undertaking this process. This project will, involve the use of mentors to assist target ACAS municipalities in evaluating and using the Guide to evaluate ACAS material, as well as to identify gaps and issues that require attention., To improve the capacity of Nova Scotia ACAS municipalities to incorporate climate adaptation into their formal municipality planning processes., Provision of mentors to assist target municipalities in the initial development of their MCCAPs Individual reports for selected target communities that document the issues and challenges that arose through testing of the Guide, and comments on the relevance of, as well as the gaps in, material that has been generated through the ACAS program., This project is envisaged to have numerous benefits including amongst others: Identification of gaps and challenges to be faced by Nova Scotian municipalities in the preparation of MCCAPs; Improved linkage between municipal decision-makers and the numerous deliverables of the ACAS program. Increased capacity amongst ACAS communities to deal with integration of technical, social, economic and ecological issues related to climate adaptation Greater awareness amongst ACAS municipalities on issues that require attention regarding policies, practices and regulation. Improved ability of ACAS target municipalities to fulfill their commitments to the ACAS program, especially the preparation of community reports.