In the past, climate could be thought of as fairly stable over the long-term. Communities expect the natural seasonal shifts with the odd extreme event from time to time. Until recently a changing climate has not been a factor that needs to be understood and considered in community plans and decisions. Forest-based communities can no longer think of climate this way because climate change is already altering the environment, economy and life in these communities.
The Canadian Model Forest Network has developed a guidebook to help rural-based communities become more climate resilient. The Guidebook
and the accompanying Community Resource Collection
has been crafted based on the idea that rural communities in forest settings want guidance in understanding and acting to reduce community impacts from the changing climate.
Although there is an overwhelming amount of information about climate change and adaptation, information specific to rural forest-based communities is sparse. As well, every community is different and will need to take the climate adaptation journey in their own way, and on their own time. The Guidebook doesn’t provide one specific way to become more climate resilient. Rather, it offers a map of the usual activities—the Trail Map—with a number of alternative tools, techniques and approaches—Pathways—for each activity along the way from which communities can choose the best ways to meet their needs.