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Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program

Links to 2011-12 DFO

Program Alignment Architecture (PAA)

Links to Government-Wide Initiatives

Strategic Outcome

Safe and Secure Waters

Program Activity

3.8 - Ocean Forecasting

Clean Air Agenda (CAA)

Adaptation Theme

Program Description and Expected Achievements

The objective of the new Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services program is to advance knowledge and understanding of the risks, impacts and opportunities created by climate change for Fisheries and Oceans’ mandated areas of responsibility.  The program will provide the relevant science and tools necessary for departmental decision making processes related to climate adaptation. Additional details on this program and on the Clean Air Agenda can be obtained at the Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program website.

Achievements key to program delivery include:

    • national, regional, and basin-scale climate risk assessments initiated in the first two years of the program to identify and prioritize risks to the Department;
    • targeted, science-based research projects, funded through an internal competitive process, to improve Department’s understanding of climate change impacts;
    • science-based adaptation tools to aid the Department in adapting to climate change also developed through an internal competitive process; and
    • the establishment of a climate adaptation website for the dissemination of information.

Expected achievements over the length of the Clean Air Agenda:

    • The Department will have advanced its capacity to adapt by building on the findings of the basin risk assessments, through an increased understanding of climate change impacts, and the inclusion of adaptation tools in its decision-making.
    • Large aquatic basin risk assessments are expected to be completed in fiscal year 2012-13. Smaller vulnerable eco-regions may be identified and targeted for further assessment through 2013-15.
    • The results of all risk assessments and the funded projects will be made available through the program website, which will enable a broad public awareness amongst Canadians of climate change impacts in aquatic ecosystems.

Key achievements expected for 2011-12

  • Establish governance bodies:
    • a National Climate Change Adaptation Steering Committee with national and regional representation of the Department’s program sectors;
    • a national Risk Assessment Technical Working Group to oversee the large aquatic basin risk assessments (Pacific Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Freshwater);
    • a National Technical Review Committee to oversee review of proposals for the two competitive funding envelopes and collect preliminary assessment data in 2011-12 and establish basin assessment work plans for 2012-13 (Risk Assessment Technical Working Groups).
  • Issue calls for proposals for 2012-13 for two competitive funding envelopes, one for ocean science research and the other for adaptation tool development, and obtain final approvals by end of fiscal 2011-12 (National Technical Review Committee).
  • Conduct workshops with departmental stakeholders from the National Capital Region and each of DFO’s six management regions.
  • Complete a National Climate Change Risk Assessment Profile and a pilot risk mapping and assessment tool (2 contracts).
  • Create a program website by the end of fiscal 2011-12.

Performance Summary 2011-12

  • A terms of reference was developed for the National Climate Change Adaptation Steering Committee and its membership confirmed.
  • The National Risk Assessment Technical Working Group was struck and preliminary research begun in the regions: 
    • Smaller regional working groups report through the national working group and were responsible for the creation of work plans and budgets for each basin assessment.  Regional working groups produced work plans, budgets and began collecting data in 2011-12.  Work plans and budgets for 2012-13 were in place by end of this reporting period. 
  • A terms of reference was developed for the National Technical Review Committee and its membership established.
  • Calls for proposals were issued in January 2012 for the two competitive funding envelopes.  Full proposals were received and initial screening completed by the National Technical Review Committee by March 31st; however, proposals did not receive final approval until early 2012-13.
  • The National stakeholder workshop was held in December 2011.  Regional workshops were held between the months of January and March, 2012.
  • Both the National Climate Change Risk Assessment Profile and the risk mapping and assessment tool contracts were completed by the end of the fiscal year 2011-2012.
  • The website was established.  Multi-media products were developed by the end of the year but were waiting on final approval before posting on the website.

Additional Comments on 2011-12 Performance

  • These achievements are aligned with three of the five immediate outcomes in the Adaptation Theme Logic model: “recognizing the need for adaptation”, “assessing the risks from climate change”, and “increasing collaboration”. This is demonstrated through departmental participation at the national and regional workshops and engagement of the departmental sectors in the shaping and selection of research proposals as well as in the development of proposed adaptation tools. 
  • National, regional, inter-regional and inter-sectoral collaboration was required in developing work plans for the large aquatic basin risk assessments and in reviewing proposals.
  • These achievements begin to support the intermediate outcome, “targeted communities and sectors address adaptation in their planning” and the final outcome, “increased capacity…to adapt to a changing climate”.
  • To facilitate the measurement of progress, key deliverables were tied to specific milestones as prescribed in project terms of references or contracts.  Progress was reported regularly through working groups and to senior management through established departmental governance mechanisms.  A performance measurement strategy for the program is being developed.

CAA Program Spending Information

Total Funding To DFO
Over 5 years

Program Planned Spending 2011-2012 (thousands)

Program Actual Spending

2011-2012 (thousands)

Salary         $3.56M
EBP             $0.71M
O&M          $12.16M
Total         $16.43M

Salary           $448
EBP               $90
O&M          $1,299
Total         $1,837

Salary           $421
EBP               $84
O&M          $1,119
Total         $1,624