In April 2018, ICLEI Canada was retained by the Manitoba government to design and deliver a series of engagement sessions relating to their upcoming BRACE programming. The purpose of these sessions was to develop an understanding of how the BRACE program could best serve municipalities and infrastructure owners, the business community, and Indigenous communities. Specifically, what supports could be provided to increase adaptation capacity and expertise for each of these sectors.
In order to provide recommendations relating to this question, ICLEI Canada conducted 12 tailored engagement sessions, developed an online survey, and held one-on-one calls with participants over the Spring of 2018. These sessions provided an overview of Manitoba’s changing climate and the BRACE initiative before eliciting input from roughly 180 participants. Using a combination of small group exercises and open discussions, ICLEI Canada was able to gather input that the Manitoba government used to influence the success of its BRACE proposal and program.
Participants were asked about the impacts of climate change they have experienced and existing barriers they faced in building adaptation expertise. Participants identified a number of climate impacts including flooding, drought, wildfire, invasive species and pests, water quality and quantity, among others. Participants also identified financial and institutional barriers, as well as barriers relating to awareness, partnerships, data and information, and tools and resources. Within each of these categories, a number of obstacles were identified: a lack of long-term and core funding, limited strategic partnerships and a reliance on ad hoc or opportunistic partnerships, a general lack of awareness among colleagues and broader communities of climate change as a risk. These climate impacts and barriers informed the actions put forward by the MCRT program.