Engaging Islanders in mapping climate-related social and health factors to build resilience to climate change on PEI

Climate change policies and programs that consider social and health inequities are well positioned to build climate resilient communities. By using high-quality data and engaging with the public and decision-makers, this project will increase our understanding of health and social disparities across the province, and how intersections between multiple factors contribute to an increased vulnerability to climate change. The quantitative population-level vulnerability indicators that result from this research can be combined with the Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA, 2021) qualitative health consequence and social stability ratings to prioritize vulnerable populations across PEI, strengthen climate adaptation plans by considering inequities, and track progress over time. The data and maps that result from this project will support policy and spending decisions by providing an effective way to consider the uneven impacts of climate change due to health and social inequities.

The 2018-2023 Climate Change Action Plan for PEI aims to increase PEI’s resilience to climate change impacts with actions that are largely focused on managing environmental challenges and protecting vulnerable aspects of specific sectors. In addition to addressing critical assets, industry, and infrastructure, climate change adaptation plans also need to prioritize vulnerable individuals and populations that are disproportionately impacted by climate change. The CCRA and the PEI Climate Change Adaptation Recommendations Report (2017) highlight the importance of considering the people of PEI when planning climate change actions, including the relationships between climate, health, and social stability. They call for further quantitative evidence to better understand the differential impacts of climate change in populations and communities across PEI.

Project Goals: 

  • Engage the public and decision-makers to explore the use of high-quality data to identify populations that disproportionately experience the negative impacts of climate change and determine the best way to visualize the results for public use.
  • Empower community members to adapt to the changing climate and build more resilient communities together.

Our project will fill the gaps identified by the CCRA and the PEI Climate Change Adaptation Recommendations Report, which highlight the need for quantitative data and a coordinated cross-sectoral response to climate change. We will produce user-friendly research outputs that will support evidence-based decisions across government departments so that climate adaptations can be targeted toward areas that need them the most. We will also use a collaborative approach to engage both decision-makers and members of the public in the research process.

This project will produce user-friendly research outputs to support the public and decision-makers in creating evidence-based climate adaptation strategies that benefit populations that need them most.