This online toolkit is a direct outcome of the Research Development Initiative and Public Outreach project, “Climate, Disasters, and Sustainable Development: Responses and Adaptations in British Columbia’s Small Cities and Rural Communities,” funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and conducted by Dr. Julie Drolet of Thompson Rivers University. The Kamloops Women’s Resource Group Society is a community partner in the project and public outreach.
Research for the project was carried out from 2009 to 2011. Using exploratory qualitative research methodologies, the project investigated the potential impacts of climate change and resultant disasters in Northern and Interior British Columbia as well as the ability of regional communities to respond and adapt to climate change and disasters. The project’s primary objectives were to:
- strengthen research team-participant dialogue by directly involving communities in the project, discussing community priorities and subsequent research needs being a priority; and
- generate preliminary data to understand the impacts of climate change and disasters from the perspectives and experiences of these communities.
The project involved 121 participants: community leaders, government officials, practitioners, activists, policy makers, First Nations, and women leaders. Participating communities included Kamloops, Merritt, Clearwater, 100 Mile House, Quesnel, and Prince George.
Over the course of the project, participants consistently expressed the need for access to information on climate change, livelihood security, and adaptation strategies. That an online toolkit would therefore be the best platform to disseminate the study’s research findings as well as highlight excellent resources on climate change, adaptation strategies, and disaster resilience became clear.