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Incorporating Climate Change into Land Development

The Nunavut Climate Change Centre is devoted to including Nunavut communities in their projects and outreach.  Over the last few years, we have had the opportunity to visit multiple communities including Rankin Inlet, Arviat and Cape Dorset. These visits have all been part of a variety of permafrost mapping projects.  For Arviat and Cape Dorset, these visits were all part of the Permafrost Vulnerability Maps project, created by the Government of Nunavut.  In Rankin Inlet, the mapping project was done by the Geological Survey of Canada to map permafrost changes and activity in the surrounding areas of the community. The overall goal of these visits is to include traditional and community knowledge into mapping projects, as well as deliver community, youth and adult outreach to increase knowledge of climate change impacts and adaptation measures.

In Cape Dorset and Arviat, the community workshops took place in the summers of 2014 and 2015 and in Rankin Inlet in 2016 to meet with community and territorial decision makers. In Cape Dorset and Arviat, we shared the draft maps, got feedback on them, and discussed how to incorporate this information into decision making. In Rankin Inlet, we hosted preliminary mapping sessions to gather key community knowledge about permafrost change in and around the community. We also hosted activities with elders and youth to get their input into the maps and to discuss climate change. Read the Cape Dorset, Arviat and Rankin Inlet summaries by clicking on the community name.

Local Collaborations: Government of Nunavut, Department of Community and Government Services, Department of Environment, the Arviat Wellness Centre, ArcticNet partners: Université Laval, Northern Climate ExChange, Memorial University, Geological Survey of Canada.

More about the Community Permafrost Vulnerability Maps

These maps are useful for people who are making decisions about where and how to put infrastructure in Nunavut communities, and gives us more information around current conditions. By mapping these sensitive lands, it will help decision-makers consider adaptation measures in future planning to ensure that development is either avoided for these areas, or if unavoidable, infrastructure is built to remain stable with these changes.

Study Site Locations: Arviat, Baker Lake, Cape Dorset, Gjoa Haven, Kimmirut, Kugluktuk, and Pangnirtung (Kugaaruk and Pond Inlet in 2013)

The Government of Nunavut is the owner of the property rights to these maps, entitled Development Suitability. These maps were created, at the expense of the GN, in part, for visual purposes, and, in part, as an aid to the development of communities in Nunavut including, without limiting the foregoing, for planning and design work purposes. 

By using these maps you agree that the Government of Nunavut will not be held responsible for any losses, damages, or injuries to persons or property resulting from the use of or reliance of these maps. 

It is strongly recommended that you consult a professional engineer if you suspect that there are permafrost-related problems with your home.

We want to know what you think of these maps. Are they useful? Can they be improved? Please fill out our short survey on the maps and let us know what you think.

Project Contact:

Sara Holzman

Climate Change Program Specialist

Government of Nunavut, Department of Environment