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MIRARCO to study climate change impact on First Nations

The Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR), a division of MIRARCO Mining Innovation, has received $5 million from Ontario’s Green Investment Fund to study the impact of climate change on the province’s Far North and its First Nation communities.

OCCIAR will develop a Climate Change Impact Study for Ontario’s remote First Nations, work with First Nation communities in preparing for the effects of climate change and help First Nations to capitalize on opportunities created by the province’s proposed cap-and-trade program.

“Ensuring that First Nations have the tools they need to fight and adapt to climate change is an imperative that we must take now,” said Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer. “This investment will help northern communities most affected by climate change take the action they need. It will also set the foundation for future planning.”

“Climate change is already having a significant impact on First Nation communities and their environments,” said OCCIAR director Al Douglas. “We are seeing a dramatic reduction in the season for winter roads, which means higher costs and an increasing need to fly supplies in.

This investment will help First Nations build capacity, deal with climate risks and limit climate change through carbon storage and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

OCCIAR’s work will be done in collaboration with Laurentian’s School of the Environment through the participation of Laurentian Professor David Pearson, former co-chair of Ontario’s

Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation and science advisor at OCCIAR.

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