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Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative at the University of Regina announces the launch of ClimateWest

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: January 19, 2021 2:00 p.m.

The prairie provinces have witnessed 13 of Canada’s 20 most expensive weather-related events since 1983, totalling billions of dollars of insured losses.
The prairie provinces have witnessed 13 of Canada’s 20 most expensive weather-related events since 1983, totalling billions of dollars of insured losses. Photo by Dr. David Sauchyn, provided by ClimateWest

The University of Regina is proud to support the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative (PARC) in the launch of ClimateWest. ClimateWest is a new non-profit, regional hub that will deliver credible climate information, data, and adaptation guidance tailored to the Prairie region. ClimateWest will work with people, communities, businesses, and governments across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta to help address both the risks and opportunities generated by climate change. PARC is one of three founding partners of ClimateWest along with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Prairie Climate Centre (PCC) at the University of Winnipeg.

ClimateWest will offer innovative climate services by:

  • Providing climate analyses, guidance documents, training sessions, and other tools specific to the adaptation needs of different sectors.
  • Hosting a Help Desk available to the public by email or phone to answer queries about climate data and information.
  • Raising public awareness and knowledge of the value of climate change adaptation.

“The prairie provinces have already witnessed 13 of Canada’s 20 most expensive weather-related events since 1983, totalling billions of dollars of insured losses. Under a changing climate, we can anticipate even greater costs if we continue without proper planning and action,” said Dr. Dave Sauchyn, Director of the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative, a climate change research centre at the University of Regina. PARC’s mission is to provide scientific research that delivers practical and regionally relevant climate data, information and knowledge in support of adaptation to climate variability and change.

ClimateWest will help address the urgent need highlighted in the recently released Prairies Chapter of Canada’s national assessment process on climate change: “the window to take action to avoid severe climate change impacts is rapidly closing […] current efforts to adapt are not enough to prevent the rapidly accelerating human and financial losses from current and future climate change impacts.”

“The University has been fortunate to have the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative call our campus home for 20 years,” said Dr. Thomas Chase, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor in the virtual launch event for ClimateWest, held this morning. “We are very proud of the work led by Dr. Dave Sauchyn and his team, which has established the University of Regina as a leader in climate change research and its application in public policy, business decisions, and community development.”

The University of Regina has identified Environment and Climate Action as one of the five focus areas in our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, All Our Relations, with a goal of reducing our ecological footprint by 25% by the year 2025. This new partnership that creates ClimateWest will help the U of R build a multi-institution, multi-government collaboration that can channel research and expertise at our university in an applied and impactful way. By leveraging the experience and expertise of PARC, ClimateWest will build climate resilience across the prairie provinces.

“ClimateWest comes along at a critical moment in one of Canada’s fastest warming regions,” stated Jane Hilderman, ClimateWest’s Executive Director. “Our vision is to support anyone from municipal decision-makers to watershed associations to small business who may not have the capacity or expertise on hand to interpret climate projections and use climate information to inform risk assessments and planning.”

ClimateWest has the combined support from the Governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, as well as Environment and Climate Change Canada at the federal level. 

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Environment and Climate Action: U of R’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan Series, Part 5 of 6

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