AAE Climate Portal

Climate change poses many challenges to the circumpolar region and those who live there, but it may also present great opportunities. Access to relevant and usable information is essential for people to adapt to climate change and take advantage of the potential opportunities. Unfortunately, this information is often scattered, does not always exist in useful forms, or is difficult to access.

The Arctic Adaptation Exchange is a website that provides people with practitioner-focused information resources and facilitates the exchange of knowledge on climate change adaptation in the Arctic. It was built as a web portal for the Arctic Council under contract to the Yukon Government’s Climate Change Secretariat and as part of the Canadian commitment to the Council during its two-year term as Chair.

Role

Our task was to develop an on-line information portal that:

  • Provided appropriate access to data, knowledge and decision-support tools needed by governments, industry, Arctic indigenous peoples and other residents to manage climate change risks;
  • Enabled the sharing of exiting tools and practical adaptation experiences including local and traditional knowledge across the Arctic; and
  • Facilitated the development of new practices and tools that support adaptation decision-making (e.g. arctic wide adaptive capacity indices).

Through these functions, the portal enhances adaptive capacity to foster innovation, learning-by-doing, and the development of best practices. The portal was designed to ensure that it is practical, scalable to resource availability, user-driven (to ensure that it can be easily maintained), and flexible to adjust to shifting priorities.

Co-led by Canada, the United States, and Arctic Council Permanent Participants Aleut International Association (AIA) and Gwich’in Council International (GCI), the Arctic Adaptation Exchange enhances the capacity of Northerners facing climate change, fostering innovation and the development of best practices in climate change adaptation.

The portal can be reviewed at www.arcticadaptationexchange.com.

Outcome

The portal officially launched on April 1, 2015. To date, the following communications and editorial outcomes have been completed as part of the launch:

  1. A Communication Plan including:
    1. A comprehensive list of stakeholders, which reflects the numerous countries and audiences involved.
    2. A description of communication channels and tactics recommended to reach and engage various stakeholders
    3. A detailed project plan identifying specific tasks, timing, and responsibility to devise and implement/publish tactics/materials
  2. Portal Website including:
    1. English versions, with content fully edited by the Kellett team
  3. Communication Processes and Materials including:
    1. News releases
    2. Print brochure and mailer for distribution to practitioners, researches, academics, and the community
    3. E-mail newsletters with content crafted for each of the different user groups
    4. A message catalogue of approved materials to respond to questions or media requests
    5. A social media activation plan
    6. Scripted AAE how-to video with plain language for all user groups