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Many Canadian communities are increasingly becoming vulnerable to risks associated with climate change. While adaptation strategies and frameworks have benefited from consultations with experts in various fields, security and safety experts have largely been excluded from these discussions. Research on the link between climate change and public safety is scarce, with little focus on the Canadian context. Existing research suggests that acute hazards and long-term stressors have exacerbated the effects of climate change on violence and safety/security, which threaten to overwhelm policing, emergency, and social welfare responses.

Starting in 2021, CMNCP is investigating how the lack of emergency preparedness undermines community safety and reveals safety blind spots.

To learn more, see below.


Upcoming Events

Climate Change Adaptation Plans and Community Safety (June 2022)

Join Glenn Milner, Engineering and Climate Risk Lead​, from the Climate Risk Institute to learn more about opportunities for adapting climate change and fostering community safety and resilience. This session will feature a panel discussion with partners in the field and a scenario planning exercise.

​For information, click here.

Women and Climate Change (September 2022)

Join Karen Campbell, Director Community Initiatives & Policy from the Canadian Women's Foundation on a discussion about the impacts of climate change on women.

​​For information, click here.

(Passed) SPEAKER SERIES - Climate Change: An Emerging Threat To Community Safety

Cities and their inhabitants are highly vulnerable to safety risks associated with climate change due to their high population density along with their large volume of government services and economic and social infrastructure. Additionally, many smaller, northern, and rural communities will struggle with climate change-related community safety challenges as they disproportionately experience its effects. Unfortunately, most local adaptation efforts have excluded community safety practitioners and experts in their development, and therefore overlook the need for approaches to prevent and address community safety challenges related to climate change.

In the first 90-minute session of this series, join Roxanne Springer and Felix Munger to learn more about this emerging field, including an overview of the research/evidence to date on the link between climate change and community safety. Additional sessions will be announced at a later date.

DATE & TIME

May 4, 2022 at 7:30 PT/ 8:30 MT / 9:30 CT / 10:30 ET / 11:30 AT

Webinar video will be posted soon.

Mapping the Convergence of Climate Change and Community Safety

With the growing need for a purposeful exploratory investigation into the connections between climate change, violence, and crime, Drs. Felix Munger and Roxanne Springer held three virtual workshops (May 28, June 4, June 18, 2021) aimed at exploring the link between climate change hazards and community safety as part of the project entitled Mapping the Convergence of Climate Change and Community Safety funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. This project set the foundation for a comprehensive approach to explore wide-ranging climate change risks and public safety outcomes in a local context. The workshops provided a forum to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration with stakeholders and experts to map various community safety outcomes to acute climate change hazards and long-term stressors, bring greater attention to this critical challenge and elicit proactive responses to improve public safety outcomes. 

In addition to the breakout room discussions, the workshops featured guest speakers:

  • Dr. Trevor Hancock, Retired Professor and Senior Scholar, School of Public health and Social Policy, University of Victoria  

  • Dr. Robert Muggah, Co-founder and Research and Innovation Director, Igarapé Institute, SecDev Foundation and Group  

  • Conrad Prince, Director, National Reconciliation Program, Save The Children 

  • Tyrone Munroe, Wellness Regional Manager, Four Arrows Regional Health Authority 

  • Kim Vance-Mubanga, Director, International Programs and Partnerships, Egale Canada 

  • Lawrence Schätzle, on behalf of the European Forum for Urban Security (efus) 

  • Elder Diann Langley​, National Elder Representative, Board of Directors of the Congress of Aboriginal People



Resources

Exploring the Intersection Between Climate Change Hazards and Community Safety

This background document is intended to provide sufficient background information to ensure a base level of knowledge on climate change and 'crime and violence'. The document provides a brief introduction to climate change hazard effects, connections between climate, violence, and crime, and finally, a discussion of vulnerability and adaptation assessment as a response to the impacts of climate change.

Exploring the Intersection Between Climate Change and Crime, Violence and Community Safety Podcast

Climate change is undeniably one of the greatest threats to human wellbeing today. From wildfires, to extreme heat, storms, flooding, droughts, melting ice and snow, sea-level rise, communities are trying to answer the call to action and strengthen aspects of our society to ward off the impacts of climate change. This podcast outlines the basics of community/public safety in the context of climate change as well as shares stories of real life events that demonstrate just how important it is we discuss the impacts of climate change on community safety. 

Exploratory Project on Climate Change, Community Safety, Crime, and Violence Final Report 

Coming soon.

Workshop Presentations

Introduction to Mapping Climate Change and Community Safety

Watch Dr. Felix Munger, Executive Director of Canadian Municipal Network on Crime Prevention and Research Fellow at the Viessmann Centre for Engagement and Research in Sustainability (VERiS), introduce the workshop presentation videos. 


Climate Change and Community Safety: The Big Picture

Dr. Trevor Hancock, Retired Professor and Senior Scholar, School of Public health and Social Policy, University of Victoria

Dr. Trevor Hancock, in his presentation Climate Change and Community Safety: The Big Picture, presents aspects of climate change that could impact safety, crime, and violence (e.g., improperly managed mass evacuations after natural hazard events, social injustice due to the inequitable distribution of climate change consequences and the displacement of workers due to the Green Transition). Trevor Hancock calls to build community safety while making peace with nature and reflected on an important lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic: the need for social solidarity.


Climate Change and Community Safety 

Dr. Robert Muggah, Co-founder and Research and Innovation Director, Igarapé Institute, SecDev Foundation and Group

Dr. Robert Muggah presents an in-depth look at theoretically supported linkages between climate change and crimes in cities. He shows a conceptual framework of the climate-crime connection, highlighting the short, medium, and long-term effects of climate shocks and climate stressors. 


State Sanctioned Violence - Climate Change Hazards and Community Safety

Conrad Prince, Director, National Reconciliation Program, Save The Children

Tyrone Munroe, Wellness Regional Manager, Four Arrows Regional Health Authority

Conrad Prince, accompanied by Tyrone Munroe explore definitions of state violence and the terms and theoretical lenses (i.e., colonialism and settler colonialism) that underpin this issue. They also present several examples of state-sanctioned violence against Indigenous People in Canada and experiences in the aftermath of disasters that negatively impacted their community safety. Finally, Conrad Prince offers insights and recommendations into addressing community safety through a Rights-Based Lens, using the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People as a framework.


State/Collective Crime, Violence and Discrimination Impacting 2SLGBTQI People and the Intersections with Climate Change 

Kim Vance-Mubanga, Director, International Programs and Partnerships, Egale Canada Kim

Vance-Mubanga explores the historical context for 2SLGBTQ+ communities and crime and violence in Canada. Kim Vance-Mubanga discusses the types of collective violence targeted at 2SLGBTQ+ people, in particular hate crimes, and explores the risk of a hate crime crisis when climate change stress is added to the equation. She concludes by highlighting a gap in research around the relationship between 2SLGBTQ+ communities and the criminal justice system that hinders our understanding of adequate crime prevention responses for these communities currently, and by extension, during climate change stress.


Climate Change and Community Safety: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Roxanne Springer, Research Associate at the Viessmann Centre for Engagement and Research in Sustainability (VERiS), Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada

Roxanne Springer highlights the findings of the Mapping Climate Change and Community Safety workshop project during the closing panel discussion in CMNCP21, the annual conference for Canadian Municipal Network on Crime Prevention.