Yesterday and today I’ve been enjoying participating in an OECD expert workshop on Resilience and the Ocean-Climate Nexus, an initiative of their new horizontal programme. This was cohosted by the Portuguese delegation to the OECD. I was invited to share experiences from Nova Scotia in a panel on OECD country experiences on ocean climate impacts and resilience, allowing me to update the Truro dyke realignment case study I led for the OECD volume Responding to Rising Seas a few years ago and talking about some more recent developments like the Coastal Protection Act. My co-panelists brought more national (Vasco Becker-Weinberg of Portugal on Marine Spatial Planning and the law), and international perspectives (Georg Borsting of Norway on the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy). Our discussion across these scales was productive and stimulating. I was glad for the opportunity to bring a coastal and social perspective to this event, with an RSVP list of over 260 people from 58 different countries, many of them practitioners or from government.
Impressed by an editorial written for the Chronicle Herald by my PhD student Bernard Soubry, who has taken time from his final writing process to return to farm labour here in Nova Scotia. The editorial, COVID-19 shows what’s wrong with how Canada feeds itself, is a passionate and well-informed hit on Canada’s food system and dearth of adaptation plans. He writes:
But here’s a truth that researchers and rural communities have known for a long time: the food system in Canada doesn’t have a problem because of COVID-19. The food system is the problem.
On August 6, Bernard spoke to CBC Halifax’s Information Morning about his editorial; you can listen to that here.
We are in a spate of MES thesis defenses in SRES, including three I’m implicated in. Two of those were committee roles for me: Marion Davies, who ably defended her work on climate-motivated eating on Nov 25, and Jennifer Yakamovich who defends this coming Dec 9 (being held in the Dalhousie Art Gallery, aligning with her topic on art and environmental education). I am particularly thrilled to have seen my supervisee, Farzana Karim, strongly defend her thesis this last Tuesday. She tackled the issue of second homes and short-term rentals in the context of climate change, particularly in coastal settings, and used two distinct methods: municipal planning surveys and GIS analysis. What began as an idea nobody was talking about has finished as an issue that many are talking about. So this is great timing to send this work out into the world. Congratulations, all.
Short answer: No. The first paper is out from Bernard Soubry’s Oxford PhD (which I’m co-supervising), and it is a systematic literature review in Journal of Rural Studies of research on farmer perceptions of climate change, 2007-2018. Very interesting patterns emerged from the 105 papers reviewed, including that the work is dominated by those seeking to ‘test’ farmer perceptions of climate change, rather than leverage them, and that the work is largely done in the Global South. Bernard describes this work as largely seeing farmers as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘verifiable’ rather than viably adapting, and tracks some of the colonial undertones at play. Congratulations, Bernard.
Nice to hear my co-supervised PhD student Bernard Soubry on CBC Halifax’s Information Morning today, talking about what the new IPCC report on Land Use and Climate Change means for farming in Nova Scotia. He drew on his interviews with farmers and other food system experts across the Maritimes over the past few years. The clip is here.