ADAPTool Applications

On February 11, 2014, IISD’s Natural and Social Capital program director, Dimple Roy, led a Natural Resources Canada-hosted webinar on “Using ADAPTool to Assess What Makes Policies Adaptable under Climate Change,” based on a multi-province and multi-sectoral review undertaken by IISD in 2013.

To view the recorded webinar, please visit:

Policy-makers and the public are increasingly aware of the potential impacts of climate change, increasing vulnerability to climate change and adaptation needs. Part of the growing efforts to plan for climate adaptation includes the mainstreaming of adaptation into policies, regulations and programs in multiple sectors. As a practical concern, governments want to know whether existing policies and programs, which were developed to address other goals and objectives, are themselves adaptive to change, including a changing climate. Policies that are not adaptive are more likely to fail to achieve their intended objectives as circumstances change, such as in the case of climate change.

The ADAPTool was developed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and partners to assess the adaptability of policies or programs in relation to any defined stressor or external change, such as climate. It produces two kinds of assessments: 1) it gauges the ability of existing policies or programs to support adaptation measures undertaken in response to the specified stressor by the policy target groups and 2) it assesses the general adaptability of the policies or programs themselves (i.e., are they likely to respond well under the influence of the anticipated as well as unanticipated changes?).

In 2013, IISD and its partners analyzed policies in four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia) in multiple sectors including mining, forestry, agriculture and fisheries. In addition, IISD created a guidebook on using the ADAPTool for existing policies, a guidance brief for using the ADAPTool for creating new policies and an online interface for the ADAPTool.

The 2013 project resulted in 12 reports, listed below. Some are specific to provinces or sectors, while others are synthesis reports on multi-provincial work. More of these reports will be available to view in the near future.


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