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Co-chairs: Michel Allard (Université Laval)
Guy Doré (Université Laval)
Heather Brooks (BGC Engineering)


Permafrost thaw induced by climate change and inadequate foundation designs impacts people living in the North in various ways. Variations in ground surface conditions may damage buildings and infrastructure and compromise transportation networks when roads and airports are impacted. Changes induced by permafrost thaw in the landscape have started to affect traditional subsistence activities and food security by altering the ecosystem and possibly by releasing harmful contaminants into the food chain. Consequently, permafrost thaw generates significant costs associated with technological and cultural adaptations. This session focuses on innovative and integrated approaches (field, theory, applied and societal) and the collaboration with communities, territorial governments and other stakeholders across northern Canada. Meaningful partnerships will be pivotal to address the concerns of northern people and ensure the optimal use of research and private sector projects efforts to facilitate adaptation and increase resilience in northern communities. Critical points include:
1- Analyzing infrastructure/construction/urban land use interactions with permafrost, with a focus on transportation networks, in collaboration with government and northern partners to better understand these processes and design adaptation and mitigation approaches.
2- Continue and extend permafrost mapping and characterization in northern communities, and transfer knowledge in support of selection of appropriate foundation designs for buildings and for community land use planning.
3- Partnering with the communities to assess and explain ecological change in their lands induced by permafrost thaw and how their subsistence and cultural activities may be impacted, and increase the resilience of local communities to the impacts of climate change.
4- Using innovative knowledge-sharing approaches in partnership with northern organizations and communities to gather baseline permafrost knowledge, train locals, build capacity and develop innovative solutions for adaptation.