Green Toolbox - Resources - May 2012

Active Transportation 101: Bringing At To Your Community & Developing An At Plan

This new toolkit will help municipalities in their efforts to bring active transportation (AT) to their communities!  AT 101 encourages, celebrates, and builds upon what has already been accomplished in Nova Scotia through its examples, ideas, and suggestions. This resource was developed through a partnership with the Ecology Action Centre and the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.

To download a copy of AT 101, visit: Ecology Action Centre

Nova Scotia Launches An Aquaculture Strategy

The Nova Scotia Government has a new strategy for aquaculture development that aims to help grow a sustainable industry. The strategy identifies and builds on four key pillars: farming responsibly, aquaculture engagement, regulatory safeguards, and jobs and the economy. It also includes a review of the feasibility of closed containment in Nova Scotia.

To view a copy of the strategy, visit:  Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture

A New Information Sharing Tool On Coastal Management

CoastBase is a database of information on priority coastal issues in Atlantic Canada. It is intended to help facilitate greater networking and collaboration on coastal research initiatives, to promote informed decision-making, and to make information about coastal issues more accessible to policy-makers, coastal managers, stakeholders, and the public. CoastBase was developed by the Coastal Research Network Secretariat at Dalhousie University with support from the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Environment Canada.

For more information on CoastBase, visit: Coast Base.

FCM Releases Its Partners For Climate Protection Annual Report

The Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program comprises a network of Canadian municipalities, working together to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their communities. PCP is a partnership between the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability.  Since the program’s inception in 1998, 223 municipalities have joined PCP, making a public commitment to reduce emissions. These members cover all provinces and territories, and account for more than 80% of the Canadian population.

For more information, please visit Federation of Canadian Municipalities or contact Devin Causley, Manager Climate Change Programs, at 613-907-6370 or .

Managing Risks Of Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a report titled, “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation”.  The reports accesses the scientific literature on issues that range from the relationship between climate change and extreme weather and climate events (‘climate extremes’) to the implications of these events for society and sustainable development. It finds that the earth’s current warming trajectory will likely result in hotter days and more heat waves, storms, and floods, and possibly lead to droughts and more frequent and intense cyclones and tropical storms. 

To read a copy of the report, download:  Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation

Little Green Data Book

Little Green Data Book LogoThe World Bank recently released the Little Green Data Book 2012, featuring a compilation of environmental data for more than 200 countries. The publication provides comprehensive data on countries’ natural capital, including agricultural land, forests, protected areas, and water resources—information that can help policymakers, communities and other stakeholders take into account the value of natural assets and their role in development. As countries grow, pressure on land and water increases, threatening ecosystems, such as forests, rivers and soil productivity, and livelihoods in countries with few resources to cope with the loss.

This year’s release introduces a new set of indicators on the state of the world’s oceans, highlighting the role of oceans in economic development. The Little Green Data Book's focus on oceans illustrates the need for countries to measure and manage their natural assets.

To view a copy of the Little Green Data Book, visit:  Little Green Data Book 2012

Setbacks & Vegetated Buffers In Nova Scotia:  A Review & Analysis Of Current Practices And Management Options

This report, prepared through Dalhousie University’s Hydrologic System Research Group, presents a summary of the relevant scientific literature on riparian and coastal zone ecosystem functioning, the approaches to coastal and riparian management used in other North American jurisdictions, the management options available to the Government of Nova Scotia, as well as the challenges of implementing a vegetated buffer or setback policy. A ten step decision-making framework for designating vegetated buffers and setbacks is also presented.

This report is intended to clarify the complex issues related to use of vegetated buffers and setbacks in coastal and riparian zones, and to provide guidance to government staff as a basis for policy design recommendations. The goal of this research is to investigate potential management options for setbacks and vegetated buffers that will protect ecosystem processes, people and property.

A copy of the report can be found at:  HydroLogic Systems Research Group.

A New Resource To Assess The Vulnerability Of Fisheries & Aquaculture Infrastructure To Climate Change

The Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions Association recently develop a tool to assess the vulnerability of infrastructure related to the fisheries and aquaculture industries in Nova Scotia.  By setting out defined criteria, this resource makes the value judgements behind the assessment explicit and consistent to help users compare different pieces of infrastructure to determine which infrastructure is most at risk. 

To download a copy click Assessment of Infrastructure Relevant to the Fishing and Aquaculture Industries  

The Province Releases A Marine Renewable Energy Strategy 

Marine Renewable Energy Strategy PictureMarine renewable energy (MRE) has the potential to contribute to Nova Scotia's energy needs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide economic opportunities at the local level. Thanks to its rich heritage of ocean knowledge and innovation, along with the natural advantage of tides the highest and fastest tides on the planet, Nova Scotia is well-placed to become global player in this emerging energy industry.

The new Marine Renewable Energy Strategy acknowledges that it will take time to develop technologies that can withstand the high current velocities and extreme tidal ranges of Nova Scotia's coastal resources, particularly within the Bay of Fundy on the province's west coast. Further, the impacts of MRE devices-such as tidal, wind, and wave technologies-on ocean habitats, ecosystems, seascapes, and other ocean uses are still under review. As such, the Nova Scotia Government has articulated a strategy that aims to be cautious, incremental, and protective of Nova Scotians' interests in their marine environment.

For more information, visit:  Marine Renewable Energy Strategy

New Online Healthy Communities Portal & Guide

The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) has been active in promoting and developing healthy communities’ best practices.  Its new Healthy Communities website section provides background information on available programs and partnerships.  It also provides a gateway to research, processes, policies, and best practices that will help us plan and develop healthier communities.

CIP’s new Healthy Communities Practice Guide can be found by visiting:  New Online Healthy Communities Section  

The Blue Flag Program Has Arrived In Nova Scotia

Blue Flag ProgramThe Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to beaches and marinas across the world.  It works towards the sustainable development of beaches and marinas through criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management and safety.

The Blue Flag will bring international recognition to Canada's beaches and marinas, and will:

  • Encourage improvements to water quality and the coastal ecosystem;
  • Promote community stewardship;
  • Create environmental education opportunities ;
  • Foster cooperation between health, environmental, tourism, education, and government sectors;
  • Promote tourism;
  • Reassure both Canadians and tourists who visit and enjoy our clean beaches and marinas, that the highest environmental standards are being met.

For more information on Blue Flag criteria and application process, visit: Blue Flag or contact Valerie Francella at