Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program: Guide for Applicants 2021 to 2022
The Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program is accepting expressions of interest from First Nations. The deadline to apply is October 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. Find details on how to apply for the 2020 to 2021 fiscal year.
On this page
- Program overview
- What is community-based climate monitoring?
- How the program works with Indigenous peoples
- Available funding and approach
- Who can apply?
- Program requirements
- Activities the program supports
- Expenses the program covers
- Information sharing
- How to apply
- After you apply
- Key dates
- Phase 1 assessment criteria
- Co-funding and other funding opportunities
The purpose of this call for Expressions of interest (Phase 1) is to invite First Nations to submit their project ideas to the Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program (the program) at Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) for initiatives that would begin in spring 2021. CIRNAC will assess the project ideas and invite selected applicants to submit a full proposal (Phase 2). The program’s external First Nations Advisory Committee will then review the proposals and make funding recommendations.
The social, cultural, ecological, and economic impacts of climate change are being felt across Canada. Indigenous peoples are among the most vulnerable to climate change due to their close relationship with the natural world, traditional lifestyles, and in some cases, geographic location. For instance, climate change can threaten safe access to the land for harvesting plants and animals, endangering food security and cultural continuity. For these reasons and others, Indigenous peoples are uniquely positioned to provide leadership on climate change monitoring and adaptation efforts.
The Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program provides funding across Canada to support the design, implementation, or expansion of long-term, community-based Indigenous-led climate monitoring projects. These projects:
- inform efforts to adapt to climate change
- fill gaps in climate data
- provide capacity building opportunities for youth and other groups
- promote knowledge transfer between generations
- offer opportunities to connect with culture and the land
The program also facilitates access to tools and best practices, enhances collaboration and coordination among initiatives, and supports Indigenous participation in program oversight.
What is community-based climate monitoring?
In the context of this program, community-based climate monitoring refers to tracking changes in climate and climate impacts using Indigenous Knowledge Systems and science led by Indigenous peoples for the benefit and use of Indigenous peoples and communities.
Typically, climate and the environmental effects of climate change are monitored by observing and tracking qualitative and quantitative climate indicators over long periods of time. Applicants self-determine the indicators which are most relevant to their needs and local context. This monitoring is typically carried out within community boundaries and on traditional territories.
To see how the environment is changing over time the data collected can be compared to:
- a baseline measurement taken on a particular date
- historical records
- other reference conditions
The program supports monitoring of both climate and climate impacts:
- Climate: Monitoring climate involves collecting information on weather variables such as air temperature, rainfall, and wind. This can be done through observation and/or with scientific instruments. When using instruments, climate monitors can record the data manually or use an automated weather station.
- Climate impacts: Monitoring climate impacts consists of tracking the effects of climate change on the environment including land, water, wildlife and vegetation. This can be done through qualitative and quantitative observations, including Indigenous Knowledge and by using scientific instruments or methods.
All projects must demonstrate a strong link to tracking climate change or climate impacts. That said, ecosystems are complex and interconnected and the program may support projects that monitor the environment from a more holistic perspective.
How the program works with Indigenous peoples
In response to guidance from Indigenous partners, the program follows a distinctions-based approach and is working with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation to develop unique governance and funding approaches that meet their priorities and needs. For example, the program has established or partnered with Indigenous-led committees to support program implementation and make funding recommendations. Contact CIRNAC for more information about the funding approach for Inuit, the Métis Nation, and other groups.
The program consists of a small team of project officers who help applicants and funding recipients every step of the way. For example, project officers guide applicants through the application process and support funding recipients through sharing tools and resources, assisting with reporting requirements, and holding periodic check-ins throughout the project.
Available funding and approach
The program has $2.3 million in funding available for April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 for First Nations projects and $2.6 million in subsequent years. We anticipate funding approximately 20 First Nations projects per year. Applicants can apply for up to three years of funding.
As a national program, we will aim for an equitable distribution of projects across the country.
The program is launching a 2-phase competitive process consisting of:
- Phase 1: a call for Expressions of interest to develop a short-list of applicants
- Phase 2: an invitation to selected applicants to submit a full proposal in order to make funding decisions
In addition, there will be 2 separate streams of funding, one for "Emerging" and one for "Experienced" applicants. Once all of the applications have been received, CIRNAC will determine the appropriate funding envelope for each stream in collaboration with its First Nations Advisory Committee.
Who can apply?
The program is now accepting proposals from First Nations including:
- Band councils
- Tribal councils and associations
- Governments of self-governing First Nation communities
Applicants who have previously received funding from the program are eligible to apply under the "Experienced" stream if they are proposing new activities that have not been previously funded or need more time to establish their monitoring initiatives.
We encourage applicants to develop external partnerships to help build their capacity to monitor climate and environmental change. External partners may include:
- other Indigenous communities and organizations
- federal, provincial, territorial or regional governments
- non-governmental organizations
- academic institutions
- professional service providers
The program does not fund consultant or academic-driven projects.
Phase 1 applicants will use a questionnaire in the application to self-determine whether they fit under the "Emerging" or "Experienced" stream with respect to carrying out formal, community-based environmental/climate monitoring initiatives. The purpose of creating 2 streams is to ensure that applicants with a range of experience levels have equal opportunity to access the funding. As such, applications to the 2 streams will be evaluated separately. The program will allocate specific funding amounts to each stream once all of the applications have been received.
The program only funds projects that:
- are community-led and community-based
- relate to monitoring climate change
- co-apply Indigenous Knowledge Systems and science
- build capacity for youth and others in climate monitoring and related areas
- facilitate knowledge transfer between generations and foster cultural continuity
In addition, projects must monitor key climate indicators such as:
- weather: air temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind, extreme weather events
- land and water: permafrost conditions, coastal erosion, landslides, wildfires, drought, water quality and quantity, water salinity, water temperature, flooding, glacier retreat, freshwater ice, sea ice, sea level, snowpack, storm surges
- wildlife and vegetation: population, distribution, health, seasonal timing, habitat quality, species at risk, invasive species
We recognize climate change has unique effects to individual regions, communities and groups. The program will also consider proposals to monitor climate indicators that are not listed above.
Activities the program supports
Examples of eligible activities related to climate monitoring projects include:
- community engagement
- developing a monitoring plan
- hiring and training of community members to work on the project
- rental or purchase of monitoring equipment
- monitoring key climate indicators over the long-term (does not include short-term inventories)
- assessing and managing Indigenous Knowledge and science-based data
- communicating climate monitoring results
Expenses the program covers
The program can support the following project expense categories:
- salaries and wages (includes honouraria)
- travel, transportation, and accommodation
- training and workshops
- professional services
- audit and evaluation
- supplies and equipment dedicated to the project
- printing and communication products
- data purchase from commercial provider
- administrative costs (to a maximum of 15% of the sub-total)
Capital expenses, such as the purchase of buildings or vehicles, are not eligible for funding.
The average yearly cost of a project is about $150,000. However, costs can vary significantly depending on the scope and nature of projects. For example, the program has funded projects ranging in cost from about $8,000 (such as, school-based project) to $200,000 (such as, multi-community project) per year.
The program will consider funding arrangements lasting 1 to 3 fiscal years.
Funding recipients own the data and knowledge collected through the program and may self-determine how their data is managed and mobilized. To improve regional collaboration and coordination, the program asks funding recipients to share their project descriptions or "metadata". This is general information about the project such as what, where, when and how the data was collected and by whom. The program also supports sharing of findings with partners who could benefit from the data, where appropriate, to enable a better collective understanding of the changing climate.
CIRNAC encourages funding recipients to share their stories and photos through the Indigenous Climate Hub, an on-line platform where Indigenous peoples working on climate change monitoring and adaptation can connect as well as access resources, news and events, and funding opportunities. Furthermore, CIRNAC may occasionally request stories and photos for use in program communications and outreach materials.
How to apply
Contact CIRNAC to discuss your project idea and to obtain an application package. You can reach us by email at email@example.com or through the Public Enquiries Contact Centre.
The program plans to hold a series of webinars to walk applicants through the application process and answer frequently asked questions. In addition, applicants are encouraged to reach out to CIRNAC with any questions along the way.
The deadline to submit an expression of interest application is October 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. Applicants will receive an automatic reply confirming receipt of their application. The program will only consider applications that are complete and on-time.
After you apply
The program team will assess the expressions of interest (Phase 1) and invite approximately 35 applicants to submit full proposals. The program is aiming to notify both successful and unsuccessful Phase 1 applicants in writing by December 2020. The program will then provide successful Phase 1 applicants with a new application package and support them with the development of their full proposal (Phase 2) from December 2020 to February 2021.
The program’s First Nations Advisory Committee will review the full proposals between February and March 2021 and make funding recommendations. The program will notify both successful and unsuccessful Phase 2 applicants in writing. We expect to begin developing funding arrangements with successful Phase 2 applicants in Spring 2021. Upon request, the program will provide feedback to unsuccessful Phase 1 and Phase 2 applicants. Note: timelines may be adjusted as circumstances require.
- September 15, 2020: Launch of phase 1 - Call for Expressions of interest
- September 24 and 30, 2020: Webinars for phase 1 Applicants
- October 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm Pacific time: Deadline to submit expressions of interest
- December 2020: Notification to successful and unsuccessful phase 1 applicants
- January 2021: Webinars for phase 2 applicants
- February 2021: Deadline for phase 2 - Full Proposals
- March 2021: Notification to successful and unsuccessful Phase 2 Applicants
Phase 1 assessment criteria
The program team will assess the expressions of interest against an evaluation matrix which has been developed in collaboration with its First Nations Advisory Committee. These criteria relate to the following themes:
- Program eligibility
- Demonstrated need (such as geographic location, vulnerability to climate change, climate data gaps)
- Project objectives
- Project team
- Use of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and science
- Preliminary budget and key activities
- Community engagement
- Data mobilization
- Capacity building
- Knowledge transfer and cultural continuity
- Diversity of project participants (such as different generations and genders)
- Project outcomes and sustainability
Applications to the "Emerging" and "Experienced" streams will be evaluated separately.
Co-funding and other funding opportunities
The Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program collaborates with climate change adaptation programs administered by CIRNAC and Indigenous Services Canada:
- Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program
- First Nation Adapt Program
- Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program (North and South)
If your monitoring project incorporates climate change adaptation measures, you may be eligible to receive support from more than 1 program.
Other federal funding opportunities may include:
CIRNAC will make every effort to refer applicants to additional or alternate funding sources where possible.