Climate change is widely regarded as one of the biggest public health threats this century. Canada¿s Arctic is on the frontline of these changes and Inuit are widely believed to be one of the most at-risk populations. Finding ways to adapt is a major challenge facing public health in general and for the Arctic in particular, with adaptation offering a proactive approach for managing climate-related health risks one that views Inuit populations as active agents in planning and responding at household, community, and regional levels.
An evidence base on adaptation options and processes for Inuit regions is currently lacking however, constraining climate policy development. Herein, "L'adaptation aux changements climatiques et la santé des Inuits" (ACCSI) research program will work with Inuit communities, scientists and knowledge users to evaluate community-initiated programs for enhancing Inuit health and well-being from the perspective of reducing vulnerability and strengthening resilience to the health impacts of climate change, examining the potential for such programs to be scaled-up as part of broader adaptation planning. Three programs have been selected for evaluation, and while none have been developed as adaptations, all focus on addressing the social determinants of health which have been identified to significantly increase vulnerability to climate change across the North.
Specifically, the selected programs have potential to moderate the impacts of climate change on food security and enhance safety of using the land for hunting and traveling in-light of rapidly change ice regimes. In so doing, the work will provide one of the first comprehensive evaluations of potential climate change adaptations in the North and more generally in the health and climate change literature.