Sunday, January 20, 2008

Helping your community prepare for climate change

The Climate Impacts Group (a "science in the public interest" NGO based in Seattle) has published a primer for communities grappling with climate instability. The title is Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments, and it identifies a procedure that an average community would be hard-pressed to invent on their own. The book is: ... designed to help local, regional, and state governments prepare for climate change by recommending a detailed, easy-to-understand process for climate change preparedness based on familiar resources and tools. Questions addressed in the guidebook include the following:
  • How do you assess climate change impacts that will affect your community?
  • How do you build support for adaptation?
  • Who should participate in your preparedness team?
  • What are climate change planning areas, and how do you identify them for your community?
  • How do you identify your sensitivity, adaptive capacity, and risk to climate change impacts – i.e., conduct a vulnerability assessment and a risk assessment ?
  • How do identify your priority areas?
  • How do you establish a vision and guiding principles for a climate resilient community in these priority planning areas?
  • How do you begin to develop climate change preparedness goals and actions in these priority planning areas?
  • How do you develop a plan?
  • How do you ensure that you have the right tools to take actions?
  • How do you develop measures of resilience to track your progress and update your plans over time, to ensure that your efforts are really making your community more resilient to climate change?

Preparing for Climate Change was co-authored by the Climate Impacts Group, King County (Washington) Executive Ron Sims, and King County 's climate team. ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability is a contributing partner and is distributing the guidebook nationally to its more than 250 U.S. member cities, towns, and counties as part of its Climate Resilient Communities Program, a Five Milestone process for adapting to climate change.

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