Meeting the Rural Resilience Imperative: Integrating Resilience into Rural Planning & Action

Webinar Date: 
May 28, 2020

Time: 2pm ET/11am PT

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Abstract: We all depend upon rural resources for food, water, fiber, and our economy. Extreme weather impacts rural lands and small towns but often is not addressed due to a lack of resources. Climate change accelerates the frequency and intensity of many extreme events. In the last few years, raging wildfires in the West and unprecedented flooding in the heartland have devastated forests, farms, fisheries, and watersheds. It is vital to meet the unique challenges and opportunities in rural, underserved jurisdictions. Complicating this challenge, political interests often do not align with addressing climate change per se. The Resilient Rural America Project (RRAP) is creating a series of training modules in partnership with rural leaders to serve their needs. In recent surveys, rural leaders identified extreme weather as their primary concern; the surveys also show existing planning processes as their preferred means to prepare for extreme weather. This webinar reviews RRAP’s approach to integrate extreme weather resilience into local comprehensive planning through risk assessment and implementation of practical resilience strategies. The training mainstreams the Steps to Resilience into rural planning using selected resources from the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, EcoAdapt, Geos Institute, and the Model Forest Policy Program. Webinar participants will gain greater understanding of the importance of rural resilience, the barriers rural communities face, and new ways to advance rural resilience strategies.

 

Speakers:

Gwen Griffith, Model Forest Policy Program - About Gwen 

Gwen Griffith, DVM, MS, is program director with the Model Forest Policy Program. She devotes her work to climate resilience and adaptive watershed stewardship. She manages virtual climate training programs for rural communities to protect the forests, farms, and watersheds we all depend upon. This includes the new Resilient Rural America Project (RRAP), a collaborative initiative for resilience training and action strategies tailored to the specific needs of underserved rural communities. Gwen has over twenty years of experience in the nonprofit environmental health sector, with multiple award winning demonstration and educational projects.

Ned Gardiner, NOAA Climate Program Office

Ned Gardiner, PhD manages user engagement for the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit (CRT), focusing especially on applications of the Steps to Resilience, for example helping the state of North Carolina develop their risk assessment and resilience plan and supporting national water utility training. An expert in large data processing, data visualization, and science communication, Gardiner was a co-author of RRAP and continues to work with communities, businesses, and governments to understand and adapt to a changing climate.

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