Climate change is a critical issue affecting the long-term sustainability of all communities. To effectively plan and adapt, we must work together to empower each community to build local resilience.
Local government agencies have a critical role to play in addressing these challenges. The Western Adaptation Alliance was formed to encourage collaboration amongst local government agencies in the
southwest and intermountain west region to address climate related impacts unique to arid environments.
The WAA is a network for local government agencies located and operating in the southwest and intermountain regions that have come together to address the complex challenges caused by a changing
climate that includes drought, wildfires, wind, extreme precipitation events, and heat.
Long Term Network Goals:
- Research and sharing solutions: The network will use the collective impact of all members to find solutions and resources to shared climate adaptation problems.
- Building relationships: The network will bring members together to build connection and trust.
- Sending a Collective message: All members of the WAA will have access to a shared message and communication platform that helps describe the impacts of climate change in the WAA
region and explains the need for adaptation efforts.
Examples of activities the network will undertake:
- Research and sharing solutions: The network will use the collective impact of all members to find solutions and resources to shared climate adaptation problems. This includes:
- Pilot projects to test solutions in one or more member cities
- Submitting grant proposals to address regional adaptation challenges and the pursuit of other funding opportunities from USDN and others
- Building a database of adaptation strategies including programs, policies and funding mechanisms
- The maintenance of a database of climate impacts and events
- Identifying climate planning needs for the region
- Gaining exposure and access to science and data for local, regional, state and intermountain impacts from climate change
- Starting a conversation on how to measure resiliency and adaptation efforts using indicators and measures specific to WAA communities
- Building Relationship: The network will bring members together to build connection and trust through phone calls, webinars, and in-person meetings in order to provide
opportunities for the following:
- In-person networking and knowledge sharing, including climate leadership academies and workshops
- Opportunities for peer review on new initiatives
- Coordinated outreach to groups outside the WAA
- Support and coaching for constructive dialogue on climate change with electeds and government leadership
- Contact list for immediate assistance and feedback
- Small working groups for topic-specific challenges
- Encouragement and moral support in a complex and dynamic field
- Sending a collective message: All members of the WAA will have access to a shared message and communication platform that helps describe the impacts of climate change in the WAA
region and explains the need for adaptation efforts. These efforts will include:
- Identifying the collective message and narrative about climate change, resiliency, and adaptation that resonates with all WAA communities
- Building political legitimacy, locally and region-wide, and the case for adaptation efforts
- Lobbying / taking a collective stance on specific issues
- Building a platform to share intellectual property
- Send a collective message to funders that demonstrates alignment of WAA communities and clearly defines the opportunities to address local adaptation needs.