Climate change is likely the most important environmental conservation issue of the century. What was anticipated as a slow progression of change a few decades ago is escalating at a rate significantly faster than was expected, to the point where we are already witnessing impacts throughout the world. Our government leaders and our communities need to understand the urgency for action in order to alleviate and minimize our risks for devastating effects in the coming years. Our environment, our governments, our communities, our families and our children will each be affected by climate change within our lifetimes.
An overwhelming problem like climate change can lead to inertia. It’s such a huge dilemma, where do you start? How can people on an individual level really make a difference towards a challenge so massive? Starting with local, achievable projects can be a strong first step. This project hopes to educate and inspire people within our communities to understand climate change and its potential impacts to our region. The project will provide opportunities to develop community citizen-leaders who can drive action at local, regional, state and federal levels towards the minimization of climate change effects and advocate for political action.
As part of a grant from the National Audubon Society’s ‘Audubon in Action’ program, Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society (DOAS) will host two one-day, ‘train-the-trainer’ style workshops (conducted in Oneonta, NY and Cooperstown, NY) with presentations that focus on climate change, how it is expected to impact our local communities and examples of action that can be taken to minimize those impacts. Climate Leadership Seminars and Action Planning Workshop sessions will include information on resources (educational and financial), case studies on projects being done in other locations, and template action ideas and materials for projects.
“To realize meaningful change and have a positive impact, it takes people that are informed, engaged, and willing to work together to share resources, ideas and inspiration – and to take action”, according to Susan O’Handley, Co-President of Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Chapter. “We have to start somewhere and we recognize that we can’t do this ourselves. It will take involvement from people throughout our communities, and this project is a first step.”
Ideally, the training project will spur action throughout the DOAS Chapter region. The grant from National Audubon Society has the potential to leverage additional project support so that DOAS can create a fund to support expenses associated with the work of participants in their communities.
“We are still seeking about $12-$15,000 in funding to get projects off the ground”, continued O’Handley, “and we will be providing resources and assistance to participants to identify additional avenues for grants through regional, state and federal agencies. Our involvement as a partner in these projects is expected to continue well beyond 2020.”
The Climate Leadership Training and Action Plan Workshops are taking shape now with detailed information coming soon. The target audience for workshop attendees includes people who are interested in taking action on climate change–citizens, municipal officials, members of our region’s farming community, college students and others who are looking to make an impact. The DOAS Chapter region includes all of Otsego County, upper Delaware County, eastern Chenango County and western Schoharie County as well as a few areas into Montgomery County, NY.
To receive additional details and information as it becomes available, people can sign up using the form on the DOAS website at the link below:
For additional information, please contact Susan O’Handley at firstname.lastname@example.org.