Building Capacity of Rural Communities to Respond and Adapt to Climate Change

Bristol Bay area, Alaska

Adelheid Herrmann, ACCAP postdoctoral fellow began work on a project with the goal of building the capacity of rural communities to respond and adapt to climate change. Many of the Tribes in rural Alaska have been working on an Adaption, Resilience and Mitigation planning process and this project addresses the capacity of these Tribes to carry out and implement these planning processes.

The major themes being examined in the context of climate resilience are:
1. tribal economic and workforce development
2. tribal governance and
3. protocols related to research in rural communities.

In Alaska, there are often many individuals, research groups, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), tribes, and tribal organizations that are working independently on issues of climate change, but they do not communicate with one another. We refer to this as the ‘silo effect.’ Within the themes noted above, ACCAP will examine and offer solutions to the ‘silo effect’ within organizations working on climate change and adaptation methods in order to help support tribes in planning for their future. In doing so, we aim to contribute to a better understanding of the external forces that tribes have to be aware of and deal with in their climate planning and adaptation processes.

Greta Goto has been hired as a research aide to work on the economic and workforce development component of this project and help further define the scope of work on the project. Adelheid has attended and participated in many meetings and conferences to better understand tribal climate needs in the context of other community priorities. Since the pandemic she has been attending virtual meetings related to gaining knowledge on tribes’ capacity to deal with the effects of climate change and providing resources for their planning processes.

Presentation given in August 2020 to the Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Working Group by Adelheid Herrmann and Greta Goto.