Leadership & Communication

Story: Alaska’s Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs)

Alaska is home to five Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) working to address environmental changes occurring in the state that are too broad and far-reaching for any one agency or entity to address alone. Read more…

Leadership and Communication

"We cannot change nature, our past, and other people for that matter, but we can control our thoughts and actions and participate in global efforts to cope with these global climate changes. That I think is the most empowering thing we can do as individuals."
George Noongwook
The Earth is Faster Now

Commit to a positive future.

As an individual or an organization, take stock of your assets and add to them. Create safe spaces for honest communication with others. Use your voice to share your climate change adaptation activities with and encourage others.

Get involved.

As an individual, use your political power: Vote. Run for an elected position. Join organizations, serve on leadership Boards or Councils working on topics you are interested in (e.g., Resource Advisory Councils, Subsistence Boards). Contribute your voice, your thoughts and concerns in meetings or by mail/email.

Improve relationships and share information.

“If we want to maintain our communities, some of us are going to have to do things in new ways, make those calls ourselves, do things for ourselves. We hope that this might be a good way of encouraging people to think of their own collective and individual ways to do something.” – Nome LCC Workshop Participant

Individuals and organizations can talk with people in the places they live and work to share information, educate each other, increase mutual understanding. All stakeholders, such as tribal and city governments, state and federal resource managers, researchers, and other organizations, can build relationships, improve communication and increase each other’s awareness of issues and potential solutions. Communities and agencies can encourage youth to become more involved.

If tribes are willing, agencies can join together in Tribal Consultation efforts and in so doing also avoid burdening communities, tribal administrators and leaders with multiple consultations. Agency resource managers can dialogue with communities, researchers and other agencies to share research and knowledge from their studies, such as identifying areas that are expected to change rapidly and areas that are more likely to be stable. Researchers and agency resource managers can also learn from indigenous knowledge about topics like: how resources behave and move (to adjust management to respond better to what the animals do); how to track and manage resources; different hunting practices; or how indigenous knowledge might be used to inform management strategies. Informing managers of changes in location and timing are key ways to build relationships and share critical management information. Taking the time to develop mutual respect and work together can help solve complex problems and prevent unnecessary ones.

Plan for responding to change.

Communities and partners can conduct and carry out climate adaptation plans, prioritization, and projects to help align their priorities and coordinate actions. Agency resource managers can use climate projections to inform their management plans and decisions (e.g., impacts on invasive species, species changes, habitats, subsistence opportunities for human use). Agency resource managers can work with neighbors in landscape-scale planning across political and management unit boundaries.

Work together as a region.

Various stakeholders and regional entities can form regional coalitions to carry out joint activities that further resilience goals. Existing regional groups or coalitions can incorporate resilience and adaptation into their regional gatherings where information is shared and activities are planned.

Increase funding and resources.

Governments, organizations and businesses can work together to advocate for and leverage resources, seek grants, and incorporate sustainable economic development into their resilience and adaptation strategies. Stakeholders can increase and take advantage of opportunities for training and technical assistance in business, grant writing and project financing. Agencies, communities and other partners can work together to increase funding and technical support for better baseline and environmental change data that can inform agency and community decision-making.

Engage in collaborative research.

Researchers and citizen scientists can work together to fill data gaps and use cross-disciplinary teams to develop a deeper understanding of complex climate and ecosystem dynamics. Science is intended to inform decision-making in ways that help communities, agencies, and others work toward better future outcomes. 

Coordinate agency actions and resources.

All stakeholders can encourage inter-agency collaboration and coordination. Particularly for small villages with minimal staff, integrating and streamlining agency programs can help increase the ability of village department staff to meet planning and funding requirements. For agencies addressing interconnected social and environmental issues, a collaborative approach can lead to more effective activities.

Create a climate change information hub.

Various agencies and entities can integrate existing networks of information and create a centralized information hub that allows people to collect and share traditional indigenous knowledge, local community observations/data collection, and science research to better understand the changes that are occurring.

Develop a list of recommended reading.

Various agencies and entities can develop a list of recommended reading to help people from outside the Arctic understand how different it is from mainstream or urbanized America and why people want to protect their distinct way of life.

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