Conference prepares Alaska communities to deal with climate change

What do you get when you take the leading voice for sustainable communities, add in youth from Alaska and all over the world, throw in a dash of inside-the-beltway DC policy experience, and bake it all together in a pan the size of the Chugach National Forest?

You get the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Classrooms for Climate conference – headlined by The Wilderness Society Governing Council Member Majora Carter and featuring TWS’s Climate Change Policy Advisor JP Leous.

Alaska is ground zero for climate change, and the Chugach and neighboring landscapes, with world famous glaciers and watersheds, are an extended classroom for researchers, educators, and students to learn about the impacts that climate change will have and how we can prepare for them.

The keynote address given by Majora will also center on adaptation – called “Hometown Security: Climate Adaptation, Social Innovation and Local Solutions,” the talk will focus on what communities are doing to prepare for and adapt to climate change, and how doing so will improve the job security and environmental security in the face of climate change. Listen to her on Alaska Public Radio.

Then JP will be talking to the crowd there about the policies associated with preparing for the unavoidable effects of climate change.  Climate-Smart Conservation, also known as climate change adaptation, is incredibly important to communities and landscapes across the country, as rising sea levels, extreme floods, and parching droughts all stress our croplands, water supplies, and communities, and JP is on the front lines of the policy debates in Washington DC about how policy makers and legislators are doing about it.  Listen to JP on APRN.

Even if you aren’t in Anchorage, you can still catch some of the information presented – JP and several other presenters were interviewed ahead of time, including experts from the US Forest Service and the US Geological Service here.

JP will be tweeting from the conference – follow him @twsjp and providing updates throughout the conference.