According to the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Risk Report, three of the five top global risks in the next 10 years are environment-related: extreme weather events (#1), natural disasters (#2), and the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation (#5). Just last month, the U.S. Government released its Fourth National Climate Assessment by 13 federal agencies including the Pentagon and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It stated, “Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.”
Recognizing the threats that these changes pose to our area, county officials, nonprofit leaders and citizens gathered at the first Community Resilience Workshop at the Community Campus in Hailey on Monday, December 3.
Co-organized by the Sun Valley Institute and Warm Springs Consulting and funded by Blaine County, City of Ketchum and others, the workshop planned for our future in light of climate change, with the goal to identify and implement specific projects together. After working through a scenario planning process considering our community’s greatest risks including our highly-concentrated economy (tourism), housing, population growth, and income disparity in light of our increasing vulnerability to forest fires, flooding, drought, and rising temperatures, participants arrived at concrete strategies and projects to reduce these threats.
Working in small groups, each team tackled a different set of risks. Highlights of the collaboratively-developed solutions included: creating an affordable housing fund, celebrating Blaine County’s diversity through more cultural events, and continuing to increase local food and energy production.
Thank you to all of our participants dedicated to ensuring a lasting quality of place. Please join us at our second workshop in February to work together to refine, prioritize and prototype the projects and policies to accomplish the goals. Learn more at www.sunvalleyinstitute.org/events.