On Thursday, April 3, the White House and eight federal agencies will launch a four-part webinar series focused on evaluating, assessing, and mitigating the impacts of climate change on U.S. tribal communities. The “Climate Change Impacts and Indian Country” series is sponsored by the White House Office of Public Engagement and Council on Environmental Quality in conjunction with the U.S. Departments of Energy, Agriculture, the Interior, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Each of the four webinars will address topics and issues that are relevant to President Obama’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, including:
- April 3, 2014—Disaster Response and Recovery
- April 10, 2014—Built Systems and Other Infrastructure
- April 24, 2014—Natural Resources and Agriculture
- May 1, 2014—Communities: Human Health and Community Development
The Task Force is charged by the President with providing recommendations on “removing barriers to resilient investments, modernizing federal grant and loan programs to better support local efforts, and developing the information and tools [communities] need to prepare, among other measures.” Indian Country is represented on this Task Force by two tribal leaders: Chairwoman Karen Diver, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (MN), and Mayor Reggie Joule, Northwest Arctic Borough (AK).
The webinar series will provide tribal leaders and their staffs, intertribal organizations, and others who are responsible for planning and implementing climate change mitigation, adaption, and resiliency measures for tribal communities with an opportunity to share their unique insights and experiences with the Task Force. Part of a broader federal effort to support education and outreach to Indian Country, the series is designed to:
- Inform tribal leaders about federal agency efforts to assess climate change impacts and vulnerabilities and programs to support tribal communities with climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency efforts
- Gather information from tribal leaders about ways they are working to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts in their communities
- Give tribal leaders a forum for providing Chairwoman Diver and Mayor Joule with input on recommendations for the Task Force to consider.
All of the webinars will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mountain time. There is no charge to participate, but registration is required.