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Better Together

Climate ChangeNature - Web - 8

Climate change is happening and the only way we can be prepared for it is to work together as a community.

We are already beginning to see the local effects of climate change, such as extreme weather changes, heavy and intense rainfalls causing flooding, ice storms and increased wind storms causing power outages, here in Halton. To reduce our emissions, protect our environment and keep our community safe, we need to take action at a local level.

After spending a year in my new role as Executive Director of Halton Climate Collective, I saw so much good work being done in our community but I knew that if we wanted to make Halton resilient to climate change, we needed to work together. I attended the Tamarack Institutes Collective Impact Conference and it occurred to me that this approach could be what our community needed. After the conference, I called Conservation Halton, the Town of Oakville and the Town of Halton Hill to gain their support.

With this call to action, a group of community partners came to form the Halton Climate Collective. Today, this collective is made up of the Halton Environmental Network, Conservation Halton, the Town of Oakville, the Town of Halton Hills, the Region of Halton, the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board and the University of Waterloo.

In the past, each environmental organization and institution in Halton has developed their own programming and maintained their own resources but this approach has not worked as well as it could. In many cases, efforts were duplicated, procedures were disconnected, policies were not aligned and impacts were not measured.

It is the goal of the Halton Climate Collective to connect many organizations in the Halton community, including public, private, government, not-for-profit, faith-based, community-based, education and philanthropic. By coming together, from grassroots groups to government departments, we can combine our efforts, share our resources, engage larger audiences and affect more change within our communities. We hope that developing relationships with a number of different community partners and brining a number of dynamic sectors together will best represent local interests and encourage open and transparent conservation.

The Halton Climate Collective is comprised of a leadership team that is being funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, with guidance from the Tamarack Institute. This team is committed to reducing our local emissions and dedicated to creating more resilient communities and has been working hard to ensure that our plans are actionable and achievable.

The first meeting of the Halton Climate Collective was held at Conservation Halton in September, during a month of unusually warm weather and after a summer of horrendous natural disasters around the world. To be honest, we weren’t sure where to start in tackling such a huge problem but there was a deep understanding that we needed to take action. We talked about our efforts, our successes, our challenges and our goals. We discussed how working together in a collaborative, cooperative and transparent way could contribute to the kinds of changes we are all working so hard for and left the meeting feeling positive.

The group has come together a couple of times since the first meeting in September and a workshop is being held in January for partners to connect and engage. For more information or to get involved in the Halton Climate Collective, please contact Lisa Kohler, Executive Director, Halton Environmental Network at lisak@haltonenvrionment.ca

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Last modified: January 25, 2018

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