Building climate just and resilient communities: Workshop series for Councils and community services
Funded by Councils. Seed funding through a Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Community Climate Change Adaptation grant.
Community service organisations (CSOs) work on the frontline supporting people during extreme weather events and play a vital role in building long-term community resilience. But during these events, concerns for staff health and safety, power outages and transport delays can limit an organisation’s ability to support community members. Evidence also suggests that CSOs are not prepared for the ongoing and worsening disruptions to their services caused by extreme weather. This places the communities they support at even greater risk.
Councils must prepare and plan for climate risks to health and wellbeing. This is required in Victorian legislation, including a responsibility to minimise the impacts on those most at-risk. For example, in Victoria there is a legislated responsibility to minimise the impacts on those most at-risk. This means that Councils, together with community service CSOs, play a critical role in local climate adaptation and resilience planning. This requires councils to undertake collaborative processes and continuous learning to ensure strategies and services support just and resilient communities.
The workshop series provides the foundations needed to work collaboratively to design and implement place-based approaches to building climate just and resilient communities. This includes the opportunity to strengthen cross-sectoral partnerships to enable greater inclusion of community voices in developing climate change plans and health and wellbeing programs and policies.
Over two half-day workshops, the Centre brings together Council representatives together with local CSOs, health organisations and emergency management. To date, the workshops have been implemented in five LGAs across Victoria.
The workshops support participants to develop a shared understanding of:
- who is most at-risk to the localised impacts of climate change and why;
- the roles and responsibilities of Council, community services, and emergency planners; and
- the strengths, needs and opportunities for these diverse organisations in your area.
The workshops have opened channels for meaningful engagement with community members affected by extreme weather, which will help inform local government adaptation policies and programs. They have also inspired a network of neighbourhood houses to create a collaborative climate action and resilience plan.
Workshop participants receive practical resources to continue their work, including the Jesuit Social Services’ Climate and Ecological Justice Resource Pack. Participants report leaving the workshops with a deeper understanding of climate vulnerability and their responsibility to adapt.
For more information
If you are interested in learning more about the climate resilience workshops for the community sector or delivering the workshops in your local government area, download the workshop series flyer, or contact Jack Piper at email@example.com discuss this project.