Sierra CAMP Part II: the What and the Why
If you read my last post on Sierra CAMP, you’re probably asking yourself, “Okay, so the Sierra needs to prepare for climate change and contribute to the state’s climate goals, but how exactly are we supposed to do that?”
Well, Sierra CAMP (short for Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Partnership) was established in 2014 to empower and convene Sierra leaders from government, business, academia, and community groups to share best practices, develop strategies for action, and build connections with urban downstream users of Sierra ecosystem services.
There are currently few structured opportunities in the Sierra for collaboration between organizations to exchange information and leverage resources to become more resilient to regional, as well as global, climate impacts. Sierra CAMP provides a forum for both local and regional organizations that are already tackling climate change as well as new partners who want to engage in this effort. Through greater coordination and collaboration, the Sierra can adapt to known and predicted impacts, and at the same time provide a stronger voice for the Sierra region, and its local entities, at the state level to influence policy, regulatory, and funding decisions.
A key part of Sierra CAMP’s strategy is building urban connections to develop broader support for protection and enhancement of resources that are critical to the rest of the state. Having a coordinated partnership that can reach out to decision-makers and advocate for projects in the state’s principal watershed is especially important now, as the state makes historic decisions about how best to address climate change impacts and where to invest billions of dollars of state funding over the coming decades.
Sierra communities need to do everything they can to engage the urban metropolitan communities that rely on these resources – which are also the areas with the population, political capital and access to funding -- with the rural resource areas to get ahead of the climate change curve.
As a first step, Sierra CAMP recently joined the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation, a network comprised of regional collaboratives from across California including the Sierra, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego. Through ARCCA, Sierra CAMP works with its peer member regional collaboratives to amplify and solidify its individual efforts, as well as to give a stronger voice to collective efforts at the state and federal levels. As a result, ARRCA bolsters Sierra CAMP’s efforts and provides a platform for coordinating with urban areas and state agencies such as the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
Preparing for and achieving statewide goals related to the impacts of climate change will require region-wide collaboration that draws on and builds expertise, capacity, and coordination among industry; local, state, and federal government; businesses; organizations; and community groups throughout the Sierra Nevada and in the urban areas that rely on resources from the Sierra. Sierra CAMP is our ticket to influencing this statewide conversation.