Barwon South West Climate Resilient Communities Alliance
Since 2012 the Barwon South West region has benefited from the work of the Climate Resilient Communities (CRC) project in planning for and adapting to climate change. The region has achieved greater preparedness and increased resilience in our communities as a result of this proactive collaboration among 10 Councils, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, two catchment management authorities and local water authorities, among others.
A wide range of initiatives was undertaken by the CRC project, including the delivery of adaptation plans to all councils within the region, as well as beginning the process of implementing priority actions identified in the plans and embedding the learning within each organisation.
With the project now complete, there is an opportunity to formalise the strong network that has developed across the region and to continue to support climate resilience at the community level facilitated by local government and state agencies.
Greenhouse and climate action networks across Victoria
Currently the Barwon South West region is the only region of Victoria without a formal greenhouse or climate action network targeted at the local government sector and state agencies. It is clear from the experience of alliances around Victoria, some of which have been in existence for almost 20 years, that there is much to gain from collaboration within and between alliances. Greenhouse and climate alliances are capable of delivering significant benefit to the community through reducing greenhouse impacts, building resilience, responding to climate challenges, as well as enabling cost savings, knowledge sharing, access to grant funding, increased advocacy and environmental benefits.
Victorian greenhouse alliances undertake 3 core functions:
- Projects – Develop and implement innovative regional strategies and projects typically beyond the reach of individual member organisations
- Advocacy – Advocate on behalf of the community and member organisations
- Knowledge Sharing – Undertake a range of knowledge sharing & capacity building activities
A Barwon South West collaboration could mirror these functions and activities; it could also continue the important work of building community resilience to climate change while investing in renewables, decarbonising the economy, adapting to climate change, investing in green infrastructure and supporting greater sustainability at the local and regional level.