The Green Resilience Project (GRP) is an opportunity for community members to explore connections between climate change, income security, and community resilience.
Community resilience—understood here as a community’s ability to meet, respond to and recover from major challenges like the ones brought on by climate change—is an essential part of any plan to bring greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050.
Today, community resilience in Canada is under threat in many different ways: from fossil fuel workers worried about job losses; to farmers facing drought, uncertain markets and local depopulation; to communities experiencing high cost of living, suppressed wages, failing social systems, poverty, systemic racism, heat waves, wildfires, flooding and more.
This project is motivated by the understanding that we need bold policy and action at the intersection between climate change and income insecurity, and we need buy-in across the board. The Green Resilience Project community conversations or action planning sessions are a step to finding the common ground that will lead us there.
How does the Green Resilience Project work?
Local partners across Canada are designing and organizing their own conversations to discuss how economic conditions and climate change impacts are affecting their communities, how those issues are connected to each other and other issues – from housing to food security to systemic oppression to mental health – and what can be done at the local or national level to address these issues together. Some groups are engaging in action planning sessions to move forward with plans.
The GRP team provides funding and support to local partners hosting conversations or action planning sessions. Partners are encouraged to shape the project experience, from content to format, in order to ensure the project meets their own needs, gains traction on local efforts, and reflects the needs of their community.
Who can participate as a partner?
The GRP partners with organizations or individuals working on a range of issues. Past partners have included environmental organisations, anti-poverty organisations, a healthcare worker, a health policy researcher, Indigenous-led communities or organisations, basic income pilot sites, a cultural organizer, three youth-focused organisations, a think tank, a community economic development organisation and a member-based farming organisation.
The most important consideration for participating in the Green Resilience Project is that a conversation or action planning session on these topics will move the work of the host forward for community benefit.
As we learned in our initial Green Resilience Project conversations about climate change and income security, there are often connections between issues, even if they are not obvious at the beginning of the conversation. Individuals or organizations that have been working to strengthen their community, whether their focus is social justice, food security, healthcare, environmental protection, income security, or in other areas, are encouraged to enquire.
What is the difference between a community conversation and an action planning session?
A community conversation is just that: a conversation. It’s resourced opportunity to bring a range of people together to discuss and explore connections between climate change and income security. Broadly, the conversation will be focused on climate change and economic impacts within your own community. You will design the format and the exact content of your conversation. For example, your event could be a more formal meeting with presentations or it could be a series of kitchen table conversations.
An action planning session is a resourced opportunity to get to work on a solution that addresses climate and economic impacts in your community. These sessions could include, for example, bringing in a subject matter expert, hosting an in-person planning session, training and compensation for folks to meet with decision makers, etc.
Whether your group should organize a community conversation or an action planning session depends on your current work, and which activity would be most helpful to move your work forward. A conversation with the GRP team can help identify which opportunity may be most advantageous for your community.
How does this project advance solutions to climate change, income insecurity, and community resilience?
Foundational to the GRP is the understanding that solutions need to be informed by the people who will be most directly affected. The GRP starts with an understanding that community members are the experts on their own communities. We work with a network of community partners who are already involved in some aspect of these discussions and have the capacity to carry on with their advocacy after their sessions are complete.
In this video, Will Grant lays out four levels of action that can create change:
1 – Individual actions (like recycling)
2 – Working with or talking to friends and family to ignite change
3 – Working with the community or local institutions on making changes
4 – Working with or advocating for economic or policy change, often at the provincial or national level
The Green Resilience Project works primarily with community partners that are working at or are ready to work at level three. Some partners are bringing a local perspective on issues most likely to be affected by level four policy changes.
What kinds of support will the Green Resilience Project provide?
The GRP offers community partners $3,000 in funding to be used as needed, and our team members are here to support your project. We have materials available to help host conversations (the use of our materials is optional). Our staff will work with you to help ensure you have the resources you need to design your conversation or action planning session in the way that best suits your community’s needs.
What is the timeline for these conversations or action planning sessions?
Community conversations or action planning sessions for the 2023-2024 cycle need to be completed by June 3, 2024.
I am (or might be) interested in hosting a conversation. What’s the next step?
There is no formal application process. Get in touch with us so we can figure out together whether this is a good fit for us both. You can get started by sending a quick email to our Project Manager, Janet Patterfung. Briefly let her know:
-Your name (and organisation, if applicable)
-Why you are interested in hosting a conversation or action planning session
-How this opportunity will benefit your community / advance your work within the community