Adaptation Funding to Help Strengthen Resilience for Communities
on the Front Lines of a Changing Climate
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to prepare communities nationwide for the impacts of a changing climate, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that the Interior Department will make available $8 million to fund projects that promote tribal climate change adaptation and ocean and coastal management planning through its Tribal Climate Resilience Program.
“Sea level rise, coastal erosion, drought and more frequent and severe weather events are impacting Alaska Native villages and American Indian tribal communities across the nation,” said Secretary Jewell. “As governments at all levels work on these challenges, we are committed to partnering with American Indians and Alaska Natives to build more resilient and sustainable communities and economies. This funding can help tribes prepare and plan for climate-related events and build capacity to address these evolving challenges.”
“No one is impacted by climate change more than Native communities in Alaska, but we have also seen serious problems developing for tribal communities across the West and on both coasts. We must act to help protect these communities,” said Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn. “The cultural and economic needs of tribes are tied to the land and protecting that land is a critical component of advancing tribal sovereignty and self-determination.”
Of the $8 million, $4 million will be available for Climate Adaptation Planning and another $4 million for Ocean/Coastal Management Planning. Funding will support tribal climate adaptation planning, training, and participation in technical workshops and forums. In addition, funding will support coastal tribes in addressing the challenges of coastal erosion and development, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and emergency management.
The $8 million in tribal climate resilience funds will build on the nearly $2.3 million previously awarded last December to more than 40 federally recognized tribes and tribally chartered organizations to support tribal climate preparedness and resilience activities. The awards included more than $100,000 to benefit 22 Alaska Native villages, tribes and cooperative associations. The full list of awardees is available here.
As part of Executive Order 13653 of November 1, 2013, all federal departments and agencies are expanding efforts to help tribes, states, cities and localities prepare for the impacts of climate change. To comply with this Executive Order, the Secretary of the Interior’s Tribal Climate Resilience Program responds to the Recommendations and Supplemental Recommendations of the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and helps to implement President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. A key part of the Climate Action Plan is to build more resilient communities, and strengthen defenses for community’s already on the front lines of a changing climate.
Furthermore, the President’s proposed budget for FY 2016 includes $137 million to prepare communities and ecosystems for the challenges of a changing climate. Included in this request is $50 million to support competitive resilience projects in coastal areas. The budget also proposes to expand the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Tribal Climate Resilience Program to specifically address the changing Arctic landscape and offer support to Alaska Native Villages and other critically vulnerable communities in evaluating options for the long-term resilience of their communities. Additional funding is requested in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to increase understanding of the Changing Arctic and the linkages between climate, glaciers and impacts to the people who live there.
A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be available in the coming days and requests for the application can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the attention of Helen Riggs, Deputy Bureau Director, Office of Trust Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1849 C St., N.W., MS-4620-MIB, and Washington, D.C. 20240.
The Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs oversees the BIA, which is headed by a director who is responsible for managing day-to-day operations through four offices – Indian Services, Justice Services, Trust Services and Field Operations. These offices directly administer or funds tribally based infrastructure, law enforcement, social services, tribal governance, natural and energy resources, and trust lands and resources management programs for the nation’s federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and villages through 12 regional offices and 81 agencies.