What is a climate adaptation plan?

A climate adaptation plan is a document that members of a given community can turn to for information about the environmental changes they are experiencing. Usually a climate adaptation plan explains what is happening and what can be done about it. Also, climate adaptation plans are written primarily by people who live in the community that they are writing the plan for, so all the information is customized to meet the needs of the community.

What is included in the climate adaptation plan?

In Hoonah’s climate adaptation plan, we have included information about various natural resources and natural processes, as well as how these things are being impacted by the environmental changes occurring locally and across the globe. Additionally, there are suggestions for different actions that can be taken to address the concerns of Hoonah residents.

How was the climate adaptation plan made?

HIA Environmental began working on the plan late last year, and has been working in partnership with a team of master’s students from University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (Arianna Lapke, Anjali Pandey, Jillian Shrader, Megan Trapp, and Grace Whipkey) and their advisor, Dr. Kyle Whyte.

The Hoonah Climate Adaptation Plan is closely modeled after the Sitka Tlingit and Haida Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

One of the first steps in creating the plan was learning more about which resources people are most concerned with. We did this using our survey during the winter bazaar where we completed about 60 surveys. After that, we had some in-depth conversations with 7 residents to hear some personal stories and gain more insight about changes they’re experiencing as well as how those are impacting everyday life. Most recently, HIA Environmental and the UM SEAS team hosted a community event (link to event blog post) where people were able to further share their concerns regarding different resources as well as brainstorm ideas to address these concerns. 8 people attended this meeting to contribute to the climate plan.

How do Hoonah residents use it?

            You can get to and easily navigate the Climate Adaptation Plan at https://www.hia-env.org/climate-adaptation-plan/ .Residents can read more about the different impacts that local resources are facing as well as see what strategies exist to address those impacts moving forward. For example, if you are noticing changes in herring populations but are unsure about what is causing it, you can go to the herring section, read about some of the scientific explanation, and also learn more about what plans HIA Environmental has for adaptation. While doing so, any questions or ideas can be directed to anyone at HIA Environmental – check our contact page at https://www.hia-env.org/contact-us/.

            In the future, we are planning on making picture and graphic interpretations of the climate plan to help interpret it and make it useful in a new way.

            Further, the Climate Adaptation Plan will serve as a guide for city planning and development efforts.

The Climate Adaptation Plan is a living document and it is intended to be updated every 5 years, but the conversation will be continuous. You can be a part of the conversation by keeping an eye on our website (hia-env.org) and social media pages (HIA Environmental on Facebook and Instagram), as well as attending the Huna Stewardship Council meetings from 3:30 – 4:30 on the third Thursday of every month. Each year we will revisit the plan in the Huna Stewardship Council meeting to update it and take notes on progress.

As always you can reach out to HIA Environmental for any questions or feedback regarding the Climate Adaptation Plan or any other projects.         

Written by Anjali Pandey and Arianna Lapke