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South Central CAP Team Hosts Inaugural Climate Resilience Forum in Dallas, TX

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe gives keynote address at the South Central Climate Resilience Forum

On April 2-4, 2024, South Central CAP team hosted the inaugural South Central Climate Resilience Forum (SCCRF), at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, TX. The Forum focused on fostering meaningful dialogue on climate resilience and adaptation across Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. It brought together over 250 representatives from non-profit organizations, all levels of government, the private sector, and academia from across the region. The program included presentations, symposiums, and workshops about resources, research, tools, knowledge, and experiences relating to climate resilience and provided opportunities for information exchange and networking. This was the first time a regional branch of the National Adaptation Forum has occurred. The Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) and partner Adaptation International, were the lead organizers of SCCRF, accompanied by other academic institutions, municipalities, federal agencies, and organizations on the Planning Committee.

Over 100 presenters throughout 23 sessions and 7 workshops shaped the Forum through insightful and diverse content. Session topics included: climate science, nature-based solutions, environmental justice, climate-informed planning and action, community and youth engagement, tools and resources for resilience, funding mechanisms for resilience, amongst others. Presenters and attendees shared their research, experiences, and lessons learned and made new connections to broaden their networks. SCIPP contributed to the program through 7 presentations and one workshop. 

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (The Nature Conservancy, Texas Tech University) gave an inspiring keynote address about climate change in our region and finding hope through action. Her address was followed by the Science to Action panel with Dr. Hayhoe, Dr. Earthea Nance (EPA Region 6), T.O. Bowman (City of Oklahoma City), and Arthur Johnson (Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development), moderated by Alejandra Martinez (Texas Tribune). This panel provided diverse perspectives of the challenges and opportunities they face in educating, encouraging, and implementing climate action efforts.

Through engaging presentations, discussions, and workshops at SCCRF, attendees learned that there are challenges in building resilience, but action and hope are abundant in our region. There is still much to be done, so we encouraged attendees to take what they learned back to their workplaces and communities, keep the conversations going, and take the next step in building a more resilient region together.

For more information, contact Caylah Cruickshank.

Image credit: Caylah Cruickshank

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