This article was prepared by the Gippsland Climate Change Network for COMMUNITIES LEADING CHANGE
In Gippsland we regularly experience the impact of unstable climates through droughts, bushfires and floods. At Gippsland Climate Change Network, we believe in working together to prepare for climate challenges and to work towards a sustainable future. Founded in 2007, GCCN is a not-for-profit organisation powered by a group of committed volunteers and members. We are driven by the shared vision that Gippsland can be carbon neutral by 2040 and enjoy thriving communities, new industries, a resilient economy, healthy habitats, and sustainably managed resources.
One of our biggest challenges so far has been how to engage our communities about the real and present threat of climate change impacts in ways that understand the science and our local expertise but also promote partnerships and generate hope. Three core initiatives contribute to achieving our vision. These are: Engage Gippsland, Energise Gippsland and Regenerate Gippsland.
Engage Gippsland focusses on connecting and collaborating with local communities, businesses, and government organisations around climate change awareness and solutions. Through this platform, we would like to generate conversations and opportunities that will inform Gippslanders about local climate change challenges and possibilities.
The Communities Leading Change was one of these valuable programs developed through partnership that we have been excited to see grow and develop. CLC has been connecting with Gippsland communities to spark conversations around climate change and the transition towards a sustainable future. We look forward to reading some of these stories in the soon to be released magazine Transitions: Stories of Gippsland Communities Leading Change.
Energise Gippsland is focused on community energy projects through its flagship Latrobe Valley Community Power Hub program with support from Sustainability Victoria. This delivers practical energy assessments through the scorecard program, supports community energy initiatives with local communities and make available advice that improve access to renewable energy for both households and small businesses. Other projects have included the launch of the Yinnar Solar Footpath, the donation of solar to local community groups, and investigating the repurposing of old solar panels which often end up in landfill.
GCCN leads and supports sustainable agriculture through our growing focus on Regenerate Gippsland. With international students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) initiated the project Storying Perceptions of Climate Change in Wellington Shire, which produced several of the video stories. But we are also excited about leading the Gippsland Biomass Audit with the Latrobe Valley Authority as part of their Gippsland Smart Specialisation Strategy. This includes researching opportunities available for agricultural producers such as transforming waste into a valuable resource.
By building partnerships, collaborations and engaging, energising and regenerating local communities, we intend to support Gippslanders to adapt to climate change impacts while exploring ways of becoming leaders in sustainable practices and renewable energy generation.
The article above was prepared by the Gippsland Climate Change Network for COMMUNITIES LEADING CHANGE