President Barack Obama’s Tribal Climate Resilience Program continues apace, most recently with the awarding of $11.8 million to help tribes plan for and cope with climate change.
“These funds will help the American Indian and Alaska Native communities on the front lines of climate change prepare, plan and build capacity,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell in a statement on July 8. “The Obama Administration remains committed to supporting these communities as they adapt to the effects of rising sea levels, stronger storms and other manifestations of a warming climate that we see and feel across the country.”
The National Climate Assessment released in 2014 focused on Indigenous Peoples for one of its chapters, highlighting the ways in which they are on the front lines of climate change.
Earlier this year Jewell visited the Alaska Native villages of Kotzebue and Kivalina and saw firsthand the effects of climate change on these tiny hamlets that are encroached upon by the rising sea.
In the latest round of funding, Alaska Native villages will get about $2 million for Climate Adaptation Planning and Ocean and Coastal Management Planning, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) said. The 104 awards were made in several areas, providing for training and workshops, climate adaptation planning, ocean and coastal management planning, and other initiatives, the DOI said. Previously the DOI had awarded $10 million for similar efforts among tribes.
More money is allocated in the proposed FY2016 federal budget as well, the DOI said.
“The budget also proposes to expand the Tribal Climate Resilience Program to address specifically the changing Arctic landscape and offer support to Alaska Native villages and other critically vulnerable communities as they evaluate options for their long-term resilience to climate change,” the DOI said. “Additional funding is requested for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to increase understanding of the changing Arctic and the linkages between climate, glaciers and impacts on those who call the Arctic home.”