This was a public webinar, you can watch a recording here:
The report by WSP Fellow Kali Mercier calls for significant change to the way communities are engaged in climate adaptation planning. With climate change reshaping our lives, culture, and public health in profound ways, this issue has never been more urgent.
The report finds that involving communities in adaptation efforts is just as crucial as finding the right engineering solutions. Adapting to a changing climate will be disruptive and intrusive for many. If meaningful community engagement is neglected, it’s likely to create division, weaken the effectiveness of adaptation efforts, and make them less credible and durable.
This webinar included a presentation of our latest report, followed by a panel discussion between experts about what best practice looks like in community engagement – why it’s important, and what are the key challenges and benefits.
Our expert panel includes:
- Roana Bennett:
Community coordinator for an award-winning iwi-led adaptation planning process in Maketu, Western Bay of Plenty, Roana Bennett is a tireless advocate for iwi, hapū and whānau in the face of the changing climate. As Kaiwhakahaere for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whakaue ki Maketu, she serves as a driving force behind the iwi-led, community-wide, award-winning Maketu Climate Adaptation Plan. She firmly believes that addressing severe environmental degradation is fundamental to addressing climate change. She leads a team of iwi taiao practitioners and places a strong focus on involving rangatahi and tamariki through wānanga and hands-on activities in the estuaries, wetlands, and rivers in and around Maketu. Her professional background is in strategy, governance and management, and she is a former finalist in the New Zealander of the Year Awards. She sits on a number of boards that are collectively responsible for over $100M of iwi assets.
- Gemma Greenshields:
Technical Principal, Community Engagement at WSP, and instrumental in working with the South Dunedin community to develop the St Clair to St Kilda Coastal plan. Gemma is an award-winning engagement specialist who thrives on enabling people to get involved in shaping their place through inclusive engagement. She has a strong interest in climate adaptation planning, demonstrated by her work with the St Clair to St Kilda Coastal Plan – the winner of the NZPI Nancy Northcroft Supreme award and IAP2 Australasian Project of the Year. She has been through managed retreat personally, so she brings empathy and insights into her work on our changing futures. She’s passionate about creating robust engagement strategies and strongly believes better project outcomes are achieved by working together.
- Kali Mercier:
Deputy Director at the Helen Clark Foundation, WSP Fellow and report author. Kali has an extensive background in law, policy, and international development, which has taken her to Berlin, London, Mexico City and Botswana. She is passionate about social justice, community development, and improving public well-being through policy reform. Before coming to the Helen Clark Foundation, Kali worked as Principal Advisor at the Ministry of Justice, Policy Director at the NZ Drug Foundation, and as a human rights advocate for Amnesty UK and other charities overseas.