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Refining our goals, supporting partners’ evolving plans
July 05, 2023

One of the first recipients within the initial round of CO2 Foundation grants was the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Climate Resilience Program. The intention was to bring the University of Oregon-based Tribal Climate Change Project (TCCP) into the Program, to sit within an organization led by tribes, for tribes.

As plans sometimes do, this one changed when ATNI’s current Executive Director came onboard and established new priorities for the organization. The CO2 Foundation was pleased to work closely with Climate Resilience Program Director Dr. Chas Jones to pivot the funding to go toward other Foundation-aligned projects within the Program, including:

  • Supporting Dr. Jones, as a co-author on the Tribes and Indigenous Peoples chapter of the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), to engage in ongoing authorship work. Dr. Jones attended an author’s meeting in Washington, DC in April and is dedicating hours each week through the expected publication date of October 2023.
  • Supporting the four Climate Resilience Program staff members in attending the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) mid-year convention in Coeur D’Alene, ID.
  • Supporting the Program staff in attending the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) mid-year convention on natural resources and climate in Prior Lake, MN.

Within the NCA5 work, authors discuss wildfire, flooding, erosion, and other extreme weather events; levels of confidence have been developed about the impacts of these events, based on a thorough literature review, and key messages focus on impacts of extreme weather on health, economies, culture, and infrastructure. At gatherings, committee meetings and listening sessions with member tribes regularly include extreme weather-focused impacts, like coastal erosion and storm surges, tribal relocation, flooding, drought, hurricanes, landslides, and advocacy for appropriate responses.

Each component of this new slate of work tracks closely with CO2 Foundation priority funding areas of scholarship and conferences. Although the Tribal Climate Change Project will for now stay at its current organizational home, the CO2 Foundation is pleased to be able to support Dr. Jones’ involvement in the NCA5 – the highest-level reporting mechanism for US climate impacts – and ensure staff capacity to participate in convenings around the region and the country.