Institute for Sustainable Communities Releases Resilient Vermont Progress Report
Resilient Vermont Network Will Advance Statewide Action
Montpelier, VT– August 19, 2015 – Nearly four years after Tropical Storm Irene struck Vermont, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) announced the release of a progress report on Vermont’s resilience efforts and the launch of the Resilient Vermont Network to support further progress and collaboration.
In the wake of T.S. Irene, ISC developed the Resilient Vermont project, working with more than 400 Vermont stakeholders from state and local government, nonprofits, and businesses over 18 months. The group identified critical recommendations to help Vermont prepare for, and bounce forward from, the shocks and stresses that will be caused by climate change disruption. In December 2013, ISC released those recommendations as the Roadmap to Resilience, twenty-three action and policy recommendations to help Vermont build resilience in a variety of ways.
The Progress Report summarizes actions and accomplishments across each of the recommendations, which fall into four categories around risk, emergency management, aligning policy and investment, and collaboration. Six of the recommendations have seen significant progress, indicated by commitments of funding and resources and tangible action. Fourteen have seen some progress, and three areas have no progress to report as yet.
Deb Perry, Program Director at the Institute for Sustainable Communities, has overseen the project since its inception. She notes, “Vermont is seeing positive momentum in resilience-building efforts, but more effort is needed to protect people, communities and ecosystems. We know that resilience is strengthened through collaboration at every level, and the Resilient Vermont Network will support the work that is happening all over Vermont.”
The new Resilient Vermont Network, developed as one of the Roadmap recommendations, is designed to improve communication and collaboration between state agencies and organizations working to advance resilience. It will help advance tangible projects and Roadmap recommendations that could benefit from broad partnerships. The Network will also share progress and opportunities around resilience statewide through its website, blog, and newsletter. More than a dozen leading statewide agencies and nonprofits are actively participating so far, and the Network seeks to expand.
Other highlights from the Progress Report include support for watershed-scale planning (lead organizations include the High Meadows Fund, the Leahy Center at Lake Champlain, the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources); support for proactive investment in transportation infrastructure (with support from Agency of Natural Resources, VTrans and the Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security); a new Vermont Weather Analytics Center, underway through a unique public-private partnership with IBM, electric utilities, and the state; and the launch of Community Resilience Organizations (CROs), a pilot program to support local resilience teams in Vermont towns.
The Progress Report and information about the new Resilient Vermont Network are available at the Resilient Vermont website. ISC has received funding support for its Resilient Vermont work from Jane’s Trust, the High Meadows Fund, the Lintilhac Foundation and the Waterwheel Foundation. The Resilient Vermont Network is coordinated by the Institute for Sustainable Communities in partnership with Slow Communities and Community Workshop LLC.
ABOUT RESILIENT VERMONT
The Institute for Sustainable Communities launched Resilient Vermont in April, 2012, following the devastating floods of Tropical Storm Irene in August, 2011. ISC brought together state agencies, local government, business and nonprofits in a stakeholder-driven process to develop Vermont’s Roadmap to Resilience, with 23 detailed recommendations for state and community action, published in late 2013. Now, ISC is supporting the new Resilient Vermont Network, a statewide effort to connect resilience efforts and organizations. The Network, comprised of nonprofit organizations and state agencies, is supporting the Roadmap recommendations and piloting key activities to help Vermonters reduce risk and prepare for potential shocks and stresses caused by climate change.
An international nonprofit organization, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has nearly 25 years of practical experience working with local leaders to accelerate climate change and sustainability solutions. ISC’s programs are designed to facilitate peer learning and engagement among local leaders charged with the work of making their communities more sustainable. ISC has led more than 100 projects in 30 countries, and currently works in Bangladesh, China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States. www.iscvt.org