Local communities, regions, states, and national governments are increasingly confronted with the causes, consequences, and conflicts of climate change. Addressing these challenges can be daunting: it requires us to develop, articulate and facilitate broad-scale change, in the face of significant conflicts over values, interests and uncertainty. Collaborative governance approaches have already demonstrated a powerful capacity for promoting sustainability and addressing other environmental challenges. This conference, in June 2009, focused on ways to engage citizens and organizations to confront the vulnerabilities and challenges – as well as leverage the opportunities - associated with global climate change.
Presenters and participants included leading practitioners of environmental conflict resolution and collaborative governance; community and business leaders; scientists; and elected officials and staff from all levels of government. Conference goals included sharing of knowledge, lessons learned, and transferable models, and exploration of innovative new strategies to further the use of consensus-building, collaboration, and conflict resolution to address climate change. Concurrent sessions also focused on emerging best practices as they pertain to the field of environmental conflict resolution in general. The gathering was intended to serve not just as a stand-alone event, but also as the foundation and catalyst for establishing new collaborative efforts to address this global imperative.