Community climate change volunteer program coming to the RDN

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The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) will form a climate change community volunteer program.

The Agents of Change Project builds volunteer engagement programs in communities across Canada to support residents taking action to build climate resilience and reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, according to a joint media release by the RDN and the City of Nanaimo.

Through the project, the RDN and the City of Nanaimo will work together with International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) experts to develop an action-oriented volunteer engagement program that will support community emission reduction goals across the region.

ICLEI Canada is contributing $15,000 towards the development of the region-wide volunteer program. The project is also being funded by the federal government and will run until March 2023, with the volunteer program expected to launch this coming fall or winter, according to the release.

“The RDN is committed to building regional climate action by working with our municipal partners and engaging our residents. We are keen to get started on this new initiative with the City of Nanaimo that promises to be a longterm catalyst for local climate action,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair.

The application to participate in the Agents of Change program was supported by several local volunteer groups including the Nanaimo Climate Action Hub, Nanaimo Green Faith Circle, First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo, Nature Nanaimo and the Mid-Vancouver Island Electric Vehicle Association.

The RDN said it has committed to reducing community greenhouse gas emissions to 80 per cent below 2007 levels by 2050. These targets are included in the RDN’s official community plans and the Regional Growth Strategy policy.

The project will be included as part of the RDN’s community outreach strategy, helping it to achieve these goals and the recommendations of the RDN’s Climate Action Technical Advisory Committee.

The RDN also has several programs available to residents and community groups who are taking direct action on climate change. These include green building and water stewardship rebates, green building outreach, water stewardship programs and wildfire risk reduction programs.

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