When it comes to climate change, the Portmore Municipal Council (PMC) believes that “action is the best option,” which is why it’s working to improve climate-related governance and systems with the help of Townsville, Australia.
The PMC hosted a team from Townsville and a representative from the Urban Climate Change Research Network for the second time in early April – the third and final exchange trip of the partnership.
Activities during the week included a two day workshop, school visits, a tour of areas particularly vulnerable to climate change, as well as presentations from Dr. Michael Taylor from the University of the West Indies, Mona and Dr. Reginald Blake from UCCRN.
The workshop utilized Townsville’s collective social learning approach to engage local and national stakeholders. Fifty participants worked together to pursue holistic responses to deal with the impact of climate change and aid in the development of a climate change action plan.
After seeing the workshop in action during their visit to Townsville and then having it replicated at home, PMC staff is now capable of holding their own collective social learning workshops that will help build the community’s capacity to adapt to climate change over time.
The purpose of the school visits was to introduce a tool that can be used for the collection, storage, and visualization of temperature data. Waterford High School, Portmore Community College, and HEART College of Construction Services learned how to build, install, and monitor sensors from their counterparts in Townsville. Placing temperature sensors on the roofs of schools and teaching students how to use them increases civic engagement and understanding around climate change in addition to providing valuable data.
At the conclusion of the partnership, Townsville will share strategic recommendations for Portmore going forward and the PMC will have a Sustainable Development Plan with climate change projections mainstreamed throughout.
You can learn about Portmore's visit to Townsville here.