To date, extensive resiliency planning and projects have been limited to the coastal region of our Commonwealth, while central and southwest regions are typically under-resourced. Rural communities face increasing threats from extreme weather events and unpredictable climate patterns that exacerbate existing economic, environmental, health, and other social stresses. It is critical to identify, address, and prepare for these risks and challenges to survive, thrive, and become more resilient.
The Resilient Virginia Collaborative Alliance is an effective and powerful means to build capacity to address climate impacts in Central and Southwest Virginia. A collaborative alliance is simply the aggregation of cross-regional stakeholders for a common cause. Intentional, well-organized collaboratives help alleviate the strain of limited local government capacity, finite financial resources, and technical insufficiencies. Such an alliance will strengthen capacity and expedite productive, measurable outcomes.
Why Resilient Virginia?
Since 2014, Resilient Virginia has been a nonpartisan organization facilitating relationships between government, nonprofit, business, community, academia, and private sector entities to accelerate resiliency planning. Serving as the backbone organization for the RVCA will unite these sectors to define priorities, share resources and tools, and streamline the process of resiliency planning and project funding in Central and Southwest Virginia.
As a community leader in the Commonwealth, you are in a prime position to be an effective partner and change-maker with the RVCA. We envision the collaborative to be a platform where multidisciplinary sectors come together to share ideas and discuss best practices to address climate impact, ultimately resulting in stronger communities.
Through the Collaborative Alliance, Resilient Virginia will formalize and expand the synergies we have developed and bring the benefits of collaborations to communities working on resiliency planning in Central and Southwest Virginia. We will particularly work to address gaps in services to small, rural, non-coastal, and disadvantaged communities that lack the staff and funding to initiate climate resilience research and planning. The Planning District Commissions which will be the focus of the RVCA are shown below.
Structure of the Resilient Virginia Collaborative Alliance
As the RVCA backbone organization, Resilient Virginia will:
1. Establish a common vision and strategic direction
2. Guide data collection, analysis and reporting
3. Support aligned activities that educate and motivate
4. Facilitate working group formation based on expressed priorities
5. Build public capacity to understand challenges
6. Advance policy to facilitate solutions
7. Mobilize funding for localities
Collaborative Alliance Core Steering Committee
The Core Steering Committee will:
1. Partner with RVCA through member and sponsorship opportunities
2. Identify the most beneficial direction for the collaborative
3. Delineate action plans through focused working groups
Collaborative Alliance Working Groups
Working Groups will:
1. Spotlight top-priority issues such as energy, flooding, transportation or job creation
2. Participate in idea sharing and peer exchange
3. Build local capacity for climate solutions
The Resilient Virginia Collaborative Alliance will result in Collective Impact.
Fall 2023 Activities
With the support of the Institute for Sustainable Communities we are embarking on the launch of the Resilient Virginia Collaborative Alliance for Central and Southwest Virginia. This fall, we are formally inviting representatives from government, nonprofit, academia, and business to be part of our Core Steering Committee who will set initial goals, develop the governance structure, and form initial working groups to address priority resilience needs in this region.