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Friday, March 1, 2024
City Council adopts Climate Ready Oʻahu, the City’s first climate adaptation strategy, as guiding policy document for the City
By News Release @ 10:59 PM :: 1394 Views :: Honolulu County, Environment

Climate Ready Oahu Press Conference Picture: Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi celebrates the adoption of Climate Ready Oʻahu with a tree planting ceremony at Makalapa Neighborhood Park alongside: Councilmembers Radiant Cordero & Chair Tommy Waters; representatives from Trees for Honolulu’s Future, the Dept. of Parks and Recreation, the Resilience Office; National Parks Service, and community members.

City Council adopts Climate Ready Oʻahu, the City’s first climate adaptation strategy, as guiding policy document for the City

News Release from Office of the Mayor, March 1, 2024

OʻAHU – On Feb. 28, 2024, the Honolulu City Council unanimously passed Resolution 24-16, adopting the City and County of Honolulu’s first-ever climate adaptation strategy, Climate Ready Oʻahu, as a guiding policy document for the City.

Climate adaptation means proactively preparing for and adjusting to avoid the worst impacts of our changing climate. Climate Ready Oʻahu fulfills the community’s call to create a climate adaptation strategy, as identified in Action 28 of the City’s community-driven Ola: Oʻahu Resilience Strategy.

“This essential strategy affirms our commitment to keep our people, land, and infrastructure safe, and for future generations,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “Climate change is increasingly impacting every facet of life, which is why we made adaptation a priority. Through the actions laid out in this strategy, we now have a clear path as to how the City, community and individuals can work together to address climate equity and protect what we love.”

Climate Ready Oʻahu focuses on our island’s top five climate hazards and the risks that they pose: sea level rise and coastal erosion, rising temperatures and extreme heat, flash flooding, drought and wildfire, and hurricanes. It outlines a vision for a climate-ready future consisting of 12 adaptation strategies and 57 implementable actions we must take to prepare, protect, and safeguard our island community today and for generations to come.

“We have all witnessed the devastating local impacts of climate change, which unfortunately have been increasing in frequency and magnitude all around us,” said City Council Chair Tommy Waters. “In light of this, the Council has strongly supported several measures to protect the environment and mālama i ka ‘āina, including adopting the City’s Climate Action Plan in 2021 to phase out greenhouse gas pollution. We are excited to take this next step in strengthening our collective resiliency by adopting the City’s first-ever climate adaptation strategy, which incorporates both expert knowledge and extensive community mana‘o. The strategy outlines the contributing factors to climate impacts on our island, and highlights specific ways in which the City and the public can better adapt to make our communities safer, our neighborhoods more prepared, and our residents much more resilient.”

In co-creating this strategy with the community and City agencies, the Mayor’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency (Resilience Office) led extensive public outreach campaigns that included a variety of community engagement workshops, open houses, surveys, award-winning games, and tabling events across the island. Over 2,000 community voices helped shape the strategy in addition to a 40-member Community Advisory Hui, the City Climate Change Commission, local experts, and almost 200 public comments during last year’s public review period.

While climate change affects everyone, climate impacts are not evenly distributed or evenly felt. Climate hazards impact some areas more than others, and communities with more resources have a greater ability to adapt to climate impacts. In recognizing the unequal burdens of climate change, climate equity was prioritized during the development of the strategy, and “Designing for Equity” sections are included in each of the 12 strategies to advance equitable implementation.

“Protecting our place and our people is our collective kuleana; it’s up to all of us to determine the resilience and security of our communities in the face of climate change,” said Alexander Yee, coastal and water program manager for the Resilience Office and strategy lead. “With the full backing of City Council and administration, and with support from the community, we look forward to equitably amplifying adaptation work within the City and uplifting community-led work—much of which is already underway.”

The adoption of Resolution 24-16 was celebrated with a news conference at Makalapa Neighborhood Park on Thursday, where the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) planted a new Monkeypod tree to increase urban tree canopy. This project supports Strategy 12 from Climate Ready Oʻahu to keep our communities cool as temperatures rise, and continues community engagement with the park’s users.

In a partnership program next month, DPR plans to plant four Milo trees at Makalapa with DPR maintenance staff providing additional irrigation access to facilitate community watering of the new trees. Efforts to resurface the park’s basketball court are scheduled for this coming fall as part of the Kākou for Parks Program.

The City will continue to work with the State and private and public organizations to further implement and realize the strategies of Climate Ready O‘ahu. This includes, but is not limited to, addressing heat in parks and public spaces (such as “cool surface” treatments for play courts and parking lots) and community-led partnerships to mitigate beach erosion and the impacts of sea level rise (exemplified by efforts at Sunset Beach Park and Wāwāmalu [Sandy Beach Park]).

View the news conference recording at https://youtu.be/sG2vojBF7nM.

Read the strategy and discover actions you can take at climatereadyoahu.org.

—PAU—

Stay connected with the Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency online and by subscribing to the newsletter:
Facebook: @ResilientOahu
Instagram: @ResilientOahu

Website: resilientoahu.org

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