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Building Capacity for Climate Resilience in Albemarle-Pamlico Region Tribal Communities Project

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APNEP has partnered with the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs (NCCIA) to implement a project designed to support tribal communities in the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed in considering climate resilience during community planning. The project was developed by APNEP in partnership with representatives from tribal communities in the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed and coastal plain and is designed to increase engagement between tribal organizations, government agencies, and university faculty, as well as to acknowledge the unique knowledge and cultural perspectives of tribal communities surrounding climate change impacts. 

The project's overarching goal is protecting the environmental health of the waterways and natural resources in the Albemarle-Pamlico region, and the communities that live in, visit, and depend upon them.  Core project partners include the NCCIA, APNEP, NC State University (NCSU), and the Virginia Coastal Policy Center. Other project advisors include the UNC American Indian Center, the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, and the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center.  Community engagement envisioned through the project includes workshops and other forums to share information on climate impacts and resilience planning strategies, and promotion of information sharing between tribal communities and resilience practitioners. Additionally, a graduate research assistant, under the guidance of NC State University faculty member and member of the Lumbee tribe Dr. Ryan Emmanuel, will conduct an analysis to assess climate resilience planning and implementation projects by tribal governments and other tribal or inter-tribal organizations throughout the United States. 

After the completion of these initial phases of the project in 2021, the project team hopes to utilize these planning and assessment efforts to build capacity for developing resilience and adaptation strategies tailored to meet the unique needs of coastal plain tribal communities.  

The project is funded through supplemental funding awarded to APNEP from the Environmental Protection Agency.  In addition to the original award, APNEP is funding the Virginia Coastal Policy Center to coordinate with the tribal communities in the Albemarle region of Virginia. This project supports implementation of North Carolina’s Executive Order 80 and the State Climate Risk and Resiliency Plan, similar directives in Virginia, and APNEP’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. 

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