Seven Generations—Community-Based Environmental Planning
Seven Generations—or 7G—environmental planning is the process of identifying, assessing, and developing solutions to environmental, health, and changing climate concerns, with a goal of improving both the the health and welfare of people and the environment in the face of climate change. Building community strength through this environmental planning process can help rural Alaskans identify and solve serious community issues, leading to a healthier and more sustainable community.
The Climate Change section of the Technical Environmental Survey—just one part of the planning process, described in the manual (see link at right)—helps local community members understand and recognize climate impacts that are occurring across Alaska, providing readers with a basic understanding of changes in air and water temperatures and in wildlife and landscapes. The section raises awareness of climate-related issues and encourages community members to monitor and document change.
In addition to providing the 7 Generations manual, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) offers workshops for implementing the 7 Generations Environmental Planning process. Attendees participate in hands-on activities and discussions regarding climate change in their home communities. Group discussions include personal experiences to help raise awareness; training participants are encouraged to take home and complete sections of the manual to help in their own outreach efforts.
After the initial assessment and visioning process has been completed, 7G training encourages participating communities to join the Local Environmental Observers (LEO) Network for ongoing monitoring and expert support and to consider conducting more formal Climate Change and Health Impact Assessments Reports through the ANTHC Center for Climate and Health. These additional assessments can provide additional community-based monitoring, assessment, and planning services as follow-on support.