The actions in the Devens Forward Climate Action and Resilience Plan that focus on promoting engagement and regional collaboration are aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). In our latest SDG Connection blog series, we look collaboration and engagement in each Devens Forward plan element and in the UNSDGs.
The purpose of the SDG Connection blog series is to illustrate that communities of all sizes can use frameworks like the United Nations Sustainable Development Guidelines to assess their own sustainable development efforts. This month’s topic is engagement and collaboration.
Engagement and Collaboration
There is no way to reach the Sustainable Development Goals without partnerships and collaboration. Action to achieve these goals is needed on three different levels: global, local, and people-based action. Local action makes progress by implementing necessary policies, budgets, institutions and regulatory frameworks of governments, cities and local authorities, and people-based requires community members to contribute to developing a movement to generate change. By engaging in local conversations about addressing climate change, encouraging local governments to make decisions with climate change and their communities in mind, and being involved with local planning processes, you help create momentum for global change. Community engagement
Community engagement and regional collaboration have been central to the development and implementation of each element of the Devens Forward Plan. The Devens Forward planning process relied on a significant level of community engagement from a diverse array of stakeholders to identify priorities and avenues for climate action in Devens. Devens highlights regional collaboration as a pillar of the plan, so representatives from the Towns of Harvard, Shirley, and Ayer, and regional organizations like the Nashua River Watershed Association were integral in the process. The success of the Devens Forward Plan depends on ability of institutions, residents, and organizations to work together.
What is Devens Doing to Promote Engagement and Collaboration?
Devens’ transformation from a former U.S. Army base to a thriving economic center makes it significant to regional development. Economically, Devens acts as a regional employment center and a leader in sustainability, having received global recognition as an eco-industrial park, in which businesses cooperate with each other and with the local community to reduce waste and pollution. Devens’ social fabric also reaches beyond Devens through the work of social entities such as Loaves & Fishes, childcare centers, Clear Path for Veterans, and women’s shelters. Devens is prioritizing collaboration and engagement through:
- Collaborating with Harvard and Bolton on the Apple Country Nature Based Solutions project to identify nature-based solutions that will strengthen resilience of people and ecosystems.
- Teaming up with Ayer, MA to renovate West Main St and submitting an MVP grant for a pocket forest demonstration plan.
- Collaborating with Shirley, MA by siting municipal facilities in the Shirley Village Growth District to create commercial and senior housing opportunities.
- Collaborating with neighboring communities to collect household hazardous waste, dispatch emergency calls, and share equipment across public works departments.
- Being home to the Eco-Efficiency Center that supports the region.
- Sharing knowledge and case studies to promote low impact development in other communities.
Read more about what Devens is doing to reduce climate change while promoting health and economic development in our Devens Forward Action Plan.
What Can Businesses and Residents do to Engage and Be a Part of the Solution?
Interested in engaging more with Devens? Follow some of these tips!
- Follow Devens Enterprise Commission on social media and share our posts! Make sure to tag @devensec and #DevensForward!
- Visit the Devens Forward dashboard to track progress toward our climate goals.
- Share your ideas and input at local meetings or directly to email@example.com.
- Take notes from this guide to talk to your family and friends about climate change.
Check out our dashboard for more ways to get involved and to stay tuned for future blog posts!