Date: September 2, 2015
Contacts: Jessica Kershaw (Interior), Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov
Nedra Darling (Bureau of Indian Affairs), (202) 219-4152
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – As part of the Obama Administration’s Climate Data Initiative, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced a new set of online climate data resources to help Arctic communities with climate change planning, adaptation and management. The new data sets, introduced today as part of an online Climate Resilience Toolkit, comprise more than 250 Arctic-related datasets and more than 40 maps, tools, and other resources designed to support climate-resilience efforts in the Arctic.
The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit is a website developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other Federal agencies that will enable decision-makers to take action. The toolkit will boost climate resiliency by using data-driven tools, information and subject-matter expertise. This also offers information from across the Federal government in one easy-to-use location so that Americans are better able to understand the climate-related risks and opportunities impacting their communities, which will enable them to make smarter decisions to improve their resilience.
“Through the release of Arctic-themed climate data, the U.S. is demonstrating its leadership in sharing free and open climate-relevant information, while also encouraging public innovation and partnerships with private sector entities that are interested in leveraging this data,” Secretary Jewell said. “Also, by sharing climate data among nations, we are providing tools that may be useful in increasing resilience measures across national boundaries in the Arctic."
In tandem with the release of Arctic-specific climate data sets, Jewell joined Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn to announce that the Climate Resilience Toolkit will also be updated with climate impact information specific to tribal nations.
“Rising temperatures, thawing permafrost, melting glaciers and sea ice are having significant impacts on critical infrastructure and traditional livelihoods for tribes in Alaska and across Indian country,” said Assistant Secretary Washburn. “That means climate change not only affects tribal livelihood, but it also affects access to vital resources and the cultural integrity of communities. We are committed to working with tribal leaders to help build more resilient Native communities in the face of a changing climate."
The online tribal climate resources, developed with support by tribes and other federal agencies like NOAA and the EPA, represent an important outcome from the cross-agency work of the White House Council on Native American Affairs.
The tribal toolkit can be viewed at this website.