Chris Packham lends Dorset campaigners his support for local ‘COP’, urging Dorset attendees to ‘shout above the noise for the future of humanity’.
Three of Dorset’s leading climate action groups have come together to organise a pioneering event with the aim of spurring the local community into urgent action to combat the threats posed by climate change and ecological collapse. Zero Carbon Dorset, Dorset Climate Action Network (Dorset CAN) and Sustainable Dorset have joined forces to launch the first community-led Dorset COP in Dorchester Saturday 9th September at the historic Corn Exchange building.
Hampshire resident and Springwatch presenter, Chris Packham, in a special recording for the event, hailed it as a “brilliant idea” while highlighting how the scientific evidence shows we have a very limited time and how we all need to step up to “demand the actions we require to secure a healthy and happy future” for humanity.
Laura Baldwin, environmental campaigner and former Olympian, who will open the conference said: “This event is not only ground-breaking but also of huge importance - not just for Dorset but for community activists everywhere. That’s why it hopes to attract people and organisations from right across the county.”
Giles Watts, a coordinator with Dorset Climate Action Network said: “This ground-breaking, community-led event is an attempt to apply the power of the international COPs to local issues and so galvanise Dorset into faster action to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.”
The event, to be held in Dorchester’s Corn Exchange on Saturday 9th September hopes to attract people and organisations from all over Dorset and will close with a powerful declaration of intent to mirror those issued at the international COPs.
The ‘Dorchester Declaration’ will be a commitment to act, advocate and lobby for action on climate change and the environment across the county and will follow a series of talks by high-profile speakers (details to follow), as well as workshops, short talks, panel discussions and break-out workshops for organisations to collaborate.
Chair of Sustainable Dorset, Jenny Morisetti said: “This event, a first in the UK we believe, will be Dorset’s very own opportunity for the community to network and have its say on climate and ecological issues. It will raise the power and reach of Dorset-based organisations by fostering collaboration, supporting the spread of vital information, and helping organisations to act locally in a way that puts people at the heart of decisions.”
Co-founder of Zero Carbon Dorset Mark Chivers commented: “While Dorset is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, from rising sea levels to the loss of local species unable to cope with the rising temperatures, globally others are already suffering the consequences of climate change; losing their livelihoods, homes and even lives. But by raising awareness of the urgent need to act locally and demonstrate the depth of community commitment to tackling the crises we aim to secure action from all stakeholders and spur both Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Councils to take the lead suggested by the Government’s own Climate Change Committee.”
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When and where is it?
The event will take place on Saturday 9th September 2023 at Corn Exchange, Dorchester from 9.30 – 17.00 (registration from 9.00)
Information on the location and accessibility can be found at:
Who is paying for it?
The organisers and supporting partners have all contributed funds and / or services of commercial value to enable the event to take place.
Attendees are also being asked for a nominal contribution to secure their places and help cover costs.
In the event surplus funds are generated they will be used to help organise follow up events.
What are the expected outcomes?
The event is being organised and structured to:
· Provide an opportunity for community-led groups to inspire each other, share experiences and build networks; ultimately creating beneficial impacts for all Dorset citizens.
· Demonstrate the depth of community commitment to tackling the crises to spur both Councils and other stakeholders to accelerate leadership and action across their spheres of control and influence.
· Provide a forum for community-led groups to share and promote a common vision to tackling the crises through a Dorset wide declaration.