Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum was one of six partners in the Coastal Communities Adapting Together (CCAT) project, which supports coastal communities in the Irish Sea to understand climate change and how they can adapt to such changes.
Coastal communities will see the real impacts of climate change as sea levels rise, there are more intense storms and increases in temperatures in the air and the ocean.
To help schools, young people and community groups have a better understanding of how climate change is affecting their local area, we developed a series of bi-lingual climate change cards which can be used as part of facilitated workshops.
The card decks are split into three themes: understanding climate change, identifying impacts, and taking climate action, as well as people who may be responsible for taking action. The cards aim to help people prioritise the most important climate changes in their local area and think about what type of actions would be most effective to minimise the impacts of these changes, effectively creating a local climate change action plan.
The cards enable groups to have a conversation about climate change on a local level and in an engaging and inspiring way and provide a template for climate action. They help people understand climate change implications while encouraging them to share their thoughts in a structured way which can be used to provide ground-level feedback to decision-makers on what actions people want to see in their local communities.
The cards were developed in April 2020, but due to the pandemic, initial pilot workshops with a few community groups took place online and were supported by Natural Resources Wales. Now, we are hoping to do further workshops with groups in person. While we run our own workshops here at Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum, we also encourage other individuals or organisations to visit our website and download the cards for free.
Promoting what you are offering – in our case, a digital card resource – to the right people is crucial for engagement. We found that the cards worked best with local people and our reports from these workshops helped inform decision makers.
It also pays to be flexible and for your educational tools to be available in multiple formats. We released the cards and tried to arrange workshops when the Covid-19 restrictions were at their tightest, so we had to work completely online instead. The cards themselves are available to use under a non-commercial Creative Commons License – so you can use them as they are or edit them to create something more bespoke which serves your needs better.
Lastly, don’t feel like you need to re-invent the wheel. Before developing educational tools, check if someone else has done something similar – and if they have it might be easier to collaborate! It is always good to work with people who want to make real and sustained change.