Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action: Interview with Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA)
We interviewed Patty Martin, Climate Scientist for Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) about the DMOs climate action planning journey and what tips she has for others. The OCVA will be one of the organisations taking part in our climate action planning webinar on 2nd November. Click here to register.
Q: What were the key drivers for the Oregon Coast Visitors Association to sign the Glasgow Declaration and to start the process of climate action planning?
A: Every two years OCVA engages with its stakeholders through a survey that identifies top needs. Our 2020 survey identified climate change resilience as both a short term and long-term priority for our stakeholders. Based on these results, our board of directors voted for OCVA to start engaging in climate resilience work and develop a climate action plan in alignment with the Glasgow Declaration.
Q: How did you define the scope of what you were going to cover in your climate action plan?
A: As a regional DMO with a small staff, we do not have regulatory capabilities or large capacity. We thought we could be most impactful implementing climate solutions into the work we already conduct. Therefore, our climate action plan has the follow scope: to incorporate climate action into established resiliency programs, to invest in new infrastructure, to educate our industry partners, to develop toolkits and training, to establish standards and criteria, to inspire further assessments and needed mapping, to perform PR and marketing, and to commit to internal action.
Q: Lots of organizations have highlighted measurement as the greatest challenge and the biggest concern as they start the climate action planning process, do you have any advice or tips on this?
A: Measurement was by far our greatest challenge. Some key advice for non-regulatory DMOs: don’t get stuck on measurement. If you cannot figure it out, move on, develop other parts of your plan and then come back. The good news is technology is changing daily and resources are becoming available to better help you tackle this issue. Who knows where we will be a year from now.
Another piece of advice is to focus on what you can do. As a regional DMO, we can advocate for new technology and measurement infrastructure on a statewide and federal level. We can also use proxy measurements. This gives us the capability to assess, to some degree, the impact of a solution.
Q: Do you have any other advice that you’d like to share for organizations starting their climate action planning journey?
A: Yes. We have lots of advice!
- Be specific and intentional with the type of language you use. For us, more of our stakeholders are receptive to a ‘resiliency plan’ than a ‘climate change’ plan.
- Bring your advocates along with you on this journey and give them easy ways to market and talk about the work.
- In engaging with stakeholders, lead with co-benefits, specifically economic ones.
- Don’t be afraid to take messy action. We need leaders in this space willing to fail and be wrong. It means we are moving forward.
Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) is one of the signatories of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism .
Find about all the signatories here.