In October 2018, the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS) co-convened the Southwest Adaptation Forum (SWAF) with the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (SW CASC). SWAF brought together over 100 adaptation and assessment researchers and practitioners from across the region and nation to exchange best practices and to build a network dedicated to integrated, community-based climate assessment and adaptation. Partners for SWAF included (but were not limited to): American Society of Adaptation Professionals, the USDA Southwest Climate Hub, the Climate Science Alliance, and several tribes. The main goals of SWAF were to:
- Strengthen existing and build new relationships among climate adaptation and assessment practitioners in the region
- Identify gaps in our existing stakeholder and practitioner networks
- Generate synergy and momentum for future engagement among partners and stakeholder groups, and
- Position this emergent network to take tangible action.
During SWAF, participants identified a strong interest in creating a regional “network of networks” that builds capacity to develop actionable adaptation solutions. Through a USGS cooperative agreement, CCASS and SW CASC have partnered to realize this vision of a network that SPANs the boundary between climate adaptation and assessment practitioners through facilitated conversations and strengthened partnerships in the interior Southwest region. The mission of the Southwest Practitioners Adaptation Network (SPAN) is to gather climate adaptation and assessment practitioners in the Southwest to exchange experiences and best practices from their work and build a network dedicated to finding and implementing integrated, community-based adaptation solutions. The project team is currently developing a website for the network and will link to it here when it is available.