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Working Together for the Environment: the WNY Environmental Alliance

Over
the past year, environmental organizations and dedicated citizens have worked
together with the Community Foundation for Great Buffalo to create a shared
vision and agenda for the environmental movement in our communities. Known as
the Western New York Environmental Alliance, this group, which represents over
170 groups, officially announced its action plan recently. 

In the hope of
fostering a community of collaboration and cooperation, the WNY Environmental
Alliance’s Our Share Agenda for Action,
is a testament to the power of working
together toward the common goal of creating sustainable, thriving
communities where we can all live healthfully, work productively, learn, teach,
grow old, and choose our own path.

The
Agenda

aims to answer to the challenge of making the general public and policymakers
aware of the importance of environmental work and the consequences of inaction
in Western New York. At the same time, the Agenda
realizes that many
environmental groups are understaffed, under funded, and disconnected. To
successfully mobilize the public and policy makers, it is therefore crucial to
strengthen our environmental organizations.

            

The
shared agenda, inspiring in its creation and aim, now has to be implemented.
The next steps for the WNY Environmental Alliance are as follows:

 

 Regularly convene WNYEA members to measure progress
and trouble-shoot any challenges that arise

Organize a fourth Environmental
Congress
in
2010 and establish the meeting as an annual gathering

Seek additional outside funding
sources
at
the local, state and national levels to support and expand implementation
efforts

Provide leadership development and
training resources


Begin development of the WNY
GreenTable
, an online interactive entity that will help sustain the WNYEA, encourage
ongoing collaboration among its
members and engage consumers to become a part
of
its
work.

Work on the GreenTable
has already begun as well as other collaborative initiatives such as a
compilation of environmental education resources, a feasibility study for
Groundwork Buffalo, and exploration into shared office space for environmental
nonprofits.  This month, there was field trip to Toronto to check
out the Centre for Social Intervention.

The WNY Environmental Alliance is sure
to be positive force in our communities and region’s ecologic, economic, and
social future. The partnerships and cooperation that have grown and will
continue to prosper are a lesson for all of us, and they highlight what is
possible if we work together, and what can be missed if we don’t.

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