It is only fitting that I celebrated Earth Day by giving a lecture on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation for future environmental planners. How I managed to squeeze this activity in between preparations for the fellowship is challenging but I think if you’re really passionate about something, you’ll do what it takes.
Environmental planning is a fairly new profession in the country. It was only in 2013 when the law was passed to regulate and standardize its practice. Environmental planners are also called urban, town or regional planners and by legal definition, our work entails “managing and regulating the use and development of land and water resources, in relation to their environs, for the development of sustainable communities and ecosystems.”
For an archipelago of more than 7,641 islands comprised of diverse ecosystems but exposed to high level of risks to disaster and climate change, our profession is a must. To plan and to make strategic decisions in pursuing development while ensuring environmental sustainability does not rely on the planner alone but requires participation and engagement of all sectors of society; and we need all the knowledge, skills and support we can get to become more effective.
I haven’t done lectures in a while so yesterday was also both a refresher and reminder of why I do what I do and also why I am participating as an Environmental Sustainbility Professional Fellow for the Spring 2018 cohort. There is still so much to learn and people and organizations to engage with. Likewise looking forward to my stay in Tallahassee and getting to know the state of Florida and the United States as a country.
But first, I must finish packing.