Raising Awareness About Environmental Issues in Boise, Idaho: What Can Environmental Organizations Do?

Climate action is about creating green jobs and a new economy for the future, while protecting the health of all Boise residents. The City of Boise is committed to taking action on climate change and has organized a face-to-face environmental conference on Tuesday, April 18th. The conference, entitled Recreating Public Land Recreation, is designed to encourage action and debate on long-term and short-term actions to better support and create mutually beneficial relationships between recreational people and public lands. Environmental organizations have an essential role in raising awareness about environmental issues.

They can link frontline communities to resources such as training, networks, funding opportunities, research opportunities, or other organizations and alliances that would support their work. They can also organize forums or conferences at the local, state, or regional levels to bring together key environmental and environmental justice (EJ) organizations to learn and establish contacts about environmental issues in their area. Additionally, they can prioritize hiring people with previous EJ experience, create specific positions for EJ, or create an environmental justice advisory board for the organization. When discussing environmental issues, it is essential to recognize that many marginalized populations bear the burden of environmental hazards and have less access to environmental benefits. Therefore, if organizations want to see real change and create a space in which marginalized people feel comfortable working or volunteering, an intentional effort must be made to dismantle systems of oppression in the workplace and the organization.

One way that major environmental organizations can take a concrete step to address environmental injustice is by incorporating environmental justice into their mission statement. Environmental organizations must provide a space for communities to define the problem and the results they want to see, and ensure that they do not paternalistically dominate collaboration and ensure that the community has autonomy over the implementation and success of the project. This can also create employment opportunities in communities, such as hiring a local resident as a community organizer. In conclusion, environmental organizations have an important role to play in raising awareness about environmental issues in Boise, Idaho. By connecting frontline communities to resources, organizing forums or conferences at different levels, prioritizing hiring people with previous EJ experience, creating specific positions for EJ, and incorporating environmental justice into their mission statement, they can help create a more equitable environment for all.

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