Climate Solutions University


Protecting Vulnerable Citizens and Ecosystems through Climate Adaptation Planning

Model Forest Policy Program

The Model Forest Policy Program (MFPP) is a national nonprofit organization that helps communities create climate adaptation plans that are ready for implementation. In our planning process, urban and rural communities with a shared dependence on ecosystem services partner with one another. They work to protect vulnerable citizens and natural resources while increasing resilience to climate change! This is done through our highly regarded program: Climate Solutions University.


Climate Solutions University

Model Forest Policy Program offers the highly regarded Climate Solutions University to develop leaders who assist communities in the challenging work of adapting to climate change. Learn how to plan beyond jurisdictional boundaries and protect vulnerable citizens and the natural resources on which they depend.
Walk The Line

  • Preparing your community for climate adaptation is critical. Smart planning protects vulnerable citizens from floods and drought, conserves water resources, preserves watershed health, stabilizes micro-climates, maintains species habitat, preserves the economy, and ensures local and regional climate resilience.
  • The climate adaptation plan you create is ready for implementation. The finished product is thorough and specific. It includes action steps, timelines, deliverables, and responsible parties. In other words, this plan will not sit on the shelf!
  • Benefit from building resilience for at-risk urban and rural citizens. You are a good fit to participate if you seek to build community capacity for climate resilience for at-risk urban and rural citizens, and the critical forested watershed ecosystems and ecosystem services upon which they depend. As part of the program, upstream rural areas will partner with urban municipalities whose water resources, public health, and economic stability depend on ecosystem services in adjacent rural areas.
  • Communities with other planning processes can also qualify. Climate Solutions University is also for those whose communities’ whose land use or comprehensive plans are up for revision, whose watershed plans fail to address how climate change impacts hydrology, or those struggling to implement a completed plan. Join our network of communities implementing their adaptation plans!
  • Economic & Fiscal Sustainability: The economies of many cities are directly impacted by risks to drinking water, public safety and infrastructure associated with resource activity and impacts from upstream areas. Climate adaptation planning in partnership with rural areas ensures the economic sustainability of these resources. In a challenging fiscal environment, maintaining a strong economy dependent on healthy environmental resources is crucial.

Over 30 communities have worked through the program to conserve water resources, protect vulnerable citizens from floods and drought, preserve watershed health, stabilize micro climates, maintain species habitat, preserve the economy, and ensure community climate resilience.

Click Here to Learn about the communities who have participated in Climate Solutions University, including the four 2015 Communities

Sustainable Sandhills is a nonprofit dedicated to serving the environment and natural resources of the North Carolina Sandhills. In 2000, Fort Bragg leadership took a proactive stance to ensure the long-term viability of the installation by convening a regional sustainability planning process. Sustainable Sandhills emerged as an independent environmental nonprofit resulting from this collaborative effort. It works as a change agent to empower youth, combat climate change, document and demand stronger protection for the environment by reducing the region’s environmental footprint centered on air, water, energy, education, and business.

Sustainable Sandhills has partnered with the City of Fayetteville to develop its Climate Adaptation Plan through Climate Solutions University and integrate climate resilience goals into the city’s Master Plan and other regional planning efforts. The Sandhills region has experienced rapid, unplanned growth in recent years. In addition, North Carolina is a likely potential destination for climate-induced migration from more southern states as well as from eastern, coastline populations in low-land areas which will be displaced with sea level rise.

Watershed management is a priority in the region due to drought conditions, upstream natural resource extraction, fishing, increased development, and the impact of climate change on vulnerable, low-income citizens. Local water supplies are threatened by chemical agriculture, environmental deregulation, industrial development, and illegal dumping. As water supplies become more stressed, individual municipalities are advancing stricter territorial control through legislation.


Click here to download the full outline for climate adaptation plan.

Click here to download the brief syllabus for the year long project.

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