Opportunities to Build the Network

As was previously mentioned, membership selection in the PRCCC has been ongoing and as such the partnership is constantly growing. The PRCCC coordinators use different avenues to recruit new partners and find relevant information. Chain referral allowed recruitment based on recommendations by current members. In addition, the PRCCC Coordinators also attended and presented at events in Puerto Rico and the United States to connect with those outside the PRCCC informal network and to have a presence in specific communities. These communities include the Puerto Rico Planners Society, the Puerto Rico Association of Architects, the Association of Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors, the University of Puerto Rico (Mayaguez, Rio Piedras, and Medical Sciences campuses), InterAmerican University, Metropolitan University, the Catholic University of Ponce, and the Coastal Areas Climate Change Education Partnership.

The third method to expand the network of the PRCCC was by co-organizing a conference with five federal agencies (U.S. EPA Region 2, NOAA, and the Department of Interior’s U.S. Geological Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service). The conference, Climate Change in the Caribbean 2011: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, took place November 15-16, 2011 at the Inter-American School of Law in San Juan and had close to 350 people in attendance. The two-day conference covered the science behind climate change and solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cope with changes. By organizing the conference with so many partners the PRCCC was able to gain new PRCCC members and observers as well as uncover new information that would be useful for the vulnerability assessment and adaptation strategy development.