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Colorado Resiliency Framework 2020 Update

The updated 2020 Colorado Resiliency Framework (Framework) serves as the State’s roadmap to a more resilient future. It lays out the State’s resiliency vision and goals and explores risks and vulnerabilities across four cross-cutting themes: adapting to our changing climate, understanding risks from natural and other hazards, addressing social inequities and unique community needs, and pursuing economic diversity and vibrancy. The Framework details six resilience priority areas and a total of twenty-seven strategies that the State will implement to advance those priorities. An additional two overarching strategies — establishing a statewide resilient and sustainable community/regional program and attracting and leveraging resiliency funding opportunities — are foundational activities that connect and strengthen all six resiliency priorities.

Updating the Framework amidst the unprecedented onset and lingering uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic required rapid deployment of digital tools and creative engagement techniques. More than 300 stakeholders participated in virtual summits, sector meetings, and scenario planning - to share ideas to advance resiliency in their locales, sectors, and fields of expertise. Hundreds more Coloradoans, including traditionally underrepresented voices, were engaged through surveys and roundtable discussions. The backdrop of the pandemic and economic recession framed the urgency of addressing resiliency to risks and vulnerabilities that cut across all sectors and regions in the state — so that Colorado can recognize, respond to, and thrive when facing interrelated and cascading risks.

Implementation highlights include:

-          The CRO developed a Community Resilience Assessment and Actions Guide that translates the six Framework priorities to help local governments and communities learn how to prioritize different actions and how to measure and track progress at the local level.

-          The CRO launched its Resiliency and Recovery Roadmaps program to support sixteen regional community teams to improve their local community and economic resiliency and capacity.

-          With the update of its website coresiliency.com, the CRO launched new tools including a local government peer exchange portal, resilience toolkit, post-disaster recovery toolkit, and pre-disaster recovery planning guide.

-          Established State offices to support resilience efforts (such as the Agriculture Drought and Climate Resilience Office within the Colorado Department of Agriculture); various resilience-related programs (for example, Community Revitalization Grants through Colorado Creative Industries); and public engagement opportunities (such as the ten webinars through a Climate Change Webinar Series).

-          Established new resilience-related funding, for example, the Natural Disaster Mitigation Enterprise, which will collect a fee from insurance products with the fund going towards grants to local governments for resilience and natural disaster mitigation projects.

Perhaps the most unique and enduring aspect of this project is the fact that the planning process aligned stakeholders across State of Colorado departments and agencies, as well as Colorado communities, nonprofits, and local governments towards implementation of the Frameworks’ actions. Because resiliency cuts across so many sectors, the alignment and buy-in of these stakeholders augments the team within the CRO and engages them to enhance their resiliency efforts through the extension of tools, resources, and collaboration opportunities.

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