Contact: Sara Bergan
The Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development offers a unique opportunity to serve the citizens of the Great Plains across many borders as they wrestle with issues affecting the long-term viability of their communities, the productivity of their economic enterprises, the quality of their environment and the prudent management of their resources.
The mission of the GPISD is to sustain the communities of the Great Plains for generations to come by providing information and policy analysis needed to maintain a vibrant economy and a healthy, enjoyable environment. Currently GPISD focuses primarily on Manitoba, Saskatchewan,Alberta, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas and Montana.
The goals of the GPISD are to:
1. Renewing the Countryside
The Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the Northern Great Plains Initiative for Rural Development and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, is building an interactive web site and a high-quality book which will identify vital communities and the individual and cooperative efforts that have made them thrive. We capture in pictures and words examples of Great Plains communities that are putting their initiative and landscapes to work to produce quality products and services while providing families with income, building stronger local economies, preserving the natural environment, and improving their quality of life. In combination with a strategic educational campaign, these resources will be effective tools to transfer ideas and technology across borders.
2. Leadership Dialogue Series
The Great Plains is a diverse region in its natural, human and cultural resources. Despite this diversity, there are critical issues and concerns that are common to communities throughout the region. Philosophical and political boundaries often hamper our abilities to tackle these concerns in an efficient, constructive way. For example, the Farm Bureau lines up against the environmental community, or small businesses oppose the actions of government in intensive lobbying campaigns. Recreationalists and hunters clash with farmers over land use. As a result, civil discourse and community cohesiveness are becoming rare, even in small rural towns.
Through a regional dialogue series, GPISD and IISD aim to unpack the many issues and symptoms and address the underlying challenges facing the Great Plains region. We will bring leaders together, many of whom often find themselves on opposite sides of critical issues, to begin crafting a common vision for a sustainable and thriving region.
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