Chris Packham urges Dorset COP attendees to “shout above the noise for the future of humanity!”

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

Chris Packham lends Dorset campaigners his support for local ‘COP’, urging Dorset attendees to ‘shout above the noise for the future of humanity’.

Three of Dorset’s leading climate action groups have come together to organise a pioneering event with the aim of spurring the local community into urgent action to combat the threats posed by climate change and ecological collapse. Zero Carbon Dorset, Dorset Climate Action Network (Dorset CAN) and Sustainable Dorset have joined forces to launch the first community-led Dorset COP in Dorchester Saturday 9th September at the historic Corn Exchange building.

Hampshire resident and Springwatch presenter, Chris Packham, in a special recording for the event, hailed it as a “brilliant idea” while highlighting how the scientific evidence shows we have a very limited time and how we all need to step up to “demand the actions we require to secure a healthy and happy future” for humanity.  

Laura Baldwin, environmental campaigner and former Olympian, who will open the conference said:

“This event is not only ground-breaking but also of huge importance – not just for Dorset but for community activists everywhere. That’s why it hopes to attract people and organisations from right across the county.”

Giles Watts, a coordinator with Dorset Climate Action Network said:

“This ground-breaking, community-led event is an attempt to apply the power of the international COPs to local issues and so galvanise Dorset into faster action to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.”

The event, to be held in Dorchester’s Corn Exchange on Saturday September 9 hopes to attract people and organisations from all over Dorset and will close with a powerful declaration of intent to mirror those issued at the international COPs.

The ‘Dorchester Declaration’ will be a commitment to act, advocate and lobby for action on climate change and the environment across the county and will follow a series of talks by high-profile speakers (details to follow), as well as workshops, short talks, panel discussions and break-out workshops for organisations to collaborate.

Mark Chivers and Neil Smith of Zero Carbon Dorset, Jenni Morisetti of Sustainable Dorset and Giles Watts of Dorset Climate Action Network at Dorchester’s Corn Exchange at a pre-meeting on March 16

Chair of Sustainable Dorset, Jenny Morisetti said:

“This event, a first in the UK we believe, will be Dorset’s very own opportunity for the community to network and have its say on climate and ecological issues. It will raise the power and reach of Dorset-based organisations by fostering collaboration, supporting the spread of vital information, and helping organisations to act locally in a way that puts people at the heart of decisions.”

Co-founder of Zero Carbon Dorset Mark Chivers commented:

“While Dorset is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, from rising sea levels to the loss of local species unable to cope with the rising temperatures, globally others are already suffering the consequences of climate change; losing their livelihoods, homes and even lives. But by raising awareness of the urgent need to act locally and demonstrate the depth of community commitment to tackling the crises we aim to secure action from all stakeholders and spur both Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Councils to take the lead suggested by the Government’s own Climate Change Committee.”

Dorset Conference of the Parties 2023 (Dorset COP 23) is a countywide event offering an opportunity for the community to make its voice heard on the climate and ecological crises.