It’s Now or Never: Mobilizing Practitioners for Collective Action

It is no secret that many organizations, big and small, are committed to taking climate action here in BC. Nevertheless, how often do these organizations collaborate or combine efforts, much less be found in the same room?

Two CALP workshop attendees painting the sidewalks outside
Project Green Bloc brought neighbours together to reduce their ecological footprint whilst creating “vibrant, sustainable, and joyfully enriched communities” (Green Bloc final report). Photo credit: Mychaylo Prystupa.

UBC Forestry’s Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP) hosted the second annual ‘Now or Never’ workshop for climate practitioners across the province. This workshop convened close to 40 representatives from NGOs, consulting firms, academic & research groups, and policy-makers in a Call to Collective Action meeting.

Attendees got to network and get to know other practitioners in the region; discuss their key projects, barriers they faced, and key lessons learnt in the past year; and finally plan ways to collaborate on collective climate action in the coming year. Featured projects in this workshop include CALP’s Cool ‘Hood Champs and Mapping Climate Mitigation Initiatives (Fig. 1), Evergreen’s Green Bloc (Fig. 2), Climate Access’ Climate Community Leaders, One Earth’s One Planet Saanich, and SPEC’s Master Recycler.

Key Takeaways

Following highly intense and insightful breakout discussions, there was a general consensus on the need for:

  • Better organization and stronger collaboration amongst the multiple climate practitioners in BC;
  • Engagement across a wider diversity of community groups, especially under-represented voices like the youth and the less affluent;
  • Better tailored messages to stakeholders under-engaged in the climate conversation;
  • Clearer messaging on how individuals can connect their actions to local and provincial climate policies.
Screenshot of the Mapping Climate Mitigation Initiatives project, showing a map of Vancouver and the initiatives within it.
UBC undergraduate students partnered with the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation and CALP to produce a map of climate initiatives across Vancouver. This project aims to increase public awareness and encourage involvements in local initiatives, and promote collaboration amongst existing groups.

Making Commitments for 2021

Majority of attendees committed to attending future workshops and meetings and promoting the need for collaborative frameworks and social mobilization through their networks and social media. Many attendees committed to finding more partners to implement R.E.A.C.H (Fig. 3) or other collaborative frameworks, and a few further indicated interest in collaborating with other organizations for future funding proposals.

This meeting was part of an annual workshop series entitled ‘Now or Never’, which brings together the SSHRC-funded Cool Tools research cluster, practitioners, and policy-makers to share best practices and foster stronger collaboration. The final workshop of this series will target policy-makers, and is set to take place in early 2021. Any enquiries can be directed to Cheryl Ng at

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