AP NEWS

Tribal health conference examines climate change in Alaska

November 28, 2018

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A conference hosted by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium aims to help communities adapt by connecting them to others on the front lines of climate change.

The annual Alaska Tribal Conference on Environmental Management in Anchorage brings together tribes, nonprofit groups and state and federal agencies to address environmental issues, KTVA-TV reported Tuesday.

“It’s an opportunity for communities to come together and network, and learn from each other — hear about each other’s challenges and look for innovative solutions,” said Desirae Roehl, a coordinator of the event.

One of the areas of concern is food security. The changing climate in Alaska could alter how rural residents store and prepare food.

“Most specifically, the one I can think of is ice cellars,” said A.J. Salkoski of the consortium. “Up north, as the permafrost is melting, we want to make sure that food is being stored safely so that when we consume it, we’re not getting sick.”

The conference also addressed issues involving solid waste, air quality, water and public infrastructure.

“This is a good way for people who are working in isolated communities to share their stories and best practices, so that people aren’t kind of working in silos,” Salkoski said. “We can spread the information that’s being gathered to try to help as many people as possible.”

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Information from: KTVA-TV, http://www.ktva.com

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