Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Do You Know Your Adaptation ABCs?

EcoAdapt brings you adaptation made easy through the Adaptation ABCs!

is for Ameliorate.
Are you acting to Ameliorate existing and likely future effects of climate change? In other words, are you doing your work in a way that takes into account the reality of climate change? If not, your work may be at risk. Actions to ameliorate the effects of climate change can include reducing or counteracting changes (for example, enhancing riparian zone vegetation to help limit rising stream temperatures), reducing the negative effects of changes (for example, including both current and likely future habitat in critical habitat designations for endangered species), or correcting for changes (for example, incorporating sea level rise into a bridge elevation).

 is for Buying Time.
 Are you Buying time for your work and for the natural systems we all care about? While we can’t completely stop climate change, we can at least buy time for species, systems , and our own organizations to respond effectively. For example, species can often adapt evolutionarily to new conditions if they have sufficient time and genetic variability; if we can maintain diverse populations or slow the rate of change, we may buy time for an evolutionarily adaptive response. Similarly, plant and animal communities are often able to accommodate change by shifting location to track appropriate conditions (e.g. shifting inland as sea level rises), assuming that change is slow enough and there is room for communities to move. If we maintain landscape connectivity and slow the rate of change, we buy time for communities to move. When it comes to our own work, do our plans incorporate how conditions might change over time, and provide space and time for us to adapt your approaches? If we are not planning for the future, we will almost certainly fall short of our goals as real world conditions work against past ideals.

is for Continuity, Connectivity and Creativity.
Does the work have Continuity and Connectivity with the world around it? Are you thinking Creatively? Wow, C is a big letter for adaptation! Just as it is important to plan for the Change across landscapes and seascapes by including continuity and connectivity, it is also important to change the way you plan by getting more creative to deal with the fact that what we used to believe worked may not anymore! As D.J. Sauchyn and Surin Kulshreshtha wrote, “We have options, but the past is not one of them.”

For more of the ABCs check out our website and stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Report Released on Stakeholder Discussions about the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and DOI Climate Science Centers

The recently released Report on the National Partners Dialogue: A Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and DOI Climate Science Centers covers the outcomes of a two-day meeting in 2011 that gathered over 60 representatives from federal, state, and tribal agencies and non-profit groups to discuss the centers' implementation, gather feedback on draft priorities for climate adaptation science, and identify opportunities for improvement. The meeting was convened by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Ecological Society of America, The Wildlife Society, and the Meridian Institute. Discussions and feedback focused around:
  • communication and collaboration between and among scientists and managers;
  • the role of the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center;
  • feedback on the draft National Science Agenda;
  • strategies for stakeholder input, especially from tribes and state agencies, into the Climate Science Center Agendas;
  • prioritization of management-relevant science needs; and
  • strategies to support communication and collaboration between the Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Case Study on CAKE: Preparing for Climate Change in Missoula County, Montana

Missoula County is already experiencing the effects of climate change, ranging from increasing air and water temperatures to decreasing snowpack and summer flows. Scientists predict that these effects will combine to worsen wildfire risk, disease outbreaks, and invasive species establishment, among others. In response to these threats, the Clark Fork Coalition, Geos Institute, and Headwaters Economics partnered to increase public awareness of climate change and create adaptation strategies with local input and buy in. In June 2011, around 100 Missoula locals gathered for a two-day workshop based on the ClimateWise process created by the Geos Institute. Participants identified the top threats and potential impacts to the area's natural environment and community. Twenty-four adaptation strategies and 100 implementation actions were derived by workshop participants; results are available through an interactive online tool on the Clark Fork Coalition’s website. For more information, read the case study on CAKE or contact Jill Alban or Ray Rasker.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New report details lessons learned from ten climate change adaptation examples

Headwaters Economics, a non-profit based in Montana, recently released Implementing Climate Change Adaptation: Lessons Learned from Ten Examples. Adaptation is a developing field and practitioners are in need of practical examples of planning, implementation, and evaluation of adaptation activities. Gathering information on lessons learned from those working on climate change adaptation is a key activity to help bridge the gap between theory and practice. The report focuses on city and county examples from across the United States, including Boulder (Colorado), Chicago (Illinois), Chula Vista (California), Eugene (Oregon), Keene (New Hampshire), Miami-Dade County (Florida), New York, Olympia (Washington), Portland (Oregon), and Taos (New Mexico). 

Overall, the lessons learned include:
  • Focus on an immediate, recognizable threat
  • Recognize local values, and be flexible
  • Start with an existing process
  • Utilize local activists
  • Look for leadership in unexpected places
  • Involve elected officials early
  • Work with the right department, and dedicated staff
  • Reach out to the community
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer learning and offer positive examples
  • Recognize limited capacity
  • Don’t get trapped by the climate debate
  • Use outside expertise that:
    • Has legitimacy with leaders
    • Understands community organizing          
    • Provides technical details
  • Don’t wait for perfection
  • Use economic and fiscal arguments
  • Make use of regional compacts
  • Recognize mitigation can be a first step

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Climate Adaptation Projects in the Great Lakes or Western U.S. and Canada?

Then fill out a survey to support our State of Adaptation Program!

Great Lakes: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ecoadaptgreatlakes

Western U.S. and Canada: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ecoadaptwesternsurvey