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Managing for Change Not Just Persistence Dr. Bruce Stein Director, Climate Change Adaptation National Wildlife Federation June 5, 2013. The future ain’t what it used to be. -- Yogi Berra. Unfortunately, the Future is Now!.

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Managing for ChangeNot Just PersistenceDr. Bruce Stein Director, Climate Change AdaptationNational Wildlife FederationJune 5, 2013

what constitutes good adaptation
What Constitutes Good Adaptation?
    • Adaptation an emerging field
      • Still poor understanding of what climate adaptation means
    • Most guidance still at very high level; little operational advice
    • Danger of existing work simply re-labeled as adaptation
  • Strong interest in understanding what truly constitutes climate adaptation and how it can be operationalized
climate smart conservation
Climate-Smart Conservation
  • NWF-led expert workgroup developing criteria and guidance for “climate-smart” conservation
  • Follows on successful guidance publication and training on vulnerability assessment
  • Products will include published guide and training course through FWS National Conservation Training Center
iron chef adaptation edition
Iron Chef Adaptation Edition

What’s in Your Basket?

link actions to climate impacts
Link Actions to Climate Impacts
  • Show your work!
  • Climate lens important even if you continue doing the same thing
  • Address short-term threats in a longer-term context
managing for change not just persistence
Managing for ChangeNot Just Persistence

Historical Range of Variability

Global Average January Temperatures. Source: NOAA 2009

Stationarity is Dead!

anticipating change along the delaware coast
Anticipating Change Along the Delaware Coast

Breached levees and inundated coastal impoundments, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Creating new impoundments inland and upland of existing ponds. Delaware Dept of Fish and Wildlife

reconsider conservation goals not just strategies
Reconsider Conservation GoalsNot Just Strategies
  • Goals are the why; strategies the how
  • Many current goals will no longer be feasible
  • Need is for “climate-informed conservation goals”
    • Not just “climate-change goals”
    • Not just changing strategies to meet current goals
aligning climate informed goals and strategies

Aligning Climate-Informed Goals and Strategies

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

  • Traditional goals
  • Revised strategies*
  • Traditional goals
  • Traditional strategies
  • Revised goals*
  • Revised strategies*

Business as Usual

Climate Retrofit

Climate-Smart from the Start

* Review and revised as needed, based on climate change assessments.

understanding climate change vulnerability
Understanding Climate Change Vulnerability
  • Understanding vulnerability is key to designing effective adaptation
    • What ‘s vulnerable and why
  • Components of vulnerability
    • Sensitivity
    • Exposure
    • Adaptive Capacity
evaluating possible actions key characteristics of climate smart conservation
Evaluating Possible ActionsKey Characteristics of Climate Smart Conservation
  • Actions linked to climate impacts
  • Forward looking goals
  • Broader landscape context
  • Robust in an uncertain future
  • Agile and informed management
  • Minimizes carbon footprint
  • Climate influence on project success
  • Safeguards people and wildlife
  • Avoids maladaptation
the new success in conservation
The “New” Success in Conservation?

“the capacity for self-renewal”

-- Aldo Leopold

summing up
Summing Up
  • Act with intentionality
  • Manage for change, not just persistence
  • Reconsider goals, not just strategies
  • Integrate adaptation into existing work