Agroforestry: Enhancing Resiliency in U.S. Agricultural Landscapes Under Changing Conditions

The US Forest Service has published a new report that presents the first-ever synthesis on agroforestry as a mechanism to provide mitigation and adaptation services in the face of a changing climate. With contributions from more than 50 experts from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, this report draws upon recent science and shows how tree-based management strategies can improve agricultural production and resiliency.

Securing the Future of Cultural Heritage by Identifying Barriers to and Strategizing Solutions for Preservation under Changing Climate Conditions

Climate change challenges cultural heritage management and preservation. Understanding the barriers that can impede preservation is of paramount importance, as is developing solutions that facilitate the planning and management of vulnerable cultural resources. Using online survey research, we elicited the opinions of diverse experts across southeastern United States, a region with cultural resources that are particularly vulnerable to flooding and erosion from storms and sea level rise. We asked experts to identify the greatest challenges facing cultural heritage policy and practice from coastal climate change threats, and to identify strategies and information needs to overcome those challenges. Using content analysis, we identified institutional, technical and financial barriers and needs. Findings revealed that the most salient barriers included the lack of processes and preservation guidelines for planning and implementing climate adaptation actions, as well as inadequate funding and limited knowledge about the intersection of climate change and cultural heritage. Experts perceived that principal needs to overcome identified barriers included increased research on climate adaptation strategies and impacts to cultural heritage characteristics from adaptation, as well as collaboration among diverse multi-level actors. This study can be used to set cultural heritage policy and research agendas at local, state, regional and national scales.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Water Resources Management: Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean

The intent of this report is to provide a brief overview of key climate change impacts and a review of the prevalent work occurring on climate change adaptation in the Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean, especially focusing on activities as they relate to water resources. The Southeastern United States includes Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, and Florida. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) comprise the U.S. Caribbean region. This report presents the results of EcoAdapt’s efforts to survey, inventory, and, where possible, assess climate-informed water resources action in the region.

The synthesis includes:

  • A summary of key regional climate change impacts and discussion on how the aforementioned issues combine to influence water supply, demand and use, quality, and delivery;
  • The results of a survey sent to federal, tribal, state, and other practitioners to identify challenges, needs, and opportunities for climate-informed water resources management;
  • Examples of adaptation initiatives from the region, focusing on activities in the natural and built environments as they relate to water resources;
  • Eighteen full-length case studies, detailing how adaptation is taking shape; and
  • A guide to the current suite of tools available to support adaptation action in water resources management, planning, and conservation.

Tribal Climate Resilience Resource Guide (TCRRG)

Tool Overview: 

This Tribal Climate Resilience Resource Guide (TCRRG) was developed by the Climate Subgroup of the White House Council on Native American Affairs to provide federal government-wide resources for tribes and climate in a standard framework. Each of the 567 federally-recognized Tribes can visit their Tribal Fact Sheet "Climate Dashboard" to learn about federal agencies and programs that may assist them to build resilience, whether to manage disasters, relocate, contend with shifting subsistence species, mitigate the human causes of climate change, or address other climate impacts on lifeways.

 

Mission Statement

The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ mission is to enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.

History of BIA

Retaining Knowledge Sovereignty: Expanding the Application of Tribal Traditional Knowledge on Forest Lands in the Face of Climate Change

This report is Part II of a two part series produced under the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative Tribal Climate Change initiative on Knowledge Sovereignty. Part I Karuk Traditional Ecological Knowledge and the Need for Knowledge Sovereignty: Social, Cultural and Economic Impacts of Denied Access to Traditional Management situates Karuk traditional knowledge in the practice of cultural management, indicating how Karuk knowledge must remain connected to both the practices that generated the information, and the practices that emerge from it. Part I of this report emphasized two key concepts; first that what we call “traditional ecological knowledge” or “TEK” is not an isolated entity but an enactment of cultural and spiritual practices in the landscape. Karuk and other traditional knowledge is embedded in, and emerges from the practices of traditional management. Second, even it were possible, it is unethical to attempt to remove TEK from Tribal context. Attempts to extract knowledge are a form of cultural appropriation that erodes the very foundations of Tribal life. Knowledge and management are about identity, culture, spiritual practice and subsistence economic activity. This report, Retaining Knowledge Sovereignty: Expanding the Application of Tribal Traditional Knowledge on Forest Lands in the Face of Climate Change draws from the experiences of the Karuk Tribe in combination with a review of Tribal case studies, academic and legal literature and current policy initiatives to outline current cultural and institutional barriers for the sovereignty of traditional ecological knowledge and provide a range of recommendations for their resolution at federal, statewide and regional levels.

Tribal Energy System Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather

Climate change and extreme weather events are already affecting the way that American Indian and Alaska Native tribes are using, receiving, and producing energy. As climate change worsens, energy infrastructure in the United States—including tribal energy infrastructure—is expected to be increasingly threatened by higher temperatures, less available water, and more frequent and intense heavy downpours, floods, heat waves, and droughts. Tribal energy systems are also vulnerable to extreme weather events, such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, and winter storms, which can severely damage infrastructure that tribes rely on to deliver power and fuel. This report describes vulnerabilities of tribal energy systems related to both climate change and extreme weather.

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Priority Wildlife Species

The Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife and the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment jointly developed a climate-change vulnerability assessment for priority wildlife and plant species and habitats on the Navajo landscape. The priority species and habitats included in this analysis were identified by the entire staff of NNDFW through a structured planning process.

This report provides a summary of projected climate-change impacts for the southwestern United States and Navajo lands as well as an assessment of attributes promoting climate vulnerability and resilience for priority wildlife and plant species. Animal species discussed in this report are the Golden Eagle, Mule Deer, Desert Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Lion, and American Black Bear. Plant species discussed in this report include Pinyon Pine, Yucca spp., Mesa Verde Cactus, Navajo Sage, and Salt Cedar (Tamarisk).

This vulnerability assessment provides a conceptual framework for further climate adaptation planning on the Navajo landscape within an adaptive management context. Specific climate adaptation actions that are proposed in this report include: conservation of wildlife movement corridors; “climate smart” reintroductions of Desert Bighorn Sheep; consideration of Golden Eagles in the planning and siting of renewable energy developments; and actions to reduce human conflicts with Black Bears. An example is provided to show how landscape connectivity analyses can be used to identify areas where “on-the-ground” conservation actions can be implemented.

Incorporating climate change in marine use plans for British Columbia’s First Nations

Location

United States
51° 28' 31.4256" N, 127° 58' 7.5" W
US
Summary: 

The Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP) is a collaboration between British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and First Nations representing the Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative, the North Coast-Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society, and the Nanwakolas Council. EcoAdapt partnered with MaPP in 2012-2015 to facilitate the integration of climate change into marine use plans for the four subregions: Haida Gwaii, North Coast, Central Coast, and North Vancouver Island.

The State of Climate-­Informed Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning

Coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) is a science-based, collaborative process used to sustainably manage resources, interests, and activities among diverse coastal and ocean users and sectors. Climate change is affecting marine and coastal ecosystems throughout the world, manifesting in warming air and sea temperatures, increasing coastal storms, and rising sea levels. The existing and projected impacts of climate change and ocean acidification need to be incorporated into planning processes to ensure long-term success. Because CMSP is an emerging field, it is important to look to other coastal and marine planning and management frameworks to identify opportunities for climate-informed action.

With the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, EcoAdapt created the Climate-Informed CMSP Initiative to examine the connections between climate change and coastal and marine planning. This included conducting a needs assessment survey to identify what practitioners need in order to integrate climate change into their planning efforts, as well as research into the state of climate-informed CMSP efforts with the intention of identifying case study examples of adaptation in action. Our key research questions included:

  1. How is climate change currently being integrated into CMSP-related efforts?
  2. How can climate-informed CMSP be done?
  3. What do practitioners need in order to integrate climate change into CMSP?