The BC Ministry of Environment is tasked to foster and enhance a clean, healthy and naturally diverse environment. In 2009, the Environmental Stewardship and Parks and Protected Areas Divisions of the BC Ministry of Environment distributed Common Statements of Understanding and Working Principles related to climate change adaptation. These principles should be taken into consideration in all future projects and planning. The Ministry recognizes that it must prepare for and adapt to the unavoidable impacts rising greenhouse gas concentrations will cause throughout the Province.

Incorporating Climate Change into the San Lorenzo Watershed Management Plan


United States
37° 40' 51.7512" N, 122° 7' 27.8724" W

In 2008, the Board of the San Lorenzo Water District approved a climate change resolution that commits the District to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and considering the impacts of climate change in all planning documents. The 2009 Master Water Supply and Management Plans discuss how climate change will impact local water resources. Climate change is expected to cause drier and shorter wet seasons regionally, making both water conservation and efficiency priority issues for water managers.

INE, part of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, is responsible for the generation of scientific and technical information on environmental issues, as well as capacity building in human resourse areas, in order to inform society, support decision making, encourage the protection of the environment, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources.

The Rhode Island Bays, Rivers, and Watersheds Coordination team is a state interagency commission dedicated to the protection, management, restoration and sustainable development of Rhode Island's fresh and marine waters and watersheds. The BRWCT conducts strategic interagency planning, fosters coordination of government programs and partnerships, and makes targeted investments in science, monitoring, policy analysis, and the pursuit of strategic projects in support of our aquatic environments and their human uses.

2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy

Led by the California Natural Resources Agency, numerous other state agencies were involved in the creation of the strategy including Environmental Protection; Business, Transportation and Housing; Health and Human Services; and the Department of Agriculture. This report focuses on sectors that include: Public Health; Biodiversity and Habitat; Ocean and Coastal Resources; Water Management; Agriculture; Forestry; and Transportation and Energy Infrastructure. The strategy is in direct response to Gov. Schwarzenegger's November 2008 Executive Order S-13-08 that specifically asked the Natural Resources Agency to identify how state agencies can respond to rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, sea level rise, and extreme natural events.

Climate Ready Estuaries 2009 Progress Report

Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) is a partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Estuary Programs(NEPs) to build capacity among coastal managers to improve the resilience of coastal areas to the impacts of climate change. CRE provides tools and assistance to help NEPs and coastal communities in their efforts to:

  • Assess climate change vulnerabilities
  • Develop a better understanding of climate change at local and regional levels
  • Engage and educate stakeholders
  • Develop and implement adaptation strategies
  • Share lessons learned with other coastal managers

This document provides an overview of CRE’s accomplishments to date, including activities being managed by the NEP Partners, lessons learned in the adaptation planning process, challenges encountered, and next steps for the program.

Forests and Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation

This is a crucial year for the international efforts to address climate change, culminating in COP 15 of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen on 7-18 December. There, Parties to the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol are expected to agree on an ambitious and effective international response to climate change for the next commitment period.It is also a crucial year for the world’s forests. The Copenhagen agreement will likely include a range of forest-related adaptation and mitigation measures. The mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) has been the most debated measure on the road to Copenhagen.The challenges after Copenhagen will be to put into practice whatever is agreed, and to develop the approaches, policies and practices needed to effectively integrate the objectives of climate change mitigation and adaptation with sustainable forest management (SFM) and biodiversity protection. These approaches must at the same time contribute to the welfare of rural people in developing countries.Forests and climate change are intrinsically linked, in ways that extend beyond carbon. Climate change and global warming could change the forest landscape worldwide and vice versa. Changes in global climate — through higher mean annual temperatures, altered precipitation patterns and more frequent and extreme weather events — may have diverse effects on forests, including stress, compositional and functional changes, and changes in the capacity of forests to provide products and services. These effects are as yet poorly understood.Forest ecosystems capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2), making a major contribution to the mitigation of climate change. When forests are destroyed, over-harvested or burned, however, they can become a source of CO2 emissions.

From the perspective of climate, SFM is a means of achieving the goals outlined by the UNFCCC with respect to forests:

  • using forests for carbon capture and storage, thus reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases — in this way, forests become part of a climate strategy for mitigation; and
  • using forests and trees as part of a strategy to cope with impacts of climate change--in this way, forests become part of a climate strategy for adaptation.

Conservation Framework: Conservation Priorities for Species and Ecosystems

Faced with the increasing number of species and ecosystems at risk and escalating threats such as climate change, resource managers and practitioners need a way to prioritize conservation challenges in order to allocate limited resources. The Conservation Framework provides a set of decision support tools to enable collaboration between government and non-government resource managers and practitioners using clearly defined criteria to:

1) prioritize species and ecosystems for conservation; and

2) determine the most appropriate and effective management actions.

The Conservation Framework is designed to optimize allocation of resources, including staff time and dollars. In the past, priorities were assigned using lists designed for categorizing the status of species and ecosystems based on extinction risk. To better manage for species and ecosystems of conservation concern, British Columbia developed the Conservation Framework to optimize allocation of resources, including staff time and dollars.

This is an approach that:

• is based on specific goals to guide conservation efforts for species and ecosystems of conservation concern;

• addresses the issue of jurisdictional rarity (where a species’ range “drifts” across a jurisdictional boundary);

• is proactive for species and ecosystems that are not yet at risk but are experiencing serious downward population trends;

• adequately addresses British Columbia’s stewardship responsibility for globally important species and ecosystems;

• is based on the best available scientific information to quickly and transparently prioritize species and ecosystems and assign them to appropriate management actions.

A Framework For Climate Change Adaptation in Hawai'i

The purpose of this document is to encourage and facilitate Hawaiʻi government agencies, policy makers, businesses, and community partners to plan ahead for the impacts of climate change.

Collectively recognizing that there were no guidelines for how the State of Hawai‘i could plan for adaptation to the impacts of climate change, the ORMP Working Group partnered with the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy (ICAP) to develop A Framework for Climate Change Adaptation in Hawai‘i. The document provides one approach to open, collaborative adaptation planning, based on a common vision for a healthy, resilient, and productive future for Hawai‘i. In late 2009, the framework was formally adopted by the executive-level ORMP Policy Group.

The proposed framework for addressing climate change in Hawai‘i includes several planning stages:

A. Build Climate Change Adaptation Team

B. Develop and Adopt a Long-Term Vision

C. Identify Planning Areas Relevant to Climate Change

D. Scope Climate Change Impacts to Major Sectors

E. Conduct a Vulnerability Assessment

F. Conduct a Risk Assessment

Once those steps have been completed, the next steps are:

A. Prioritize Areas for Adaptation Planning

B. Set Preparedness Goals

C. Develop, Select, and Prioritize Preparedness Actions

D. Implement Preparedness Plan

E. Monitor Progress and Update Plan as Appropriate

Each step of the framework is described in greater detail and with examples in each specific section. This framework serves as an early adaptation planning tool for identifying where to start and what the different planning stages may look like.

How Should Conservation Groups Respond to Climate Change? Interview with Dr. Rebecca Shaw

One of the most urgent challenges facing conservation organizations around the world is the crisis of climate change. Climate change has the potential to unexpectedly alter practically every aspect of the natural world, making it a really slippery problem for conservation groups to deal with. In this podcast, we talk about how The Nature Conservancy, one of the biggest conservation groups in the world, is responding to climate change. Dr. Rebecca Shaw, Director of Conservation for the California Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, weighs in on how the threat of climate change reshapes how the Conservancy operates.