Adaptation to Climate Change In Forest Management

Adaptation in forestry is sustainable forest management that includes a climate change focus. Climate change over the next 100 years is expected to have significant impacts on forest ecosystems. The forestry community needs to evaluate the long-term effects of climate change on forests and determine what the community might do now and in the future to respond to this threat. Management can influence the timing and direction of forest adaptation at selected locations, but in many situations society will have to adjust to however forests adapt. Adapting to climate change in the face of the uncertain timing of impacts means we must have a suite of readily available options. A high priority will be coping with and adapting to forest disturbance while maintaining the genetic diversity and resilience of forest ecosystems. A framework for facilitating adaptation in forestry is discussed and a review of adaptive actions presented.

Biodiversity and Climate Change

There is evidence that climate change is already affecting biodiversity and will continue to do so. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment ranks climate change among the main direct drivers affecting ecosystems. Consequences of climate change on the species component of biodiversity include:

•changes in distribution,

•increased extinction rates,

•changes in reproduction timings, and

•changes in length of growing seasons for plants.

Some species that are already threatened are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The following are examples of species and of their vulnerabilities.

Local Government Perspective on Adapting Water Management to Climate Change

Cities and other local authorities have a critical stake in the adaptation of water management to a changing climate. Virtually all the world’s future population growth is predicted to take place in cities and their urban landscapes. The UN estimates a global increase from the 2.9 billion urban residents in the 1990s to a staggering 5.0 billion by 2030. By 2030, 1 in 4 persons will live in a city of 500,000 people, and 1 in 10 will live in a mega-city of 10 million or more. How will climate change and variability affect water services and water safety for these many millions? What actions should local governments take to adapt water management for climate change?

A Guiding Frame for Mainstreaming Biodiversity and Development Into National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs)

Climate change and desertification/land degradation can adversely affect natural resources and ecosystems thus decreasing biological diversity. At the same time, conservation and management of biodiversity can increase ecosystems’ resilience thus lowering their vulnerability to climate change. One of the identified areas for possible synergies is adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change, which is a necessity regardless of the level of action taken to mitigate global warming. Activities that promote adaptation to climate change can also contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and sustainable land management. So far the UNFCCC process has progressed farthest in the implementation of adaptation activities in least developed countries (LDCs), whereby a process to prepare and implement National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) has been established to help communicate the urgent and immediate needs of LDCs relating to adaptation. NAPAs offer opportunities to identify and utilize synergies between the three Rio conventions. In accordance with the NAPA guidelines, NAPAs should build upon existing plans such as National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) under CBD; National Action Plans (NAPs) under UNCCD as well as other sustainable development plans and poverty reduction strategies. Given that all relevant stakeholders are involved during the preparation of NAPAs, a holistic bottom-up approach focussing on vulnerable livelihoods and ecosystems can be ensured thus enhancing the utilization of synergies.

This publication is a part of an effort to support national adaptation planning based on local needs and to conserve natural resources. We hope that this publication will help countries develop their NAPAs in a significant way.

The Honolulu Declaration on Ocean Acidification and Reef Management

The growing threat of climate change combined with escalating anthropogenic stressors on coral reefs requires a response that is both proactive and adaptive. To respond to this challenge, The Nature Conservancy convened a group of global ocean experts in Honolulu, Hawaii from August 12-14, 2008. The workshop participants included oceanographers, climate experts, marine scientists, and coral reef managers from around the world. The declaration identifies two major strategies that must be implemented urgently and concurrently to mitigate the impacts of climate change and to safeguard the value of coral reef systems: 1) limit fossil fuel emissions; 2) build the resilience of tropical marine ecosystems and communities to maximize their ability to resist and recover from climate change impacts.

Risk-Informed Decision-Making: An Agenda for Improving Risk Assessments Under HFA2

More frequent and intense climate extremes are expected as the climate changes; this, combined with changing patterns of exposure and vulnerability, is creating new geographic distributions of risk that need to be addressed explicitly through public policy. Disaster risk assessments are produced and promoted on the basis that they provide the information, analysis and knowledge needed to make sound choices and investments that reduce the human impact of environmental hazards.

This paper analyses research conducted in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), with additional material from CDKN’s experience in Ghana, India and Pakistan.

Based on a CDKN research project carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2013 by FLACSO and three mini case studies conducted by CDKN regional offices in Africa and Asia, the results presented here provide useful insights into the use of risk-related information in public investment decisions to manage risk, adapt to climate change and promote development.

This paper discusses the technical, operational and institutional influences on the use and application of risk information related to climate extremes and other hazards, embedding its analysis in a broader set of challenges around implementing disaster risk management and adaptation policies. It presents a number of recommendations on how to conceive and conduct risk assessments that can clearly convey the main messages – and thus be more easily translated into effective risk management decisions.

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