Scenario Planning for Climate Change Adaptation: A Guidance for Resource Managers

Matt Gerhart
Posted on: 8/15/2013 - Updated on: 3/06/2020

Posted by

Rachel Gregg



Scenario planning is a tool that embraces uncertainty rather than trying to reduce or eliminate it. It can help resource managers generate creative approaches to climate change adaptation, thinking outside the historical or most obvious trends to incorporate uncertainty as a factor in prioritizing management actions. Scenario planning can help managers identify the most uncertain and most worrisome drivers of change, and enable them to plan around them by putting them into a context of more known (or knowable) drivers.

This document is intended to be a step-by-step guide to using scenarios to plan for climate change adaptation. The intended audience includes natural resource managers, planners, scientists and other stakeholders working at a local or regional scale to develop resource management approaches that take future possible climate change impacts and other important uncertainties into account.


Affiliated Organizations

Point Blue Conservation Science, formerly PRBO Conservation Science, advances the conservation of birds, other wildlife and ecosystems through science, restoration, outreach and partnerships. Our highest priority is to reduce the impacts of climate change, habitat loss and other environmental threats while promoting nature-based solutions for wildlife and people.

The California Coastal Conservancy, established in 1976, is a state agency that uses entrepreneurial techniques to purchase, protect, restore, and enhance coastal resources, and to provide access to the shore. We work in partnership with local governments, other public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private landowners.

To date, the Conservancy has undertaken more than 1,800 projects along the 1,100 mile California coastline and around San Francisco Bay. These projects often accomplish more than one Conservancy goal. Through such projects, the Conservancy: