~ Step 4: Integrate

Implementation & Evaluation

This step includes implementing climate-informed actions and evaluating successes and failures to identify where adjustments to the actions or the plan as a whole need to be made. Effective implementation plans include specific actions associated with timelines, responsible parties, and available and needed resources. 

Guiding questions include:

  • What do we need to do and when? Who is responsible for each action?
  • Who do we need to consult with and how (e.g., government officials and staff, coastal communities, private industry)?
  • How can we best track successes, failures, and unexpected outcomes? What indicators will help identify how effective each action is at reducing vulnerability and/or increasing resilience?


Action 11. Acknowledge and document uncertainty

Case Study: Using a Precautionary Approach to Manage North Pacific Fisheries Under Uncertainty 

Fishing in the Arctic has not been historically developed because sea ice has blocked passage and access to marine resources in the region. However, melting sea ice, warmer waters, and expanding species ranges are increasing the opportunities for commercial fishing development in the Arctic. Because of uncertainty about ecosystem responses to climatic changes, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council has adopted a precautionary approach to commercial fishing in the region, including prohibiting certain activities until better scientific information becomes available.

The Fishery Management Plan for Fish Resources of the Arctic Management Area (Arctic FMP) closes Federal waters of the U.S. Arctic to all commercial fishing activity for any species of finfish, mollusks, crustaceans, and all other forms of marine and plant life. Before fishing can resume, the Council requires better understanding of the separate effects of fishing and climate change on biological populations, and an analysis of these interactions. The policy acknowledges the need to balance competing uses of marine resources, various social and economic goals of sustainable fishery management, and protecting the long-term health of the ecosystem to optimize future fish yields. 


Action 12. Implement monitoring and adaptive management to document changes, track effectiveness, and make necessary adjustments to actions

Case Study: Designing a resilient network of marine protected areas in the Coral Triangle

The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, and the World Wildlife Fund Indonesia are collaborating to create and sustain a resilient, ecologically connected network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Raja Ampat Islands of Indonesia in order to sustain critical coral reef habitat and species that provide food security for local coastal communities. Project partners assessed reef resilience at Kofiau and Misool MPAs by examining coral bleaching, disease, recruitment, and community structure and composition.

Individual sites with high resilience rankings were prioritized for inclusion in no-take zones, while sites with lower resilience scores and moderate to high adaptive capacity were also identified. This information was integrated into the zoning plans for Kofiau and Misool, which also took into account local concerns and socioeconomic criteria. Since the zoning plans were adopted in 2011-2012, there has been a noted decline in destructive fishing practices and an increase in fish biomass in both sites.