Adapting To A Changing Climate: Guide To Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) And Management Planning

Posted on: 5/29/2020 - Updated on: 8/03/2022

Posted by

Meghan Gombos


Developed in 2011, updated in 2013 and 2015, and made into a video toolkit in 2018.

The LEAP tool was designed to address gaps in previous/existing vulnerability and adaptation tools to support community efforts by 1) considering socio-ecological linkages and multi-sector interests at the community level, 2) integrating local knowledge and climate science to support greater understanding of impacts, and 3) informing the development of locally relevant adaptation actions to address both climate change and other anthropogenic threats. The LEAP tool was developed in collaboration with community leaders and community facilitators from local conservation organizations to address needs identified by local communities.

The tool provides direct guidance on how to facilitate: 

  • Outreach using visual materials and key messages on climate change concepts and the cumulative impacts of climate and non-climate stressors on social and natural resources and participatory exercises that use local knowledge and experience combined with science to improve community understanding of potential impacts that are most important for adaptation planning
  • Vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning to help communities assess and map future climate scenarios, and how natural resources and community members are vulnerable to potential social, economic, and ecological changes. With this information, communities can determine what actions they can take to reduce the exposure and sensitivity of their natural resources, and increase their own adaptive capacity

The process requires low to no technical ability and only requires someone that is comfortable facilitating the community through various participatory activities.  The LEAP tool has been recognized well beyond Micronesia, and has been adopted and adapted by the USAID-supported Coral Triangle Support Partnership (CTSP) as one of the main tools to implement their climate adaptation work. It has also been adapted and used in the Caribbean including Belize and Grenada.


Facilitators of community based planning processes


Meghan Gombos