Climate-Smart Conservation

Above: Steps of the "Climate-Smart Conservation Cycle" from the National Wildlife Federation's Quick Guide to Climate-Smart Conservation.

What is Climate-Smart Conservation?

Climate-smart conservation strategies and actions specifically address impacts of climate change in concert with existing threats to promote resilience of natural resources, ecosystems, and biodiversity.

Natural resource managers across California are now challenged to incorporate climate change into their conservation strategies. Guidance for this process is the subject of numerous publications, websites, workshops, and tools. Here we introduce some of these to help you incorporate the concept into your conservation work.

Get Started: General Guidance Materials

Resource Type Originator Title Description
Guidance document National Wildlife Federation Climate-Smart Conservation: Putting Adaptation Principles into Practice The National Wildlife Federation's 2014 comprehensive guide breaks the process into discrete and manageable steps.
Definition and Principles Ellie Cohen, Point Blue Conservation Science Working Definition and Climate Smart Principles Guidelines for making climate smart actions part of your conservation work. Watch Ellie's presentation on the topic.
Quick Guide National Wildlife Federation Quick Guide to Climate-Smart Conservation A quick introduction to the steps of climate-smart conservation.
Guidance document Resources Legacy Fund Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change in California: Nine Guiding Principles A set of Guiding Principles to help ensure that conservation investments and management choices yield durable benefits in the face of climate change.
Guidance document National Wildlife Federation Key Characteristics of Climate-Smart Conservation Helpful guidelines and video describing climate-smart conservation intended to help natural resource professionals make their plans for wildlife and wildlife habitat climate smart.
Journal Article Hansen, L., Hoffman, J., Drews, C., Meilbrecht, E. Designing Climate-Smart Conservation: Guidance and Case Studies Explains four basic tenets essential in climate-change adaptation for conservation are explored through case studies.
Workshop Presentations and Case Studies Bay Area Ecosystem Climate Change Consortium Climate Smart Actions for Natural Resource Managers Presentation slideshows and videos explaining climate smart actions through case studies

How-to Materials and Process Frameworks

Geo Focus Resource Type Originator Title Description
California Document PIER Program Adapting to Sea Level Rise: A Guide for California’s Coastal Communities A guidebook intended to assist managers and planners in California’s coastal cities and counties in developing sea level rise adaptation plans for their communities
United States Document Georgetown Climate Center Adaptation Tool Kit: Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Land Use Explores 18 different land-use tools that can be used to preemptively respond to the threats posed by sea-level rise to coastal development and infrastructure; assists governments in determining which tools to employ.
United States Report H. John Heinz III Center Strategies for Managing the Effects of Climate Change on Wildlife and Ecosystems Review of scientific literature, review of actual climate change adaptation plans, summary and comparison of eighteen general strategies for managing effects of climate change on wildlife and biodiversity, decision-tree for selection of strategies.
United States Process framework Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Yale Mapping Framework Guidance for integrating climate-change adaptation strategies into the context of natural-resource planning and policymaking; assists conservation planners in selecting the assessment and modeling strategies that are most relevant to their specific needs.

Software and Online Tools for Analysis

Resource Type Originator Title Description
Annotated List Climate Commons Vulnerability Assessment Tools Focused listing and comparison of utilities useful in vulnerability assessments.
Annotated List Climate Commons Sea-level Rise Analysis Tools Focused listing and comparison of utilities useful in analyzing the impacts of sea level rise
Catalog EBM Network Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Tools A summary and description of a wide range of tools used in planning for climate change.
Contributors to this article
Last Updated: