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EcoAdapt's Climate Savvy 10-Step Method
Answering the questions below will help you methodically think through what you want to do, why you want to do it, and how you can do it in a way that maximizes your likelihood of success in a changing world.
    1. What is your overarching, “big picture” project goal (e.g. improving the health of a particular watershed; ensuring the survival of a particular species)?
    2. What is the goal of the adaptation effort you’re planning (e.g. reduce vulnerability of existing goal; minimize negative effects of climate change on wildlife in the region; reduce likelihood of severe conflict over water resources in drier future)?
    3. Hypothesis of change: How do you think possible changes in climate will affect the species, places, or systems with which you’re concerned and the conservation strategies you’ve been using to protect them? Explain the assumptions underlying your response.
    4. Vulnerabilities/impacts to be addressed by project:
    • V = Vulnerability to climate change
    • E = Exposure is how much change occurs, including changes outside the project area that affect the target (e.g. loss of glaciers loss of water supply)
    • S = Sensitivity is how much the target is affected by a given amount of change
    • AC = Adaptive Capacity is the ability of an individual, community, or ecosystem to adapt to change; this reflects intrinsic traits (behavioral flexibility that allows individuals to respond to new situations) and extrinsic factors (e.g. degree of habitat fragmentation)
    5. How will your actions reduce the vulnerability of that ecosystem? This may include reducing external sources of vulnerability (e.g. various non-climate stressors), as well as inherent sources of vulnerability (e.g. sensitivity).
    6. Strategy for achieving goal: general approach followed by outlined steps.
    7. Necessary/important resources for each step. Think broadly, consider data, skills, funding, materials, infrastructure, permits, etc.
    8. Necessary/important partners for each step:
    • Partners who have important resources (data, influence, funding, time, resource knowledge)
    • Partners important for making plans actually happen, providing credibility, etc.
    9. Rough timeline: Given the steps you’ve outlined and the partners you’ve identified, what’s a realistic timeline for making each step a reality? What steps can happen in parallel? Which steps are dependent on previous steps?
    10. How will you assess the success of your plan?
    • Assessment points and metrics during implementation. Consider how you might use these results to fill key information gaps or provide other information to support adaptive implementation of your plan.
    • Assessment points and metrics following implementation. Consider how you will communicate the results to the broader community to increase the overall climate savvitude of work in your field.