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EcoAdapt's Adaptation Basics
STEP 1: Create a clear goal and vision.
What is it that you do? How do you do it? This is not about how you address climate change in your work, rather “what were you trying to do before you knew about climate change?”
STEP 2: Consider adaptation options.
  • Resistance: Preventing the effects of climate change from reaching you or affecting you. Think of a fortress.
  • Resilience: Weathering the impacts of climate change but avoiding the effects or recovering. Think of willow bending in the wind, recovering rather than breaking.
  • Response: Pulling up stakes, moving to higher ground, or otherwise taking a new course because the effects of climate change are unlikely to be dealt with in a current location or given current conditions. Think of a tent that you can move to where you need it and can use it.
STEP 3: Develop an adaptation plan.
There are many ways to develop an adaptation plan. Consider EcoAdapt's Five Tenets of Adaptation when developing your plan:
  1. Protect adequate and appropriate space. Consider not just how the world is now but how it is likely to change, and what that means for temporal planning across space. Refugia, gradients, enduring features, connectivity—they can all be helpful.
  2. Reduce non-climate stresses that exacerbate climate change or are exacerbated by climate change. Many of the stressors we are already battling (invasive species, overharvesting, habitat fragmentation, pollution) are complicated further by climate change. We must reconsider how we address these and to what extent.
  3. Manage for uncertainty. We don’t know exactly how climate change will affect the world in which we live. But we do know that “the future ain’t what it used to be,” and we must be able to know that when we come to a fork in the road, we need to take it.
  4. Limit local climate change. There are in fact many things you can do to limit or ameliorate climatological change on a local level from protecting/restoring riparian habitat to limiting sprawl.
  5. Reduce the rate and extent of global climate change. The longer we wait to address climate change, the more daunting it becomes.
From Hansen, L.J. and J.R. Hoffman. 2011. Climate Savvy. Island Press