Changes in climate are transforming our planet. To adapt, we must rethink traditional approaches to conservation and development, moving beyond managing for persistence to managing for change. Climate change adaptation—the process of adjusting to the changing climate and its cascading impacts—seeks to reduce the vulnerability and build the resilience of people and nature to the current and anticipated effects of climate change while managing the uncertainties of the future.
To increase chances of conservation success, we must understand traits that make an individual species especially resilient or vulnerable to changes in climate. Different species will be affected in different ways; sometimes negatively, but not always.
Climate change poses new challenges to conservation. We are committed to promote far-reaching and aggressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while in equal measure helping communities, companies, governments and international institutions anticipate and adapt to climate change. WWF’s adaptation and resilience program works with a wide range of partners to accomplish three outcomes:
manage the uncertainties of climate change at different scales;
reduce social and environmental risk and vulnerability to multiple hazards; and,
increase the social, ecological and institutional resilience of our many partners.
We develop tools to assess and map climate vulnerability and build capacity among WWF field staff and partners to develop climate-smart approaches to conservation. We have developed a trait-based wildlife vulnerability assessment to update action plans for WWF priority species, and Flowing Forward, a participatory framework that helps landscape stakeholders assess the vulnerability of their surrounding ecosystems to the combined impacts of climate change and economic development.
Disaster Risk Reduction
We are working with leading humanitarian organizations and governments to provide advice and training on better practices for integrating the environment in disaster response and building resiliency for communities impacted by or at risk to disasters.
Human Responses to Climate Change
We are working with other conservation organizations to better understand the changes in weather and climate communities in Africa are experiencing, and how they are responding to these changes.
We are exploring the connections between Snow leopard habitat and water provision throughout Asia’s major mountain ranges, working to improve watershed management and enhance the resilience of local communities to the impacts of climate change.