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.
If we act on climate change now, a safer and more prosperous future is within our grasp. Later this month, heads of state from around the world will gather in Paris to decide whether to actively work toward that prosperous future or whether to keep the status quo and hope for the best.
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.
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.
ADVANCE is a partnership between WWF and the Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR) at The Earth Institute. Launched in 2015, ADVANCE facilitates adaptation by providing new ways of generating and integrating climate risk information into conservation and development planning, policies and practice.