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Adapting to Climate Change

Overview

Climate change and polar bears

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.

WWF helps a mountain community protect forests and adapt to climate change

WWF recently concluded a project that worked closely with local communities to reduce land degradation, forest loss, and climate change vulnerability in the Himalayas in Nepal. Empowered by the Global Environment Facility, WWF worked directly with the government of Nepal to design and implement the project.

A forest in Nepal.

What WWF Is Doing

boats in Nepal

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.

Innovative Tools

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.

Download the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Species.

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.

Snow Leopard Conservation and Adaptation in Asia's High Mountains

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 (Adaptation for Development and Conservation)

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.

Projects

  • ADVANCE

    Working together to prepare for a changing climate

Experts