Climate and Conservation: Landscape and seascape science, planning and action

Please join us this Tuesday at 12 pm for a talk by Jodi Hilty of the Wilderness Conservation Society (WCS) on "Climate and Conservation: Landscape and seascape science, planning and action".


Time:  12pm on Tuesday the 16th
Where: First Floor Conference Room "Madison Room"- NOROCK, 2327 University Way, Suite 2   (http://nrmsc.usgs.gov/locations/hq)

With growing evidence of actual and potential climate change impacts on biodiversity, what adaptation solutions has the conservation community put forth? It is widely recognized that the current system of protected areas is inadequate to protecting biodiversity from the threat of climate change. Yet rather than focusing on a narrow strategy of expanding the global coverage of formal protected areas, scientists and conservationists have instead argued for integrated large landscape.  To what degree is this oft-cited solution possible?
We reviewed nineteen global case studies from around the globe (including polar, equatorial, freshwater, marine, montane, and temperate systems) to assess how climate change is being incorporated into science, planning, and action.  We found both similarities and differences in approaches, tools used, and challenges faced based on local ecological, political, and socio-economic circumstances. In regions experiencing high poverty, lack of science was likely to be a major stumbling block, and solutions tended to emphasize incorporate sustaining livelihoods.  The critical impact of changes in water regimes was highlighted in the freshwater and marine systems, where adaptive management was emphasized.  In montane systems, which are relatively more intact, working across political boundaries has met with mixed success, and multi-level stakeholder buy-in has been an important variable. In polar systems, human impacts are projected to increase with more access to the regions, and efforts are focused on finding refugia, places most likely to change most slowly. The case studies represent an ongoing set of experiments as to how best to conserve biodiversity during this time of rapid climate change.

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