Patty Glick vulnerability presentation
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Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Conservation, Patty Glick

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Conservation, Patty Glick

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  • In the context of fish and wildlife conservation, vulnerability to climate change refers to the extent to which a species, habitat, or ecosystem is susceptible to harm from climate change impacts. It can be considered a relative concept, where you have some species or systems that are more vulnerable than others (and you may even have some that are not vulnerable at all but perhaps even benefit from climate change) – this is the “what” question.You can also be more specific as to why a particular target or set of targets is vulnerable.

Patty Glick vulnerability presentation Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Conservation: An Overview Patty Glick Senior Climate Change Specialist National Wildlife Federation
  • 2. Climate-Smart Conservation Cycle
  • 3. Defining Vulnerability Climate change vulnerability refers to the extent to which a species, habitat, or ecosystem is susceptible to harm from climate change impacts • What things are most vulnerable • Why they are vulnerable
  • 4. Why Assess Vulnerability? Vulnerability assessments can help: • Prioritize species and systems for management actions • Develop management strategies to address climate change • Efficiently allocate resources What vulnerability assessments don’t do: • Make a conservation decision for you
  • 5. Key Steps for Undertaking a Vulnerability Assessment 1. Determine objectives and scope 2. Gather relevant data and expertise 3. Assess the components of vulnerability 4. Apply assessment results in adaptation planning
  • 6. Overarching Considerations for Vulnerability Assessment Scenarios • Climate change • Other factors Scale • Spatial • Temporal Resources • Data needs, cost, time
  • 7. Key Components of Vulnerability Ecological tolerances, specialized habitat Climate variables, associated impacts (e.g., hydrology, SLR) Intrinsic factors, extrinsic factors
  • 8. Approaches for Putting the Pieces Together • Detailed modeling efforts – In-house or commissioned • Vulnerability indices – e.g., NatureServe Index • Expert elicitation – Supplement and/or supplant modeling
  • 9. Using Vulnerability Assessment Results Help prioritize species and systems • Address most vulnerable? Least? • Base on ecological/economic importance? Help design management strategies • Reduce sensitivity • Reduce exposure • Enhance adaptive capacity Help allocate resources efficiently • Set research priorities? • Consider triage?
  • 10. Potential Strategies Promote connectivity: • Are you connecting the “right” habitats? Will target species/systems actually move? Reduce other stressors: • Do existing stressors increase vulnerability to climate change? Does climate change exacerbate other stressors? Enhance “resilience”: • Resilience “of what” “to what”?
  • 11. Other Adaptation Questions What if you can’t reduce vulnerability? • Do we still do what we are already doing to try to “buy time”? • Do you decide to “let nature take its course”? • Do you actively facilitate a transition to some new state? • Should we change our conservation goals?