Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities in Implementing the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy

Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities in Implementing the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy

Maggie Ernest Johnson
Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
Time Slot: 
Concurrent Sessions 7
Session Type: 

Published in 2012, the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy (Strategy) was the first unified approach among federal, tribal, and state government agencies to address the effects of climate change on America’s valuable natural resources and the many people, businesses, and communities that depend on them. The Strategy was designed to enable decision-makers at multiple levels to take action to reduce impacts and increase resilience to a changing world. It called for advancing seven core goals, identified specific actions to address them, and was intended to be implemented by multiple entities across a variety of sectors. A review of the Strategy was recommended within five to ten years. In this Symposium, leading experts from federal, state, tribal, and non-governmental organizations will assess the progress, challenges, and opportunities to implementing the Strategy over the past six years and beyond. Through individual presentations and a facilitated discussion, experts will provide information on the current state of practice, priority needs and future directions to advance sound adaptation actions at appropriate scales over the next five to ten years.


Challenges, progress, and optimism for incorporating climate change considerations into federal land management decisions
Tom Olliff, NPS
hide abstract

In the decade since many federal agencies adopted climate response strategies and the seven years since publication of the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, federal land managers have made progress in adapting planning processes, integrating planning tools into management, conducting vulnerability assessments, and beginning to manage for climate impacts. We still face challenges toward mainstreaming climate change in agency decision-making, including helping managers understand and use climate science; making decisions incorporating uncertainty; working across boundaries; and social complexity and fragmented stakeholders. Reasons for optimism including bringing younger staff into the mix; scientists in agencies, universities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working together and producing products custom-made for managers; and some inspiring pilot projects where people are working together across boundaries. This presentation will primarily point to National Park Service examples but because climate change, by nature, must involve partnerships, will include some of partnerships with other federal agencies, universities, and NGOs.

An Introduction to the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy
Roger Griffis, NOAA
Leveraging the NFWPCAS to amplify climate messages– a state agency perspective
Lynn Helbrecht, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
hide abstract

This talk will offer a state agency perspective on how to leverage the National Fish Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy in internal and external communication on climate change. I will highlight specific examples from WDFW’s work to establish climate priorities, implement an internal climate policy and create a state agency network for cross sector collaboration on climate issues.

Climate Adaptation Progress in Maryland
Megan Granato, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
hide abstract

This presentation will overview climate adaptation initiatives being implemented within the state of Maryland, highlighting those that align with the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy. An overview of climate work at the state level will be provided, focusing on the Maryland Commission on Climate Change and its Adaptation and Response Workgroup. The presentation will then describe how state initiatives are helping to make progress towards several of the Adaptation Strategy's goals. Examples of projects and programs that conserve habitat, enhance capacity, increase knowledge, and reduce non climate stressors will be shared.

Implementing the National Adaptation Strategy in an Intertribal Agency: The GLIFWC Climate Change Program
Rob Croll, GLIFWC
hide abstract

Intertribal agencies can play a significant role in natural resource climate adaptation research, planning and implementation in a tribal context. This presentation explores the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission’s Climate Change Program in relation to the goals of the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy.

The Role of NGOs in Implementing the National Adaptation Strategy
Bruce A Stein, National Wildlife Federation
hide abstract

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play an increasingly important role in land protection and fish and wildlife conservation, and NGOs have been close partners with federal and state agencies in developing the principles underlying climate-smart conservation and in advancing both adaptation planning and implementation. Because of legal constraints under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), NGOs were not eligible to fully participate in development of the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, or to serve on the follow-on "Joint Implementation Working Group." As a result, engagement and buy-in for the National Strategy across the NGO community has been variable. Nonetheless, the Strategy has been useful in helping NGOs better understand and position themselves for action on climate adaptation. The Strategy has also provided a framework for NGOs to constructively engage with state and federal agencies on adaptation, including in regions where climate change remains a politically sensitive issue.