US Government draft climate adaptation strategy for wildlife

The US Government has published as a draft for public consultation a National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy. The goal of the strategy, which is not an operational plan but does provide themes for new policy and program initiatives, is to “inspire and enable natural resource administrators, legislators and other decision makers to take action to adapt to a changing climate.” The Strategy has been prepared by an interagency task force with state and aboriginal participation. One of the lead participants is the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies which includes Canadian Federal, Provincial and Territorial members as well as ngos.

The Strategy includes seven goals:

  • Conserve habitat to support healthy fish, wildlife and plant populations and ecosystem functions in a changing climate.
  • Manage species and habitats to protect ecosystem functions and provide sustainable cultural, subsistence, recreational, and commercial use in a changing climate.
  • Enhance capacity for effective management in a changing climate.
  • Support adaptive management in a changing climate through integrated observation and monitoring and use of decision support tools.
  • Increase knowledge and information on impacts and responses of fish, wildlife and plants to a changing climate.
  • Increase awareness and motivate action to safeguard fish, wildlife and plants in a changing climate.
  • Reduce non-climate stressors to help fish, wildlife, plants, and ecosystems adapt to a changing climate.

The Strategy includes a second and third level of detail, including lists of projects and policy opportunities to achieve the suggested goals as well as some recommendations to reprioritize existing funding to help achieve goals. Engagement of the private sector is also discussed in many of the action recommendations.

Details, including webinar and physical consultation events, are available at http://www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/public-review-draft.php The deadline for comments is March 5, 2012.

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