Integrating human responses to climate change into conservation vulnerability assessments and adapta

With the announcement of the 2015 Paris Agreement, things are looking up for climate policy and on-the-ground action in the coming years. This is good news for vulnerable human communities who are already responding to climate change impacts.

To date, human responses to climate change have had variable impacts on biodiversity. Restoring mangrove forests and coral reefs and ‘greening’ urban areas can beneficial, while increased shipping and oil exploration in the Arctic, increased hunting efforts in the Tropics, and constructing sea walls in low lying nations can put additional pressure on climate vulnerable species. While we wait for greenhouse gas emissions to reduce and stabilise, people will continue to respond to localised impacts of climate change. Depending on the type of response, this may present additional opportunities, or challenges, for climate adaptation planners.

We recently published a review that steps through how human responses to climate change could be integrated into an existing and well-established climate adaptation framework. The review appears in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

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