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Climate-Smart Conservation


Safeguarding wildlife in the face of climate change is now our biggest conservation challenge. Today, climate change is already having profound effects on our wildlife and the habitats they call home.

To ensure that wildlife can continue to thrive in a warmer world, we need to make conservation "climate-smart."

In a warmer world, we may work in new places or protect plants and animals that haven't needed our help before. Becoming climate-smart doesn't mean forgetting about existing problems like pollution and invasive species that hurt wildlife. Instead, it means looking ahead and integrating the new challenges created by climate change into our conservation efforts.

Preparing for and coping with current and future climate impacts is an emerging field known as climate adaptation. The National Wildlife Federation has been at the forefront of this emerging field, working closely with federal and state agencies and other organizations to help conservation managers understand how to incorporate climate considerations into their work to better protect our species and ecosystems.

The National Wildlife Federation’s work on climate adaptation includes developing innovative new conservation approaches—such as our widely used guides to climate-smart conservation and climate change vulnerability assessment — working with local partners to make their on-the-ground conservation projects more resilient in the face of climate change, and collaborating with local communities to find nature-based approaches to protect people from the impacts of climate change and increasingly severe weather.


Climate-Smart Conservation Near You

Climate Smart Links
Adaptation Principles 

Learn about Key Characteristics of Climate-Smart Conservation and our guidebook to designing and implementing adaptation projects.

Assessing Vulnerability 

Read NWF's award winning vulnerability assessment guidebook.

Adaptation on the Ground 

See NWF's adaptation projects on the ground in the Great Lakes, Northeast, and Chesapeake Bay.

State Wildlife Action Plans 

Learn about pilot state vulnerability assessments and workshops that are helping states update Wildlife Action Plans for climate change.

Adaptation Reports 

Read NWF's latest publications on climate-smart conservation.

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