Climate-Smart Conservation


Protecting wildlife from climate change is our biggest conservation challenge. Today, climate change is already having profound effects on our wildlife and the habitats they call home.

To safeguard wildlife 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 change adaptation. NWF is working closely with federal and state agencies to help conservation managers understand how to incorporate climate adaptation into their work in order to carry out climate-smart conservation.

This work includes developing guidance—such as our new Quick Guide to Climate-Smart Conservation—working with local partners to make their on-the-ground conservation projects more climate-smart, and working with local communities to find nature-based approaches to protect people from the impacts of climate change and increasingly severe weather.

In May 2012, NWF's affiliates passed a guiding resolution on climate adaptation recognizing the need to safeguard wildlife from the effects of climate change.


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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