"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change". - Charles Darwin
What’s your position on water hyacinth (Eichhoria crassipes)? An aggressive invasive plant and a scourge to native biodiversity? Or a useful species that can help people adapt to increasing climate risk wherever it grows?
The answer to this question probably depends on whether you work in conservation or development.
In 2011 I wrote a spirited piece for ClimatePrep called, “Ecosystem-based Adaptation: what does it really mean?” So confusing was the concept that at the time I said we avoided using the term ecosystem-based adaptation at WWF altogether. No more.
There are now a plethora of community-based adaptation (CBA) projects addressing climate change around the world. The challenge now is to scale up these many small-scale CBA initiatives to ultimately reach the millions of climate vulnerable poor people at risk around the world.
With support from USAID, World Wildlife Fund’s ‘Conservation & Adaptation in Asia’s High Mountain Landscapes and Communities’ project is working with conservationists, communities and climate scientists to build resilience in the high mountain areas and snow leopard habitats of Nepal, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia.
Protected areas that control local stressors are a hallmark strategy for species protection. However the global impacts of climate change don’t stop at the boundaries of protected areas. Nevertheless, a popular conservation narrative is that reducing local stressors can buffer ecosystems against the global impacts of climate change.
Other WWF Adaptation and Resilience Resources
Managing climate risk can seem overwhelming. ADVANCE can help.
Wildlife and Climate Change
Use our tool to assess a species’ vulnerability to climate change.
Environment and Disaster Management (EDM)
24 hour HelpDesk to assist our partners with environmentally responsible disaster recovery.
Assessing and addressing the impacts of human responses to climate change.
Free online learning resources for adaptation and resilience.