Adapting to Changing Conditions

Adapting to Changing Conditions

Climate change, with resulting shifts in natural resources available for ecosystems and human well-being, is the most significant threat facing the Sky Island region. Ecosystems and species are being stressed by increasingly dramatic changes in temperature and precipitation. The Adapt Program works to conserve the diversity of species and the ecosystems they depend on in the face of rapid climate change.

Specifically, we:

  • Conduct adaptation planning to address climate change disruptions.
  • Develop science to drive climate savvy conservation.
  • Advocate for management and conservation strategies that address the threat of climate change.
  • Engage volunteers in critical monitoring, protection, and restoration activities and as advocates for good policy.
  • Publish and share adaptation methods and results to ensure replicability.

Disruptions in the amount, timing, and intensity of precipitation are already happening. Combined with increased temperatures and fire events, these disruptions are having considerable visible impacts on species, ecological systems and ecosystem service delivery. These changes seriously threaten the diversity of species and the health of human and ecological systems they depend on.

Informed and innovative changes to the conservation and management of species and their habitats are necessary to ensure that biological diversity and ecosystem function persists. Sky Island Alliance is in a unique leadership role in coordinating responses to climate challenges and development of new science to support climate change adaptation. Planning for and developing strategies to address climate change impacts is a complex process that requires a landscape-level approach. Starting in 2010, we convened a series of climate change adaptation workshops to address natural resource management, planning and conservation. Designed for natural resource managers, planners, conservation groups and private landowners, these workshops prompt participants to look at management and conservation through the lens of uncertain climate impacts, in order to promote the creation of adaptation strategies to safeguard ecological systems and the wildlife and human populations that depend on them.

Climate Change Workshop Proceedings & Resources

Workshop I: Climate Change Adaptation in the Arid Southwest: A Workshop for Land and Resource Management, September 20-21, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona

  • Developed a common understanding of the impacts of climate change in the region.
  • Built a diverse network of organizations, natural resource managers and scientists interested in continuing to engage on the issues of climate change adaptation.
  • Identified key knowledge, monitoring and implementation needs within the network.

Workshop II: Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Climate Change Adaptation and Resource Management for the Sky Island Region, April 13-14, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona

  • Discussed the biology, vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies specific to the Sky Island region.
  • Developed individual and collective actions we will take to address climate change impacts.

Workshop III: Learning to Live with the Heat: Adapting to a Changing Climate in the Sky Island Region, May 21-22, 2013, in Tucson, Arizona

  • Focused on adaptation strategy implementation in the Sky Island region.
  • Advanced ongoing collaborative projects and examined what we learned.
  • Introduced new tools and research.
  • Discussed specific natural resource topics and issues.