Priority Agenda: Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America's Natural Resources

The Climate and Natural Resources Working Group (CNRWG) of the U.S. Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience developed this Priority Agenda in response to the direction of Executive Order 13653 “Preparing the U.S. for the Impacts of Climate Change” and in coordination with the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force.

Agencies with a responsibility for natural resources were given a specific charge, outlined in Section 3 of EO 13653, titled “Managing Lands and Waters for Climate Preparedness and Resilience.”  The interagency Council on Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience, established by Section 6 of EO 13653, convened the CNRWG to complete the inventory, assessment, and plan as called for in Section 3 of the Order. The CNRWG includes Departments of Defense, Interior, and Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

This Agenda identifies four priority strategies to make the Nation’s natural resources more resilient to climate change:

1. Foster climate-resilient lands and waters
2. Manage and enhance U.S. carbon sinks
3. Enhance community preparedness and resilience by utilizing and sustaining natural resources
4. Modernize Federal programs, investments, and delivery of services to build resilience and enhance sequestration of biological carbon

The Agenda has a chapter dedicated to each of the four focal strategy areas, with comprehensive review of the specific challenges, progress to date, and future goals for each area. Key actions that agencies will undertake in the near term to implement each of the four strategies are highlighted. 

Appendix A also provides detailed strategies and priority actions for each of the four strategic areas. 

Under the direction of the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, the CNRWG will track the implementation of this Priority Agenda in coordination with the existing efforts to implement the National Ocean Policy, the National Action Plan: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate, and the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy

Publication Date: October 2014

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