Rising to the Urgent Challenge: Strategic Plan for Responding to Accelerating Climate Change (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

This Strategic Plan by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) serves two primary purposes. First, it provides a vision for the agency to accomplish their mission to “work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people” in the face of accelerating climate change. Second, it provides direction for the organization and its employees; defining the role of the agency within the context of the Department of the Interior and the larger conservation community as it pertains to climate change and conservation.

The plan employs a science-based adaptive resource management framework for conserving species on a landscape scale. It defines goals and objectives for the agency in three key areas including Adaptation, Mitigation, and Engagement.  The Adaptation goals include:

1) Working with partners to develop and implement a National Fish and Wildlife Climate Adaptation Strategy (See separate entry for 'National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy');

2) Developing long-term capacity for biological planning and conservation, and applying this capacity to drive conservation at broad, landscape scales;

3) Planning and delivering landscape conservation actions that support climate change adaptations by fish and wildlife of ecological and societal significance; and

4) Developing monitoring and research partnerships that make available complete and objective information to plan, deliver, evaluate, and improve actions that facilitate fish and wildlife adaptation to accelerating climate change.

For each goal, multiple objectives are identified and defined for agency action. For example, in support of goal #2, the agency indicates they will evaluate agency service laws, regulations, and policies to identify barriers to and opportunities for successful implementation of climate change actions. A definition of what this may entail is included.

An appended '5-Year Action Plan for Implementing the Climate Change Strategic Plan' identifies distinct actions that will lead to the accomplishment of the stated goals and each specific objective (see additional entry in this Clearinghouse for more detail).

Publication Date: September 2010

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  • Adaptation plan

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