Climate Change and...

Re-Framing Forest and Resource Management Strategies for a Climate Change Context

Contents of the ToolBox: Adaptation, Mitigation and the "5-R Strategies"

Adaptation Strategies: 2. Promote Resilience to Change. "Health Care" approach. Promoting resilience is the most commonly discussed adaptation strategy (Dale et al. 2001, Spittlehouse and Stewart 2003). When a species, habitat, watershed or other natural resource returns to its former condition or function after disturbance, it is said to have resiled. In that climate change brings new types and intensities of extreme events, management actions to promote resilience are those that improve the capacity to return to desired prior conditions after climate-induced disturbance. The widely held assumption, adopted from human health-care philosophy but relatively untested in natural ecosystems, is that "healthy" species, forests, ecosystems are more resilient to change. Thus, preventative treatments aimed at increasing health, are prescribed. Depending on the situation, these might include thinning dense forests, prescribing fires, stocking seed banks, or augmenting endangered species' populations (Fig 2.). In mountain ski-resort communities, an action to promote resilience to climate-change-induced low-snow winters might be to add snow-making equipment. As in resistance options, strategies to promote resilience are likely only successful in the relatively short-term, in that eventually changed climates will force new environmental conditions such that ecological re-setting rather than resilience will be "healthiest" path toward adaptation.

bottom right