Being Prepared for Climate Change: A Workbook for Developing Risk-Based Adaptation Plans
The workbook from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presents a step-by-step application of a risk management methodology to climate change adaptation. By taking a risk-based approach to assessing vulnerability, users have a formal way to choose among adaptation actions. Selected actions are not simply beneficial—they rise to the top because they will be best for reducing risk.
The methodology in the workbook is appropriate for any type of place-based planning, including hazard mitigation. However, the workbook was designed with environmental professionals who manage watersheds or coastal places and protect the health of aquatic ecosystems as its main audience. A free, online companion tool for vulnerability assessment reports is also available (see link at right, under Training/Tutorials).
This workbook assumes that users:
- represent an organization that has environmental goals or objectives;
- start with some sense that climate change will pose a threat to what their organization is trying to accomplish;
- are comfortable using science to inform decision making; and
- have sufficient knowledge of their environmental system (or can partner with those who do) to understand how climate changes may affect the way it functions.
The risk management methodology adopted in the workbook is best used:
- at a spatial scale that is large enough that risks are numerous and diverse and small enough that managers know the territory;
- where using qualitative risk analysis is well-suited;
- where many stakeholders are involved; and
- where responses have to be prioritized because not all can be implemented.