Manual: Adaptation to climate change in protected areas

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Despite the evidence of climate change and how it impacts life on earth, that are still few projects on climate change adaption, with a higher emphasis being putto mitigation aspects. However, most conservation projects such as dunes or wetlands restoration, forest management, contribute to climate change adaptation. What is missing? How can Parks better perform their natural role as climate change mitigators? 

Manual Adaption to Climate Change in Protected Areas

To support Protected Areas technicians and decision makers to better incorporate actions for climate change mitigation in their management plans, EUROPARC Spain launched a practical manual in 2017, and the second and revised version has now been published. The Manual Adaption to Climate Change in Protected Areas is available in Spanish, with executive-summary in English.

With the support of several experts on climate, protected area technicians and researchers, EUROPARC Spain defined criteria and compiled a roadmap for considering climate change in all phases of the planning process.

Management plans are the main and most important tool for natural areas, as they set biodiversity and conservation targets along with indicators and evaluation criteria. However, while other drivers of climate change (like changes in land use, invasive species or pollution) are well identified and targeted in management plans, the attention shown to climate change is very scant, often non-existent. 

What is needed is a is throughout system and criteria to guide actions for better climate change adaption. This will require strengthening mechanisms for collaboration between scientists and managers of protected areas. Adaptation to climate change in protected areas should be based on an ecosystem approach, aiming for the protection of the natural resources and ecosystem services provided to society.

Download the manual here or

Access here the digital toolkit (available in Spanish)

In Portugal, at last year’s EUROPARC Conference, a group of Protected Areas professionals joined a technical workshop moderated by Jose Auturi from EUROPARC Spain, that focused on Climate change adaption to share successful experiences and learn about what is being done in Spain.  Below you can download the presentations and outcomes of the workshop.

Download the Workshop Conclusions

Case Study 1: Incorporating Climate Change Adaption into planning and management. By José Antonio Atauri, EUROPARC Spain (ES)

Case Study 2: Experiences of Adaption to Climate change in Catalonia Nature Protected Areas. By Leonardo Bejarano, Generalitat de Catalunya (ES)

manual adaption to climate change

Slide from the presentation from Generalitat Cataluna