Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Climate Resilience Toolkit Is an Important Resource

English: Resilience in different ecosystems
Resilience in different ecosystems (Wikipedia)
Anyone who needs to plan for future risks - whether a city manager, a state official, or a business leader - needs good information that’s easy to find and easy to use. 
The federal government took an important step to help managers plan for the impacts of climate change with the release this month of the Climate Resilience Toolkit.

This new online portal offers a wide range of resources and interactives that consolidate some of the “greatest hits” from federal climate data sets, guidance for resilience planning, and examples of resilience projects.

The toolkit is likely to be especially helpful for communities and businesses in the early stages of resilience planning, or for individuals who want to know more about managing climate risks. I took a spin through the toolkit’s resources and here’s my take on some of its components.


The toolkit promotes a five-step process for building resilience: Identify the Problem, Determine Vulnerabilities, Investigate Options, Evaluate Risks and Costs, and Take Action.

The Climate Resilience Toolkit’s five-step process for building resilience.

What Works:The simple, linear process for addressing resilience demystifies tackling climate risks and builds on the actual experiences of practitioners. The five steps are quite similar to the steps C2ES found leading businesses are taking, and are almost a CliffsNotes version of more rigorous “how-to” guides for thinking about climate impacts.

What Needs Work: The process description, while valid, is insufficient for a user who might be farther down the road in resilience planning. For example, under Determine Vulnerabilities, only two sentences are offered to address “Dealing with Uncertainty.”


The toolkit offers vignettes of resilience projects around the country related to a variety of decisions, from growing crops to coastal planning to forestry management.

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