Strategic & Scenario Planning

Strategic Planning

In collaboration with a group of management consultants (Anthros, Inc.), the SW CASC organized and convened two workshops, one in April and one in September of 2015, drawing in approximately 70 people with diverse perspectives, relationships, and ‘stakes’ in the SW CASC. The discussions, reports, and examples from the workshops are helping the SW CASC identify its most effective placement in the complex landscape of climate adaptation, and are being used by other entities (NCASC, other CASCs, LCCs, various stakeholders). This has not only helped build capacity for climate adaptation, it has helped the entire community more effectively define capacity needs.

Scenario Planning

In collaboration with the UA Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS), the SW CASC co-organized a series of workshops aimed at understanding the diverse landscape of scenario planning approaches, and identifying the approaches best suited to specific conservation and management contexts. This effort is building capacity for more effective management under climate change and refining an important set of decision support tools for adaptive management. 



Scenario Planning Projects

Support for enhanced scenario planning outcomes (FY15)

Principal Investigator: Katharine Jacobs (University of Arizona)

Decision makers and natural resource managers are increasingly being asked to make decisions in the context of uncertainty, with climate change adding new sources of complexity. Scenario planning approaches are being used as a means of providing managers with insights into options for responding appropriately to change in the near and long term. A workshop held at the University of Arizona in April 2015 brought together a group of 30 experts and practitioners to explore two things: lessons learned in applications of a variety of specific scenario planning techniques, and connections between the different methods that have emerged relative to how they frame uncertainty and how they function in a decision-support context. A preliminary scholarly article and workshop report resulted from this gathering.

Garfin, G., Black, M. and Rowland, E. (2015). Advancing scenario planning for climate decision making. Eos. 96.

In a second, smaller workshop in December 2015, the team scoped the production of a range of outputs that include: a broader toolkit of scenario methods and techniques for decision makers and improved connections with local and regional planners; practical suggestions for practitioners on how to use these techniques and in what combinations; a list of research, institutional, and resource needs to improve the information available and the flow of information across methods in specific applications; and curriculum development and training opportunities. A scholarly article and website resulted from this phase of the project.

Star, J., Rowland, E.L., Black, M.E., Enquist, C.A., Garfin, G., Hoffman, C.H., Hartmann, H., Jacobs, K.L., Moss, R.H. and Waple, A.M. (2016). Supporting adaptation decisions through scenario planning: enabling the effective use of multiple methods. Climate Risk Management. 13. 88-94.

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Supporting conservation planning for landscapes in the Southwest  (FY16)

Principal Investigator: Matt Grabau (Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative)

Changes in temperature and precipitation due to climate change (and associated droughts, wildfires, extreme storms etc.) threaten important water sources, forests, wildlife habitat, and ecosystems across the Southwest and throughout the entire U.S. These threats cross political and man-made boundaries and therefore need to be addressed at larger landscape-level and regional scales. “Landscape conservation design” is one method that can be used by land and resource managers to support large scale conservation and ensure that small scale and local actions contribute to a landscape level vision. The Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) worked to develop a shared vision for conservation action in the Southwest through a collaborative process to identify shared conservation goals, stressors and vulnerabilities across Southwest landscapes, and potential management responses to changing climatic conditions.

Through this project, the SW CASC supported the Desert LCC in their efforts to collect data and information about important Southwest resources, create scenarios of the future that include the effects of climate change and other landscape stressors on important resources, and develop a list of possible collaborative adaptation responses that are useful and implementable by partners. The Desert LCC hosted workshops to bring together regional partners to incorporate existing information and ideas into a current assessment of resource conditions and facilitating broad stakeholder participation in the landscape conservation design process in pilot areas across the Southwest. The Desert LCC used these workshops to develop reports that included a prioritization of science needed to support future landscape conservation design work, and recommendations for filling these information gaps.

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