There is a clear and pressing need for a scientific assessment of the evidence about the effectiveness of climate change adaptation to help guide conservation policy and practice around the world. This needs to be supported by guidance about the use of specific interventions. At present, we do not understand the potential for adaptation to be effective in the face of increasing pressure from climate change, nor is the information available to help conservationists decide which adaptation measures will be most effective.
This project will address these needs by reviewing, synthesising and communicating the evidence from studies that have quantified and tested the effectiveness of different adaptation interventions to policy-makers, conservationists and practitioners. This will be achieved by building on the work of Conservation Evidence which maintains a database of over 250 journals and grey literature, and an active programme of summarising conservation interventions. Information within the existing database will be supported by additional literature searches to identify relevant non-experimental studies likely to have been omitted by the Conservation Evidence process, and to update some of the older assessments. New studies will be summarised to update the assessments available on the website that are relevant to climate change adaptation, so that the resulting information about their likely effectiveness can be made accessible to conservationists and practitioners. The final database of studies will be analysed to test the effectiveness of different climate change adaptation options to provide an overview of the evidence for their success. This will address both relatively high-level measures, such as increasing functional connectivity or reducing other threats, and more specific management responses. The resulting scientific output, based upon variation in the observed impacts of climate change so far, will identify the potential for adaptation to reduce negative climate change impacts, or to promote positive responses, as well as highlighting where more evidence is required.