The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is being recognized for exemplary leadership in reducing climate impacts to fish and wildlife and promoting climate-smart approaches to conservation with the prestigious new Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources.
“How we respond to climate change — from reducing emissions to implementing climate-smart adaptation measures — will determine the natural resource and wildlife legacy that we pass on to future generations,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation. “We are honored to receive this award for the National Wildlife Federation's work to ensure that wildlife will continue to thrive in a rapidly changing world.”
The Climate Adaptation Leadership Award was established in 2016 to highlight outstanding leadership by organizations or individuals in advancingconservation of the nation’s fish, wildlife, and plants in a changing climate. National Wildlife Federation is being honored in the award’s non-governmental organization category.
The award recognizes the major role National Wildlife Federation has played over the past decade in advancing and promoting the practice of“climate-smart conservation.” The award specifically highlights NWF’s work in: 1) raising awareness about the impacts and consequences of climate change for fish and wildlife, and the urgent need to address these impacts in conservation efforts; 2) advancing the science and practice of climate adaptation by leading the development of several widely-used adaptation guides for natural resource managers; and 3) promoting broad adoption of adaptation principles and practices through trainings, outreach to wildlife and natural resource professionals, and on-the-ground adaptation projects. The award notes that collaboration has been a hallmark of the NWF’s climate adaptation efforts, and this work was carried out with a wide array of partners, including federal, state, and local agencies, tribes, non-governmental organizations, professional societies, and academic institutions.
“Rapid climate change is starting to undermine much of our cherished conservation legacy, but many managers are still unsure about how to address this threat,” said Dr. Bruce Stein, National Wildlife Federation’s Associate Vice President for Conservation Science and Climate Adaptation. “By demystifying the practice of climate adaptation, NWF is helping conservationists better prepare for and manage species and habitats during this period of unprecedented change.”
The Award is sponsored by the Joint Implementation Working Group for the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, in partnership with the Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Resource Conservation Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The Adaptation Leadership Award was proposed as part of the White House Priority Agenda on Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources.
The award committee particularly lauded National Wildlife Federation’s development of two influential adaptation guides: Climate Smart Conservation: Putting Adaptation Principles into Practice, and Scanning the Conservation Horizon: A Guide to Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment. These guides, along with related training courses, have helped hundreds natural resource professionals understand how to incorporate climate considerations into their conservation work and reduce threats to fish and wildlife from the growing impacts of climate change.