Shared solutions to protect shared values

  • Walrus Cows and Yearlings on Ice. Photo credit: USFWS / Joel Garlich-Miller
  • Touring by canoe. Photo creedit: USFWS / Steve Hillebrand
  • Sunrise. Photo credit: USFWS / Steve Hillebrand

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources?

The Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources (Award) was established to recognize exemplary leadership by federal, state, tribal, local, and non-governmental entities to reduce climate-related threats and enhance the resilience of the nation's living natural resources (fish, wildlife and plants) and the communities  that depend on them.

The Award recognizes outstanding leadership by organizations and/or individuals to advance the resilience of living natural resources in a changing climate by helping address the goals of the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy.

Why was this award created?

The Obama Administration's Priority Agenda for Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America's Natural Resources called for the establishment of an Award to recognize and incentivize exemplary Federal, State, Tribal, and local leadership to advance the resilience of natural resources and the communities that depend on them. In response to this call the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy (NFWPCAS) Joint Implementation Working Group, comprised of Federal, State, and Tribal entities, created the Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources.

What do we mean by Climate Resilience?

In the emerging context of climate change, resilience is defined as the ability to recover from or adjust easily to change, such as impacts caused by natural and human-induced climate change.

Who is eligible for this award?

Individuals, government agencies (Federal, State, and Tribal), and non-governmental organizations that are based in the U.S and focused primarily on living resources (fish, wildlife, plants, habitats and ecosystems) in the 50 states or its territories are eligible for the award.

Activities must be ongoing or recently completed and have either 1) contributed to an innovative and successful climate adaptation project, program, or initiative or 2) demonstrated their contribution to increasing the resilience of fish, wildlife, plants, habitats, or an ecosystem.

Previous award recipients and honorable mentions may be nominated again if their work is significantly different than the work for which they were originally recognized.

What criteria will be used to assess the nominations?

Nominations must address one or more of the following seven goals identified in the NFWPCAS to help safeguard the nation's fish, wildlife, and plants in a changing climate:

  • Goal 1: Conserve habitat to support healthy fish, wildlife, and plant populations and ecosystem functions in a changing climate;

  • Goal 2: Manage species and habitats to protect ecosystem functions and provide sustainable commercial, subsistence, recreational and cultural use in a changing climate;

  • Goal 3: Enhance capacity for effective management in a changing climate;

  • Goal 4: Support adaptive management in a changing climate through integrated observation and monitoring and use of decision support tools;

  • Goal 5: Increase knowledge and information on impacts and responses of fish, wildlife, and plants in a changing climate;

  • Goal 6: Increase awareness and motivate action to safeguard fish, wildlife, and plants in a changing climate; and

  • Goal 7: Reduce non-climate stressors to help fish, wildlife, plants, and ecosystems adapt to a changing climate.

In addition, nominations should point to successful leadership and encourage replication of climate smart practices. The nominations will be reviewed and ranked based on the following criteria:

  • Proactive:  Promotes preparation and response in ways that advance the resilience of natural resources in a changing climate.
  • Innovative/transformative:  Develops and/or applies innovative tools/approaches to advance the resilience of natural resources in a changing climate.
  • Results/effectiveness:  Employs highly effective proven strategies and/or obtains results in improving resilience of natural resources and/or resource-dependent communities to a changing climate.
  • Replication:  Project is being replicated elsewhere or has high potential for replication (e.g., across regions, sectors or nation-wide).
  • Collaborative:  Demonstrates outstanding collaboration to advance the resilience of natural resources in a changing climate.

Can I nominate an individual?

Yes, the Award can recognize individuals for their outstanding work to incorporate climate adaption practices into conservation efforts. The nomination may be in recognition of a discreet adaptation project or for overall contribution to climate adaptation activities.

Can I nominate a group of individuals or organizations/agencies?

Yes, the Award can be presented to a group of individuals or organizations/agencies that have collaborated on a climate adaptation project.

Can I nominate a project that is not yet complete?

Yes, recognizing that outstanding climate adaptation and resilience efforts can occur at a variety of stages from planning to implementation to evaluation, nominated projects do not need to be fully complete. Award winning projects can be in various stages of completion, as the Award is not only based on results or achievement – the goal is to identify projects that are exceptional examples of climate adaptation based the criteria laid out below and in the Call for Nominations. However, the project should be far enough along in its lifecycle to assess whether or not it exemplifies outstanding leadership using the Award criteria.

Can I nominate groups, organizations, or individuals who do not work in the natural resource conservation sector?

Yes, we will recognize efforts by other sectors (e.g., agriculture, energy, transportation, housing, and water resources) to advance the resilience and adaptation of the nation's valuable fish, wildlife and plant resources, as well as habitats and ecosystems. Coordinated actions among these sectors and fish, wildlife, and plant adaptation efforts can yield mutual benefits for healthy ecosystems as called for in the NFWPCAS.

Do international projects or efforts qualify?

Nominated individuals and organizations should be based in the United States and projects should focus primarily on U.S. resources, though collaboration with groups working in other countries and along U.S. borders is welcome.

What does the Award consist of?

Each Award will consist of a personalized plaque. If available, travel support may be provided to attend the Award Presentation at the AFWA Annual Meeting in Saint Paul, Minnesota in September 2019, where the awards are expected to be announced.  There is no additional financial component to the Award.