Launching the Hawaiian Islands Terrestrial Adaptation Initiative

Photo credit: Paul Bica, Flickr
Photo credit: Paul Bica, Flickr

Recently, the PICCC commenced our Hawaiian Islands Terrestrial Adaptation Initiative (HITAI)  to assist managers in all aspects of confronting the challenges presented by climate change. To place this Initiative on a firm scientific foundation, the PICCC has asked EcoAdapt to develop comprehensive, science-based syntheses of current and projected future climate change and impacts on, and adaptation options for, terrestrial and freshwater resources within each of the main Hawaiian Islands. EcoAdapt is a non-profit organization with the goals of building the capacity of resource managers to access and use climate change science and information to pursue adaptation action.

The goal of the HITAI is to provide resource managers and planners with information that will improve understanding and capacity to reduce climate vulnerabilities.  By developing information that is actionable and useful, this project will support this goal to better integrate climate change research and information into resource management and decision-making in Hawai`i.

The objectives for this project include: convening a science-management partnership; identifying the best available climate science and critical gaps;  understanding climate-related vulnerabilities; creating adaptation options to reduce these vulnerabilities; and creating a climate-engaged public.

EcoAdapt recently joined the PICCC for a day filled with meetings with management partners. These meetings introduced management partners to the project, goals, and the timeline for the HITAI. More importantly, these meetings revealed the challenges and barriers to incorporating climate change. Some common challenges, such as understanding uncertainty, access to climate data, and time limitations were identified over the course of these meetings. To confront these issues, the PICCC and EcoAdapt have planned individual workshops for each island to focus on climate change information specific to the island to ensure adaptation in a tailored way.

By synthesizing the best available climate change information and implementing a series of workshops to work with management partners, the PICCC is aiming to ensure that climate science is more accessible and actionable throughout Hawai`i. As we proceed forward with the HITAI, we look forward to working with resource managers throughout Hawai`i to pursue strategic climate adaptation.