Climate Adaptation “Scorecard” for Climate Change Projects Created

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The loss and damages from climate change have increased climate adaptation investments worldwide. The rise in climate adaptation investments has also created a need to assess adaptation outcomes and return on investment.

Unlike evaluating mitigation outcomes that can be measured through the balance of GHG emissions and removals, evaluating climate adaptation is a complex undertaking.

A study that researchers at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry co-authored developed a “scorecard” for climate adaptation projects – a set of 16 criteria to evaluate the success of climate adaptation projects and inform their design (News from COP26, 2021).

Researchers organised these criteria into four categories:

  1. use of information,
  2. project management,
  3. ecological and social outcomes, and
  4. advancing the field of adaptation. 

Researchers then trialled these criteria to 47 practitioners to develop a flexible and comprehensive set of standards tailored to an individual’s projects’ goals and context.

News from COP26 (2021) explains:

The study aims to develop comprehensive, flexible, and forward-looking criteria for conservation adaptation that address a full range of inputs, processes, outputs, and outcomes and quantify the relative importance of these criteria as viewed by researchers and adaptation practitioners.

The study revealed that adaptation experts and practitioners might hold different views about the most important criteria for success. Adaptation experts (researchers and/or adaptation fund advisors who have played leading roles in shaping the global field of conservation adaptation) commonly ranked social and ecological outcomes, which are often the most difficult to measure at project completion, amongst the top five most important criteria. On the other hand, practitioners focused more on project management criteria such as partnerships and collaboration, engagement and communication, and the long-term sustainability of their work.

To read the entire study, click the button below:

Source Citation:

Guillaume Peterson St-Laurent, Lauren E. Oakes, Molly Cross, Shannon Hagerman. Flexible and comprehensive criteria for evaluating climate change adaptation success for biodiversity and natural resource conservationEnvironmental Science & Policy, 2022; 127: 87 DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2021.10.019

News from Cop26: Scientists Issue New Climate Adaptation “Scorecard”. (2021, November 8). WCS. Retrieved from

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