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Executive Summary of Adaptive Tools from Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation in Hawai'i

Climate change adaptation is the process of increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability to risks related to climate change. From a law and policy perspective, adaptation primarily means: (i) ensuring that current policies  and  procedures  account  for  climate  trends,  variability,  and  uncertainty;  and  (ii)  ensuring  that, when decision-makers  receive  new  information  from  climate  scientists  in  the  future,  they  will  be  able  to appropriately  act  on  that information  with  the  existing  policies  and  procedures.  Thus,  adaptation  is  not just   about   creating   new   policies,   but   about routinely considering how the future climate may affect  the  outcomes  of  decisions,  and  using  that understanding to make more informed decisions. The need for adaptive tools is especially sharp in  the  context  of  managing  vital  water  resources. Hawai‘i’s   water   experts   recognize   that   climate change   has   the   potential   to   devastate   natural resources    and    human    communities. Already, troubling  patterns  of  climate  change  are  being observed in Hawai‘i.

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Publication Date
March 2012