Climate Risk: Bay Area Resilience Hotspots

The Challenge

There is no shortage of data about climate change in the Bay Area. However, there are pros and cons about what currently exists. Some datasets are based on historical climate information; others are not easy to merge to tell a full picture of climate risks. 

In order to plan and implement policies that protect and enhance valuable natural lands that in turn protect communities from climate change, we need decision-making that draws from a full picture of the multiple climate risks—as well as the resilience benefits—of the Bay Area’s natural lands.

Solutions

To be resilient in the face of climate change starts with better identifying climate-related risks to our communities, built environment and natural systems, and taking an educated, holistic, and equitable view on how to address them. 

Greenbelt Alliance works with Bay Area communities to ensure conservation decisions are based on data that incorporates all of the overlapping risks climate change will bring. We’re connecting and analyzing multiple, separate datasets and using our findings to identify key locations to protect and the policies needed for equitable climate planning in our most vulnerable communities.  

Our Approach

We are introducing the concept of “resilience hotspots” as a tool for setting conservation priorities. Much like biodiversity hotspots, we see a unique role for Bay Area Resilience Hotspots to play an important role in decision-making for cost-effective strategies to preserve high-value lands offering multiple benefits to people and nature.

  • Educating the Bay Area on its unique “resilience hotspots” capable of providing maximum climate resilience benefits. These hotspots are areas which are already at the greatest risk of climate hazards, and they are also areas with opportunities to increase equitable access to green spaces and serve as natural solutions that help our most vulnerable communities prepare for and respond to climate change. 
  • Advocating for equitable conservation and land-use policy solutions that prioritize areas with the greatest resilience benefits.
  • Collaborating with frontline communities most vulnerable to climate impacts throughout the region to develop policy implementation recommendations and, together with regional experts, heighten coordination among public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community members.

Our Impact

Data-driven decision making along with public participation with a true diversity of voices can increase the likelihood of equitable outcomes. 

Better understanding our areas at greatest risk, and also those natural areas we need to protect the most to protect ourselves from climate change, is how the Bay Area will build climate resilience. Through this work, Greenbelt Alliance is ensuring the Bay Area’s lands and communities are resilient to a changing climate by: 

  • Protecting more and higher-quality natural and working lands 
  • Conserving our highest resilience value landscapes
  • Driving investment in a resilient Bay Area
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