Regional Climate Adaptation Framework


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The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) developed the Regional Climate Adaptation Framework (Framework) to assist local and regional jurisdictions in managing the negative impacts of climate change. The Framework provides an overview of how the Southern California region can work together to plan and prepare for the impacts of sea level rise, extreme heat, increasingly frequent and damaging wildfires, and other climate-related issues. With the impacts of severe climate hazards and issues already being felt, adaptation planning is necessary to help individuals, communities, and natural systems cope with the unavoidable consequences of a changing climate. The Framework was developed over a two-year period, beginning in February 2019 and ending in February 2021.

SCAG worked with local municipalities, advocacy groups, universities, and other stakeholders to assess the unique issues affecting the SCAG region, available planning tools and resources, scientific data, and messaging strategies. Many local jurisdictions do not have the resources to adequately assess their local hazards, develop effective adaptation plans, and participate in regional planning efforts – our framework provides jurisdictions with a roadmap to adaptation in an effort to help build a more resilient Southern California.

As part of the overall Framework, SCAG is sharing new tools for local jurisdictions – first, the Communication & Outreach Strategies and Templates that can help jurisdictions and community based organizations engage with residents to understand better how climate related hazards are affecting community members. Second, SCAG developed the Southern California Climate Adaptation Planning Guide as a resource for local planning that describes the range of climate change hazards the SCAG region is likely to face in the coming decades.

It also describes adaptation principles geared to the region, and outlines a general process of adaptation planning that can be applied by any agency, no matter where they fall across the spectrums of funding, available resources, knowledge of vulnerabilities, and planning sophistication. It provides member agencies, including towns, cities, counties and subregional organizations with a compendium of tools, resources, and best practices to efficiently advance their adaptation planning using the best resources available.


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The project was funded by the Caltrans Adaptation Planning grant program.