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A Framework For Climate Change Adaptation in Hawai'i


Impacts from global climate change are extensive and varied, from ocean and atmospheric warming to increased threats to public health and safety. Specific impacts in Hawaii may include sea level rise, ocean acidification, increased frequency and severity of storms and other coastal hazards, and drought.

The multi-stakeholder Ocean Resources Management Plan (ORMP) Working Group, established by the Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Program to ensure implementation and further development of the ORMP, developed this framework when they collectively recognized that the there were no guidelines on how the State of Hawaii could plan for adaptation to the impacts of climate change.

The Working Group proposes the following framework for addressing climate change adaptation in Hawaii. The proposed framework includes:

• Build Climate Change Adaptation Team
• Develop and Adopt a Long-Term Vision
• Identify Planning Areas and Opportunities Relevant to Climate Change
• Scope Climate Change Impacts to Major Sectors
• Conduct a Vulnerability Assessment
• Conduct a Risk Assessment

Once the steps above have been completed, the next steps are:

• Prioritize Areas for Adaptation Planning
• Set Preparedness Goals
• Develop, Select, and Prioritize Preparedness Actions
• Implement Preparedness Plan
• Monitor Progress and Update Plan as Appropriate

Each step of the framework is described in greater detail and with examples in each specific section. It is the ORMP Working Group’s hope that climate change adaptation planning start immediately in Hawaii, and that this framework serves as an early planning tool for identifying where to start and what the different planning stages may look like.


Climate Change Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Adaptation, All-Hazards, Assessment, Climate, Environmental Health, Evaluation, Natural Disaster, Needs Assessment, Risk Communication, Vulnerable Populations


Institutional Author:

A collaborative effort of the Ocean Resources Management Plan Working Group





The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.

Five most recent user comments

2.5 Stars of 5 - Somewhat Useful
climate change
By David Overfield
some of the points were difficult to understand. adaptation plan was not throughly developed 

3 Stars of 5 - Useful
A Framework for Climate Change Adaptation in Hawai

Would be a good tool for a starting point.  Gives some good things to consider.

3 Stars of 5 - Useful
A Framework for Climate Change Adaptation in Hawai
By Brendon Haggerty
This is a framework plan and is useful for those interested in introducing the topic of climate change adaptation. As a framework plan, it is in a sense a "plan to plan," in that it lays out steps and general actions, but does not include specific or measurable objectives.  It is a good example of thinking through the interaction of various sectors as they relate to adaptation.