Two Kresge grantees launch a Web-based resource site focused on climate-change adaptation
Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange -- CAKE -- provides conservation practitioners and policy analysts with scientific information and networking opportunities designed to build the field of adaptation.
TROY, Mich. – A new Web-based Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange, launched in July by two Kresge grantees, Island Press and EcoAdapt, offers a comprehensive toolkit of free online resources that conservation practitioners and policy makers can utilize to develop, implement, and share innovative approaches for adapting to climate change.
"CAKE -- our acronym for the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange -- was created to provide information and networking support to everyone working in the conservation world and to help them integrate into their planning and management an understanding of how climate change will impact their work," says Chuck Savitt, president of Island Press, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit publishing company focused on environmental issues.
Kresge's support for CAKE reflects the grantmaking priorities of its Environment Program, which seeks to address the impacts of climate change on people and nature by building the field of climate-change adaptation; supporting place-based adaptation efforts; and assisting in the development of climate-wise federal and state policies and practices.
Island Press partnered on the development and operation of CAKE with EcoAdapt, a Washington state-based nonprofit organization of scientists dedicated to creating "a robust future in the face of climate change." Lara J. Hansen, chief scientist and executive director, says, "Our goal is to synthesize and present knowledge in a way that is engaging, enlightening, and empowering. We hope everyone can find something in CAKE that will help them deal with climate change."
Hansen is a co-author of the Web site's companion book, Climate Savvy: Adapting Conservation and Resource Management to a Changing World, which informs managers how to plan for climate-change adaptation. The new book, also funded by Kresge, will be available in October from Island Press.
The CAKE Web site (www.cakex.org) incorporates many useful tools and information, which can be easily accessed through a geo-reference map. These include:
- Case studies of practitioners doing climate-change adaptation work in North America and worldwide
- A directory of adaptation professionals and organizations
- A virtual library with pre-screened journal articles, book chapters, reports, and other materials on adaptation
- A community section with a discussion forum and advice column
Savitt, president of Island Press, says Kresge's grant awards to Island Press ($600,000 in 2008) and EcoAdapt ($150,000 in 2009) came at a critical time. "Kresge was willing to invest in a new way of using technology in a brand new field, climate-change adaptation, to create a resource that would be useful for other grantmakers and anyone working in conservation," he explains. "Since there is no one specific solution to adaptation, we've given people the tools to develop the appropriate response for their situation."
Lois DeBacker, Kresge's senior program director and team leader for the Environment Program, says the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange will serve as an important information and communication resource for Kresge's other adaptation grantees as well as for a broader community of practitioners who are knowledgeable about climate change.
"Our hope is that CAKE will become a vibrant community and go-to place where people can obtain information and post additional studies and strategies related to climate-change adaptation," she adds.