Climate change is significantly impacting our oceans through sea level rise, increasing storm events, warming ocean temperatures, changing ocean currents and ocean acidification. These impacts are directly threatening the biodiversity of oceans and the livelihoods of coastal communities globally. Globally, governments, communities and resource managers have identified these issues as needing urgent attention in marine policy and management but frequently lack the capacity to understand and begin planning for climate change impacts.


The Marine Climate Change Program at Conservation International is one of the most comprehensive programs addressing these impacts of climate change on marine biodiversity and human well-being and providing targeted support for the governments, communities and others that must face these threats. The program’s international agenda spans field-based conservation actions, support for communities and governments, applied research for marine biodiversity and socioeconomic adaptation to climate change. 

The program has developed a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment approach that integrates the latest climate science with the specific social, ecological and governance conditions of a region. This process has been designed specifically to address the major challenges marine managers and coastal communities are experiencing in identifying the essential first steps for addressing climate change in their local context. The Galapagos Islands, Madagascar and the Verde Island Passage in the Philippines have all adopted this approach and are now implementing climate change adaptation projects, planning and policies in response.  

CI’s marine climate change program is working with CI’s field programs and partners to implement an array of marine and coastal adaptation actions. These include advising the Madagascar government on integrating climate adaptation into the development of its MPA network, supporting the government of Ecuador in writing a climate change adaptation plan for the Galapagos Islands, providing training on adaptation for coastal managers in Indonesia, the Philippines and across the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape, protecting and restoring coastal mangroves critical for coastal protection from changing storm patterns and sea level rise in the Philippines and Ecuador.