Nature-Based Transformative Adaptation: a practical handbook

Nature-Based Transformative Adaptation: a practical handbook


This handbook, designed for project managers and policy makers, focuses on transformative adaptation. It can act as a guide during policy decision-making processes and in designing adaptation initiatives and plans. The handbook provides concrete examples of nature-based transformative approaches done on the ground. With the current shifts in social and ecological conditions brought about by Climate Change, this handbook considers transformative adaptation as the most suitable solution.


The handbook considers transformative adaptation as the most appropriate response to climate change compared to inaction, adopting coping strategies, and having incremental adaptation. Although transformative adaptation requires significant investments, it addresses the root causes of vulnerability and builds the capacities of both people and nature to adapt in the long-term.

It provides six (6) characteristics of adaptation strategies that has the potential to result to transformative adaptation: i) restructuring; ii) path-shifting; iii) multiscale; iv) system-wide; v) innovative; and vi) persistent.

The handbook also includes a guide on when to consider using transformative adaptation strategies. These are for places severely impacted by climate change; places reaching adaptation limit; and places already degraded by climate change.

Lastly, it presents possible outcomes of using transformative adaptation. This ranges from having improved water provision, human and wildlife security to cultural heritage preservation and improved food security.


Fedele G. Nature-based Transformative Adaptation: a practical handbook. 2019. doi:10.5281/ZENODO.3386441.


  • Conservation International, Arlington, VA, USA