Framework For the Prioritization of Climate Sensitive Decisions

RSI, in partnership with ESSA Technologies and key Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) staff developed the DFO Framework for prioritizing climate sensitive decisions. The framework helps DFO personnel from the Coast Guard, Small Craft Harbours, Fisheries Management, and Ecosystem Management identify and prioritize management decisions that would benefit from decision-support in the form of climate change adaptation tools.

In practice, the DFO Framework is a series of questions that elicit responses on a decision-by-decision basis in relation to four areas:

  • Climate Sensitivity: How sensitive the outcomes of the decision are to climate, climate change, and its impacts, as well as how prominent non-climate factors are in decision-making.
  • Management Control: The potential for management practice to respond to climate change, based on management flexibility, frequency of decision making and capacity.
  • Timeliness: Identified opportunities to respond to climate change, as well as relative priority of the decision to the department.
  • Value of Information and Decision Support: Current levels of support in making the decision and potential for tools to improve decision making.

Each decision receives an aggregate score; comparisons across decisions can give a sense of the relative ranking of decisions in terms of the potential benefits that the development of adaptation tools may afford. The DFO Framework should aid the department in advancing awareness of and tracking its climate-sensitive decisions to foster over time actions that improve DFO’s overall resilience to climate change.