Though marine protected area (MPA) managers realize the immediate threat of climate change to the habitats and species they manage, resources are not always available to help managers fully integrate climate information and considerations into their management decisions.

The rapid vulnerability assessment (RVA) tool presented in this document was developed to make climate adaptation planning a simple, direct, and feasible process for MPA managers to undertake, to better understand habitat vulnerability to climate impacts and the potential for climate-informed management to reduce vulnerability. It will help MPA managers evaluate the implications of climate change for the habitats of their sites.

The RVA tool has three parts: a user guide, a set of blank worksheets, and a booklet containing sample completed worksheets. Together, they comprise a tool that can help MPA managers conduct a rapid vulnerability assessment and adaptation strategy development process.

The document explains that the longer-term goal of the tool and the process is that managers will be empowered to regularly consider the implications of climate change in their work, either by revisiting and reapplying the tool, or by applying the thought process it provides. Importantly, the document underlines that users will find the tool adaptable to uses beyond the habitat evaluation it was formatted for, and that, with minor modifications, it can be used to assess the vulnerability of any aspect of marine protected area management.

CEC 2017. North American Marine Protected Area Rapid Vulnerability Assessment Tool. Montreal, Canada: Commission for Environmental Cooperation. 30 pp.