Abstract The paper demonstrates the need to integrate across information types (i.e. weather, climate, socio-economic, policy and ecology) to better inform those involved in decision-making for ecosystem management. The provision of climate information and an understanding of ecosystem responses to climate change and variability urgently need to underpin any planning for the future. Integrating climatic information into risk assessment frameworks and adaptation planning is essential as it will enable better informed decision making in planning to ensure the adequate provision of ecosystem services (water, food, air quality, shelter etc) and appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies for the well being of both people and nature. A substantial mindset shift to fully recognize the fundamental role of ecosystems as life-supporting systems is urgently needed. The value given to ecosystems and the magnitude of effort to manage them has to be based on this mere fact and indeed, it should be an integral part of any climate change agreement.