Natural resource management is central to global efforts to reduce poverty and environmental degradation, and is one of the principal ways in which countries are seeking to advance sustainable development and the implementation of Agenda 21. But these efforts to advance natural resource management are strongly impacted by climate and by seasonal and inter–annual climate variability. This article aims to further advance understanding of the relationship between natural resource management and climate variability, with particular attention to ways in which natural resource managers at every level — from the household to the national and international levels — can cope more effectively with such variability. In particular, the article provides an overview of the way in which efforts to manage natural resources to reduce poverty and environmental degradation are impacted by natural climate variability. It examines what natural resource managers are doing to cope with these challenges, and discusses the kinds of new approaches and partnerships that are needed to improve their capacity to cope more effectively with climate variability. In doing so, the article touches on the implications of future climate changes for natural resource managers and the way in which their efforts to cope more effectively with climate variability will provide opportunities to gain experience in identifying and adjusting responses to longer–term climate change.