Ecosystem-based adaptation: Exchanging knowledge, and using synergies

Mangroves in Cuba

Mangroves in Cuba. Photo: Dorothée Marquardt

Humans benefit from intact ecosystems in many ways. In regions that are strongly affected by the impacts of climate change, ecosystems often contribute to improved resilience and disaster control. This is where ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) comes in. In simple terms, this concept is about preserving or restoring ecosystems to strengthen people’s ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Healthy coastal ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangrove forests, and swamps can protect settlements and infrastructure from storm surges. Agroforestry can increase the resistance of crops to drought or heavy rainfall, and sustainable forest management can stabilize slopes and thus prevent landslides.

The International Climate Initiative (IKI) has been promoting the dissemination and establishment of the EBA concept for many years, and two recent events focused on the importance of ecosystem-based adaptation measures during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virtual network meeting of the “Friends of EbA”

The annual meeting of the “Friends of EbA” took place at the end of June — this year in a virtual format. This informal network brings together organisations that want to promote cooperation and knowledge exchange on ecosystem-based adaptation and integrate this concept in policy instruments for mainstreaming.

Around 60 participants discussed aspects such as ecosystem-based adaptation in cities, “EbA in humanitarian and post-disaster contexts” or options for monitoring and evaluating EbA measures.

Besides, the “Global EbA Fund” jointly implemented by IUCN and UN Environment for IKI was presented at the virtual network meeting. This fund enables projects to contribute continuously to the implementation and upscaling of EbA measures.

Sharing knowledge and passing on ideas at the 6th EbA Knowledge Day

The 6th EbA Knowledge Day took place on June 8th. The event also aimed at furthering and promoting approaches of ecosystem-based adaptation. The focus was on creating synergies between climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation measures. Accordingly, the organisers of the event, IUCN and GIZ, had chosen the title “Maximizing the potential of EbA: bridging the gap between climate change and biodiversity agendas”.

To the documentation of the event.