12.12.2019

Nature often provides the best solutions for tackling climate change

Coral Reef

Healthy coral reefs protects coastal areas from increasingly heavy storms and the impacts of rising sea levels Foto: ZUG / Julie Steinen

The Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) is supporting adaptation to climate change via projects which benefit people and strengthen ecosystems at the same time. The restoration of mangroves and coral reefs protects coastal areas from increasingly heavy storms and the impacts of rising sea levels. Planting hillsides prevents erosion and floods during rainfall. On the occasion of the 25th UN Climate Change Conference (COP25), the BMU is increasing its financial commitments for Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) by around 60 million euros.

For years, the BMU has focussed on ecosystem-based adaptation projects and is deliberately intensifying this focus. Ecosystems provide vital services for people. They maintain soil fertility provide clean water and protect against floods and erosion. The maintenance of ecosystem services can help to reduce the impacts of climate change on local communities. At the same time, these services might help to mitigate climate change. Ecosystem-based adaptation is also particularly cost-effective when compared to technological adaptation solutions.

The BMU has funded 44 such measures with a total volume of 172 million euros since 2008. In future, three new programmes will strengthen this focus of the BMU International Climate Initiative (IKI):

  • 20 million euros programme with UN Environment and IUCN. This new programme, officially entitled “Support for the Implementation and Upscaling of Ecosystem-based Adaptation”, aims to provide targeted and rapid support for ecosystem-based adaptation measures through seed capital for particularly promising measures. UN Environment and IUCN will support the target countries in implementing the measures under their NDCs by providing specific expertise and capacity building. Selection occurs through continuous tendering.
  • Ecosystem-based adaptation and forest restoration in vulnerable rural communities of the Caribbean Biological Corridor – 20 million euros programme with the Deutsche Welthungerhilfe. The goal of this programme is to improve the livelihoods and adaptability of people and ecosystems in rural communities in the Caribbean. The Welthungerhilfe wants to support farmers in using adapted production technologies and optimising value chains of agricultural, agroforestry and silvopastoral systems.
  • Topping up the EbA Facility of the KfW Development Bank in the Caribbean – 20 million euros:  The EbA Facility of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund is a flexible and demand-based funding instrument to promote ecosystem-based adaptation in the Caribbean. The instrument aims at protecting and sustainably using ecosystems which contribute to reducing the negative effects of climate change on coastal zones of Caribbean island states.