What is ecosystem-based adaptation?

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What is EbA?

Ecosystem-based Adaptation is a nature-based solution, defined as the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change (CBD, 2009 & 2010). EbA describes a range of ecosystem management activities, such as the sustainable management of forests, grasslands, and wetlands, that increase resilience of people and the environment to climate change

Climate change is causing a wide array of impacts around the world, such as sea-level rise, increased climate variability, and more frequent or intense droughts, floods, and wildfires. These impacts have increasingly severe social and economic consequences, with adaptation needs particularly urgent in low and lower middle-income nations and Small Island Developing States.

Healthy ecosystems provide important ecosystem services that can contribute to climate change adaptation. For example, healthy mangrove ecosystems provide protection from the impacts of climate change, often for some of the world’s most vulnerable people, by absorbing wave energy and storm surges, adapting to rising sea levels, and stabilizing shorelines from erosion. EbA focuses on benefits that humans derive from biodiversity and ecosystem services and how these benefits can be used for managing risk to climate change impacts.

EbA involves the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of ecosystems, such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, mangroves or coral reefs to reduce the harmful impacts of climate hazards including shifting patterns or levels of rainfall, changes in maximum and minimum temperatures, stronger storms, and increasingly variable climatic conditions. EbA measures can be implemented on their own or in combination with engineered approaches (such as the construction of water reservoirs or dykes), hybrid measures (such as artificial reefs) and approaches that strengthen the capacities of individuals and institutions to address climate risks (such as the introduction of early warning systems).

See Case Studies and examples of EbA from Panorama Solutions.