What is Ecosystem-based Adaptation?
Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) is a nature-based solution that harnesses biodiversity and ecosystem services to reduce vulnerability and build resilience of human communities to climate change. EbA is 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 encompasses a broad set of approaches that include the management of ecosystems and their services to reduce the vulnerability of communities to the impacts of climate change – such as 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.
How does EbA fit into the larger scheme of Nature-based Solutions (NbS)?
Nature-based Solutions (NbS) – defined as actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems to address societal challenges, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefit – are crucial for sustainable development (IUCN Global Standard for NbS, 2020). The sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and scalability of NbS make them one of the best tools available to ensure the necessary transformative change to address climate change.
As an umbrella term, NbS encompasses approaches of working with nature to address climate change, such as ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and ecosystem-based mitigation. NbS as an overarching concept can be used to support communication and mainstreaming of these different subsets across international, multilateral agreements/global frameworks and their audiences.
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