Scaling the Peaks l Mountain Ecosystems Based Adaptation

Article on Mountain EbA

The climate crisis is brought into stark reality by the floods, droughts, and extreme weather that the world is encountering on a regular basis. We can utilize technology to adapt to these changes, but we can also use nature. This is where the Ecosystem Approach comes in. Humans have and continue to rely on ecosystems and the services they offer. Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA)2 can help us adapt to climate change by changing our behaviour, how we live, how we manage our food and how we maintain our health systems.

Read more here.

Enhancing Resilience through Forest Landscape Restoration: Conceptual Framework

This document is the second in a series intended to (1) identify and highlight the contribution of forest landscape restoration towards enhancing landscape resilience, as well as the resilience of communities dependent on forests (and the ecosystems services they provide); (2) promote understanding within the resilience community of how forest landscape restoration can enhance resilience; and (3) help build a better case to communicate restoration benefits in climate policy processes and mechanisms (e.g. adaptation, disaster risk reduction, co-benefits, etc.)

This guidance aims to help both forest landscape restoration and resilience practitioners and other
stakeholders to mainstream considerations of resilience into forest landscape restoration planning,
implementation and assessments, such that forest landscape restoration approaches and practices
contribute to enhancing socio-ecological resilience of whole landscapes and the communities that
depend on them.

Click here to read the whole publication.


Enhancing Resilience through Forest Landscape Restoration: Understanding Synergies and Identifying Opportunities

This document is the first in a series intended to (1) identify and highlight the contribution of forest
landscape restoration towards enhancing landscape resilience, as well as the resilience of communities dependent on forests (and the ecosystems services they provide); (2) promote understanding within the resilience community of how forest landscape restoration can enhance resilience; and (3) help build a better case to communicate restoration benefits in climate policy processes and mechanisms (e.g. adaptation, disaster risk reduction, co-benefits, etc.)

This analysis aims to inform decision makers, practitioners, and other stakeholders involved in the fields of forestry and resilience of the opportunities for integrating forest landscape restoration with resilience principles, and the synergies therein.

Click here to read the whole publication.

Cost and Benefits of Ecosystem Based Adaptation: The Case of the Philippines

EbA uses biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people and communities adapt to the negative effects of climate change at local, national, regional, and global levels. It recognizes, and in fact highlights, the importance of equity, gender, and the role and importance of local and traditional knowledge, as well as species diversity. Furthermore, it provides co-benefits such as clean water and food for communities, risk reduction options and benefits, and other services crucial for livelihoods and human well-being. Appropriately designed ecosystem adaptation initiatives can also contribute to climate change mitigation by reducing emissions from ecosystem degradation, and enhancing carbon sequestration. There are a range of approaches that are used to assess economic benefits of goods and services and these same approaches can and are used to assess costs and benefits of adaptation options including EbA. The three most commonly used ones are 1) Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA); 2) Cost-Effective Analysis; and 3) Multi-criteria Analysis. In order to contribute to policy through improved decision making at the national level, two case studies are highlighted in this report that look at the costs and benefits of EbA in the Philippines.

Click here to read the whole publication.

Synergies between Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Forest Landscape Restoration

Forests have always been cleared to provide land uses necessary for human existence. This trend has naturally increased over time and now global estimates suggest, “that 30% of original forest cover has been converted for other uses and an additional 20% has been degraded.” Humans also benefit from resources from forests. The rural poor, in particular, benefit extensively from forest goods and services (such people are approximately 1.6 billion in number).ii IUCN has estimated the economic benefits of forests at USD 130 million per year.iii On the other side, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) calculate the costs in lost value from forest destruction to be between USD 2-5 trillion per year. Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) is a process that aims to regain ecological integrity and enhance human well-being in deforested or degraded forest landscapes. It involves people coming together to restore the function and productivity of degraded forest lands – through a variety of place-based interventions, including new tree plantings, managed natural regeneration, or improved land management. The purpose of this study is to understand the current discourse and practice on climate change mitigation and adaptation in FLR, as well as to analyze the implications for a better understanding the complementarities and synergies between mitigation and adaptation, specifically in the context of FLR. Both mitigation and adaptation are considered equally important to address with climate change. Developing countries, least developed countries (LDCs) and island states all now agree on instituting mitigation efforts as well as adaptation.

Click here to read the whole publication. 

Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Knowledge Gaps in Making an Economic Case for Investing in Nature Based Solutions for Climate Change

EbA uses  biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of a larger adaptation strategy – an excellent example of a viable nature-based solution. As well as providing climate change adaptation benefits, this approach also contributes to biodiversity conservation and enhances local economies. IUCN has been extensively involved in EbA work, strengthening community resilience and livelihoods in almost 60 countries. This work demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the implementation of naturebased solutions. The conservation and sustainable development community considers EbA to be a strong method of addressing climate change and its associated challenges. However, there is still a tendency for policy makers to implement traditional engineering solutions for adaptation, rather than investing in EbA. The need for solid data on the cost-effectiveness of this nature-based approach was the driver behind an IUCN study identifying the economic costs and benefits associated with EbA. The lessons learned from this appraisal process will make it easier for policy makers to compare EbA options with engineered solutions.

Click here to read the whole publication. 

Financing Lao PDR National Protected Area System

Protected areas perform many functions; conserving biodiversity as well as delivering vital services that contribute to human wellbeing. Protected landscapes embody important cultural values; some of which reflect sustainable land use practices.

However, now they face many challenges, such as threats associated with pollution and climate change, irresponsible tourism, infrastructure development and ever increasing demands for land and water resources. Over the years funding for protected area management has declined, while the requirement for funding has increased.

In 1993 Lao PDR became a leader in national protected area system design. After many years of research and establishing baseline biodiversity surveys, Lao PDR sought to protect 5-20% of every ecosystem present in Laos. The result was the national designation of 20 National Protected Areas, plus two corridors and the adoption of a number of laws and regulations pertaining to NPA management. Following the addition of one NPA site to the system increases the total to 21 NPAs nationwide covering almost 15% of the land area.

Read more at protected-areas-financing-lao-powpa-final

The Use and Management of Mangrove Ecosystems in Pakistan

We undertook an economic valuation of mangrove forests in Balochistan province of Pakistan drawing on primary data from a survey of 80 households depending on mangrove forests. It was found that the direct value of mangroves was USD 1,287 per hectare, while the total value for the village was calculated to be USD 4,419,935. We found that rich households made more absolute use of the mangrove products and services and the poor made more relative use. Any decrease in the quality of this ecosystem would expose the poor to the worst effects of poverty. We argue that investments in mangrove conservation under comanagement regime in this region of Pakistan make ecological and economic sense.

Click here to read the whole publication. 

Strengthening Voices for Better Choices. Global Synthesis Report on Forest Governance

In the past decade, the international development community has increasingly focused its attention on illegal logging and other forest crimes, and on the underlying weaknesses in law enforcement that allow them to flourish. At the same time, it has come to acknowledge that illegality often stems from broader failures of governance, and that strengthening law enforcement alone will not work unless the laws themselves, and the processes and institutions that influence forest use, are also improved (World Bank 2006).

Illegal logging is a serious obstacle to the efforts of timber producing and consuming countries to alleviate poverty, to develop their forests sustainably, and to protect forest ecosystem services. The international response to this problem began with the G8 Action Programme on Forests, agreed by G8 foreign ministers in 1998 and featuring illegal logging as one focus of action. This led to a series of regional ministerial conferences and processes on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG), coordinated by the World Bank. The European Union also made a strong commitment to combating illegal logging and the associated trade in timber through its Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, adopted in 2003.

One contribution to this process has been the IUCN project Strengthening Voices for Better Choices (SVBC). Formulated in response to a call from the European Commission for proposals to support implementation of the FLEGT Action Plan, SVBC sought to promote more effective forest governance in six key tropical forest countries: Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Viet Nam.

Three regional FLEG processes have been established to date: in Southeast Asia (ministerial conference held in Bali in 2001), in Africa (Cameroon, 2003), and in Europe and North Asia (Russian Federation, 2005). Another process is planned for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Action Plan focuses on seven broad areas: 1) support to timber-producing countries; 2) promoting trade in legal timber; 3) public procurement policies; 4) support for private sector initiatives; 5) safeguards for financing and investment; 6) the use of existing legislative instruments or adoption of new legislation; and 7) conflict timber. This synthesis, then, provides   background to the concept of governance and how it has evolved in the fields of development and conservation. Drawing on a review of different definitions of governance, it identifies several key elements of governance and uses these to organise the synthesis of the findings of the SVBC national assessments.


Click here to read the whole publication