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.

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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.

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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.

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