Developing landscape approaches for adaptation

Session number 2 Room: Al Jazi A-B

Key Messages   

  1. Ecosystem-based adaptation is Community-based adaptation. This includes managed systems, forests and agroforestry landscapes. Current use of the term spans a continuum from those emphasizing natural to managed elements in the landscape.
  2. Planning, implementation and management of landscape scale ecosystem-based adaptation requires awareness of local stakeholders of current buffer functions in the landscape, threats to their continued functioning and opportunities to retain and enhance these functions
  3. Ecosystem-based adaptation differs from business-as-usual development in a greater awareness of variability, shocks and uncertainty. It does not require location-specific predictions of climate change if a portfolio risk-reduction approach is used, but funding streams may depend on CC specificity

Summary of session

  • Ecosystem-based adaptation is community-based adaptation (EBA is CBA). Ecosystem-based adaptation strategies and policies need to be a human centred adaptation analysis whereby we both have ecosystem and livelihoods-centred approach.
  • Ecosystem-based adaptation is about 4Rs: 1) Retaining the diversity that we have, 2) Restoring the buffer in landscapes, 3) Rewarding multifunctionalities in landscapes and 4) Reducing barriers between policy domains such as mitigation versus adaptation, forest versus agriculture and livelihoods
  • To avoid mal-adapted interventions, ecosystem and livelihoods-based approaches need to be mainstreamed in development and political intervention tools
  • Cross-sectoral planning at jurisdictional and national levels that includes all stakeholders such as government, civil society, research, Community Based Organizations, conservation and development organizations are key in dealing with climate change, as opposed to Business As Usual development paradigm
  • Development of a Master Plan is critical for development without destruction of the environment as seen in the example of the Kalimantan Forests.
  • To support landscape approaches for adaptation, incentives to reinforce investment are needed; promoting capacities of the communities and equipping the local government with capacity are critical.
  • Finance for mitigation can achieve positive impacts for adaptation
  • Regarding the appropriate scale for climate change adaptation interventions, the solution is never in a unique scale. It is about finding linkages and connections at local, national and global levels
  • Multi-crop farming systems are critical to shape a biodiverse landscape and food security but requires fairness in the trade and remuneration farmers get from crops to create win-win situations.
  • Ecosystem-based approach requires financial incentives such as PES but also social incentives such as fairness, respect, recognition, commitment and respect.

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF)
CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry

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Brief synopsis of the issue

Societies and natural environment are vulnerable to climate change. We can identify general adaptation principles at national levels, but adaptation is very much location‐specific. Management approaches need to consider local pressures, objectives, available resources and large scale human or ecosystem processes (migration, species movements, water processes etc.). This requires a systems approach, considering the full range of direct and indirect consequences of climate change that might affect our goals, and the effects that our adaptation responses might cause.

Ecosystem-based adaptation (EBA) is an anthropocentric approach, in which ecosystem services are conserved or restored to reduce the vulnerability of people facing climate change threats. Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from (agro)ecosystems and can be classified as provisioning services (e.g. timber and firewood), regulating services (e.g. water regulation), and cultural services (e.g. recreation). Examples of EBA include the restoration of mangrove shelterbelts for the protection of coastal settlements against storms and waves and the conservation of (agro)forested watersheds for the reduction of flood risk. Many international and nongovernmental conservation and development organizations have promoted EBA by stressing its effectiveness in reducing social vulnerability, its cost efficiency, and its co-benefits for biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction and climate change mitigation.

Agenda for the Session:

  • Introduction (Robert Nasi)
  • Perspectives
    • Dry forests acquire new relevance through EBA (speaker TBC)
    • Trees and people can co-adapt in multifunctional landscapes (Meine van Noordwijk)
    • EBA and the role of forests in six short stories (Houria Djoudi)
    • Restoration of degraded peat lands: landscapes and livelihoods (Grahame Applegate).
  • Moderated discussion of questions 1 to 5 with active participation of the audience
  • Wrap up and summary of key points

Questions to be addressed

  1. Are ecosystems more resilient and people less vulnerable in multi-functional landscapes?
  2. Ecosystem-based adaptation includes managed agro-ecosystems, forests and agroforestry landscapes: what (if any) boundaries are needed to the concept?
  3. Who can and should be involved in planning, implementation and management?
  4. How does ecosystem-based adaptation differ from business-as-usual development? Does it require location-specific predictions of climate change?
  5. Who will have to pay and co-invest with local stakeholders, and how does this compare to other adaptation options?