Ecosystem-based adaptation is a nature-based method for climate change adaptation that provides flexible and cost-effective approaches that enhance resilience through the improved management and conservation of ecosystems.
Reports and Evidence
- The Ecosystem-based Adaptation Series Synthesis summarizes a series of evidence summaries and case studieshighlighting the potential role of EbA in addressing climate vulnerabilities and contributing to development results. These resources can help decision-makers and development practitioners determine when EbA is a relevant approach, either alone or as a component of a broader adaptation strategy.
- The Economics of Ecosystem-based Adaptation evidence summary highlights how EbA approaches like sustainable forest management, reforestation, agroforestry, mangrove restoration, and rangeland management can be more cost-effective, feasible, and sustainable compared with other adaptation methods like the construction of hard infrastructure.
- Adaptation Community Meeting: Ecosystem-based Adaptation for Development Results is a webinar that highlighted key messages from these resources as well as examples of EbA projects and approaches in the USAID context, and encouraged dialogue among participants about the use of EbA in their own work.
- The Natural & Nature-based Flood Management: Green Guide & Training Program provides practical guidance and tools to understand the local context related to flood risk and lead those responsible for flood management through analysis, method selection, and decision-making at multiple stages of a typical flood risk management project cycle.
Photo by: Rita Paola Gutiérrez La Rosa.
EbA: Extreme Events and Coastal Resilience
Nature-based approaches like ecosystem-based adaptation help communities adapt to extreme weather and climate-related events such as floods, storm surges, landslides, fires, droughts, and heat waves. They can increase the resilience of coastal and other populations by strengthening and maintaining natural systems and the goods and services they provide.
Reports and Evidence
- The Ecosystem-based Adaptation and Extreme Events evidence summary details how nature-based approaches like EbA help communities adapt to extreme weather and climate-related events such as floods, storm surges, landslides, fires, droughts, and heat waves.
- The Ecosystem-based Adaptation and Coastal Populations evidence summary highlights how EbA approaches that improve the conservation, protection, and management of coastal ecosystems can increase the resilience of coastal populations to climate stressors.
- Ecosystem-Based Adaptation for Development Results is a blog that describes approaches to deal with extreme weather and climate shocks and shares examples from USAID projects.
- The Improving Ecosystem Management to Strengthen Resilience to Extreme Weather in the Philippines case study details how improving the management of local ecosystems, particularly watersheds, strengthened climate resilience while providing immediate economic opportunities for local community members.
- The Restoring Coral Reefs in the Face of Climate Change in the Seychelles case study highlights the successful application of EbA to reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities to sea level rise, increasing ocean temperatures, and ocean acidification.
- The Siete Pecados Marine Park case example describes a coastal community’s persistence, in partnership with USAID/Philippines and others, to establish a marine protected area with an integrated approach that includes biodiversity conservation, climate resilience, and economic growth.
Photo by: Janice Laurente for USAID.
EbA: Food and Water Security
EbA approaches can help people and communities address challenges related to food and water security in the face of climate change through approaches like planting shade trees to improve soil fertility and support pollinators, and managing watersheds to maintain water supply.
Reports and Evidence
- The Ecosystem-based Adaptation and Food Security evidence summary outlines the contributions of EbA to food security through approaches like planting shade trees to improve soil fertility and support pollinators, managing watersheds to maintain water supplies, and diversifying crops to improve resistance to pest outbreaks.
- The Ecosystem-based Adaptation and Water Security evidence summary provides an overview of EbA approaches that support water security, including the conservation of healthy ecosystems that recharge aquifers and improve natural water storage, promotion of practices like agroforestry that increase the efficiency of water use, and restoration of coastal wetlands that reduce saltwater intrusion.
- The Conserving Ecosystems to Support Climate Resilience in Bangladesh case study highlights how EbA approaches such as agroforestry, the restoration of wetlands, and improvements in the management of wild fisheries can improve local food security.
- EbA approaches in the Maintaining Water Security in Peru Through Green Infrastructure case study focused on green infrastructure to help local communities adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.
- USAID/Dominican Republic works to jointly promote climate adaptation and resilience to address a lack of adequate sanitation and wastewater treatment facilities, which limits the population’s access to clean water and presents a key threat to the country’s coastal biodiversity in the form of untreated sewage.
- USAID/Peru’s Natural Infrastructure for Water Security project seeks to enable the Government of Peru to better manage its natural resources in order to increase water security and provide a sustainable economic future for its citizens while also reducing migration and the risk of internal conflicts.
- The Green Infrastructure Resource Guide provides USAID practitioners involved in the planning and development of sustainable infrastructure projects with a better understanding of green infrastructure interventions that can be integrated into USAID projects to support water resources conservation, groundwater recharge, and water supply maintenance, among other goals.
Photo by: Caroline Simmonds.
Sound management of land and forests sustains livelihoods, strengthens resilience to natural hazards, and protects water resources and biodiversity, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and land management.
Reports and Evidence
- Integrating Biodiversity and Sustainable Landscapes in USAID Programming explores both the benefits and potential challenges of integration to help USAID staff make informed choices about whether and how to integrate funding, objectives, and/or considerations.
- USAID/Peru’s Amazonia Verde project conserves biodiversity and ecosystem services in priority areas of the Peruvian Amazon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and land use change.
- USAID/South America Regional’s Amazon Regional Environment Program identified support to Indigenous Peoples as a key strategic approach for integrating biodiversity conservation and sustainable landscapes and used political economy analysis to inform programming decisions and activity design.
- The USAID/Caribbean Development Program’s Iguana Habitat Restoration small grant activity integrates biodiversity conservation, climate risk management, and sustainable landscapes, activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the land use sector.
- The Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) evolved from one of USAID’s largest biodiversity programs to an integrated program that is achieving biodiversity conservation and sustainable landscapes goals while also advancing democracy, human rights, and governance and economic considerations.
- USAID/Indonesia’s LESTARI activity combines sustainable landscapes and biodiversity conservation objectives through an interdependent vision of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving terrestrial biodiversity conservation by integrating sustainable land-use planning and forest conservation in Indonesia’s most carbon- and biodiversity-rich forests on Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Papua.
- USAID/Philippines’ Protect Wildlife activity’s purposeful integration of biodiversity conservation, governance, and sustainable landscapes contributes to improved landscape management, local livelihoods, and human well-being, and also offers lessons learned on designing and implementing an integrated approach.
Photo by: Jason Houston for USAID.