Planned adaptation to climate change may be achieved in many different ways. One approach is ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation. Such adaptation may include sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems, as part of an overall adaptation strategy that takes into account the multiple social, economic and cultural co-benefits for local communities.
Building ecological resilience, prioritising vulnerable ecosystems for adaptation, and evaluating the environmental impact of adaptation measures, are all identified within the UNFCCC Cancun Adaptation Framework as activities that Parties should be undertaking when implementing successful adaptation. However, although there are numerous anecdotal case studies, there has been no robust scientific study on ecosystem-based adaptation effectiveness, and a limited number of reviews of the existing case studies. In particular there are very few quantitative – such as cost-benefit – studies and few with any kind of control situation or counterfactual.
This project would address this gap in knowledge through an extensive literature review of all strategies that have been used for adapting to climate variability/change. Building on a preliminary review undertaken by the Ecosystems and Livelihoods Adaptation Network (ELAN), the project will systematically review the effectiveness of ecosystem-based adaptation using an assessment framework developed for this purpose.
Using this framework, the review will both systematically synthesise the current knowledge and identify key gaps in the evidence base, particularly focusing on what is missing to engage policy-makers. This will, in turn, inform the development of a programme of applied field research involving all project collaborators.
This project was funded by the CCI Collaborative Fund.