Does EbA Work? A review of the evidence on the effectiveness of ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation

Author: Robert Munroe, Nathalie Doswald, Dilys Roe, Hannah Reid, Alessandra Giuliani, Ivan Castelli, Iris Möller
Date Published: November 2011

A new, systematic review of the evidence on the effectiveness of ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation (EbA) has been carried out to review the effectiveness of EbA and highlight the knowledge gaps. This research was undertaken as a collaboration between BirdLife International, UNEP-WCMC, IIED and the University of Cambridge.

Ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation (EbA) integrate the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services into an overall strategy for helping people adapt to climate change. To date, however, insight into these approaches has often been based on anecdotal case studies of local people’s use of ecosystems. Although they are informative, they can provide rather limited insight in terms of measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of EbA, especially compared with technical or structural adaptation measures. A new, systematic review of EbA evidence has been carried out to interrogate the scientific literature and review studies from around the world, from many different ecosystems and adopting a wide range of adaptation approaches utilising ecosystems. We conclude that EbA approaches are effective and deserve greater policy attention and political support to reach their full potential.

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