Ecosystem-based Adaptation

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ECOSYSTEM-BASED ADAPTATION Selected Case Studies from Africa
Case studies
2019
Abstract: 

What are ecosystems?
Ecosystems or ecological systems are made up of all living and non-living things interacting with each other in a particular area. For instance, plants and animals (biotic factors) interact in various ways with environmental conditions such as weather, sun, soil, climate, atmosphere (abiotic factors) that support them. The biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem are usually dependent on each other. The absence of one may affect all other factors in that ecosystem.

Importance of ecosystems
Ecosystems provide four main functions: regulating (such as water purification, climate control, pest control), provisioning (including the provision of food or water), supporting (such as nutrient cycles) and cultural (such recreational and spiritual) services (MEA, 2005). Their degradation, therefore, will undermine their ability to provide these services.

What is ecosystem-based adaptation and how is it done?
The second Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change of the Convention on Biological Diversity defined ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation as the ‘use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change’ (Lo, 2016). It aims to help people recover quickly from climate change-related disasters and allows them to withstand these impacts by reducing their vulnerability, through the sustainable use of the natural resources and restoring or improving the biodiversity and ecosystem services provided (Dourojeanni, et al., 2015).

Document language: 
English
Organization producing the document: 
UNEP
Thematic area: 
Ecosystem-based Adaptation
Methodological area: 
Scenarios and Modelling of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
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