GIZ Report Highlights Practical Aspects of Mainstreaming Ecosystem-based Adaptation
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The report highlights success factors and practical entry points for mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation into policies and planning.

Based on 16 case studies from Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Philippines, and Viet Nam, the report indicates that while progress towards ecosystem-based adaptation mainstreaming has been achieved, challenges remain in ensuring a broader understanding of what nature-based solutions can offer to climate change adaptation and risk reduction.

April 2019: A report developed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) highlights success factors and practical entry points for mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) into policies and planning. Titled, ‘Emerging Lessons for Mainstreaming Ecosystem-based Adaptation: Strategic Entry Points and Processes,’ the publication is based on 16 case studies from Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Philippines, and Viet Nam.

The report acknowledges that many SDGs are directly linked to the health and biological diversity of ecosystems and the services they provide. The authors also recognize that EbA is essential to achieving SDGs 2 (zero hunger), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 13 (climate action), 14 (life below water) and 15 (life on land), among other Goals.

The authors note that EbA has demonstrated multiple benefits and cost-effectiveness in different contexts for more than a decade. However, when it comes to action, ecosystem-based measures often remain low on the list of prioritized adaptation solutions. Looking into effectively integrating nature-based solutions in climate change and development planning, the report explores EbA mainstreaming in various contexts and governance levels, including: national climate change policies; national public investment allocation and project screening; sectoral adaptation plans, including for instance on protected areas, water resources, and disaster risk reduction (DRR); land-use planning; local village action planning; municipal land-use development planning; and private sector engagement, for example on tourism.

Inclusive and adaptive strategies allow for rapid learning and improvement in the face of uncertainties associated with the effects of climate change.

Assessments of entry points for EbA mainstreaming and governance aspects in five partner countries have focused on better understanding barriers and successes of mainstreaming processes. Results indicate that while progress towards EbA mainstreaming has been achieved, challenges remain in ensuring a broader understanding of what nature-based solutions can offer to climate change adaptation and risk reduction, either as stand-alone options or in combination with engineered infrastructure building and other measures. A thorough understanding is required of the individual site- and sector-specific contexts, the involvement of diverse actors with their knowledge systems, aspirations and capacities, private sector engagement, and serious political will to integrate EbA into public planning and expenditure.

The report summarizes emerging lessons learnt for mainstreaming, including on:

  • influencing policy processes;
  • strengthening institutional collaboration;
  • engaging multiple actors;
  • improving effectiveness of communication; and
  • increasing capacity.

Sharing of success stories, challenges and failures improves our chances of developing effective strategies for EbA mainstreaming, the authors of the report underscore. In addition, inclusive and adaptive strategies allow for rapid learning and improvement in the face of uncertainties associated with the effects of climate change.

The report is the outcome of the German government’s global project titled, ‘Mainstreaming EbA – Strengthening Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Planning and Decision-making Processes,’ which is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). It is based on the findings of four country reports, expert dialogues, and case studies from the web platform PANORAMA Solutions for a Healthy Planet. [Publication: Emerging Lessons for Mainstreaming Ecosystem-based Adaptation: Strategic Entry Points and Processes] [South Africa Country Report] [Philippines Country Report] [Peru Country Report] [Mexico Country Report] [International EbA Community of Practice] [PANORAMA Platform]

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