Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) is a relatively new concept, which capitalizes on the ability of healthy ecosystems to assist in human adaptation to climate change. EbA has been defined as "the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change."
In many cases, because healthy ecosystems provide multiple co-benefits (such as carbon storage and pollination services), in addition to the specific adaptation enhancement, they are potentially more cost-effective than other adaptation options, including hard-engineered solutions. Yet, they are often overlooked. Conservation International is identifying, testing and implementing Ecosystem-based adaptation strategies in several geographies, through the following projects:
CI is implementing Ecosystem-based Adaptation in marine, terrestrial and coastal regions in three countries where we have strong track records, partners and relationships with government, as a means of improving livelihoods and conserving biodiversity in the face of climate change.
CI and CATIE are identifying and testing Ecosystem-based Adaptation strategies that can help farmers cope with climate change, and building local capacity to support the implementation of these strategies in smallholder farming communities in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras.
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These projects are part of the International Climate Initiative (ICI). The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports these initiatives on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.