Call for feedback: inventory of tools to support ecosystem-based adaptation

19 December 2016

IIED and partners IUCN, UNEP-WCMC and GIZ are seeking feedback on an inventory of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) tools, designed to help practitioners and policymakers incorporate EbA into climate adaptation planning.

A scientist studies mangroves in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Mangrove ecosystems support fisheries, prevent coastal erosion and store large amounts of carbon (Photo: Kate Evans/CIFOR)

EbA has huge potential to support climate vulnerable communities in managing the effects of climate change and there are many tools and methodologies out there to demonstrate how EbA can be integrated into adaptation strategies. 

Including 160 tools, the 'Inventory of tools and methodologies relevant for ecosystem-based adaptation practitioners' (Excel file) – currently in draft form – is packed with detailed information on each tool, its function and aim. The extensive list aims to help users assess the conditions under which the different tools can work, as well as benefits and costs.

It has been developed as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) funded global projects: Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA): strengthening the evidence and informing policy implemented by IIED, IUCN and UNEP-WCMC

The project focuses on gathering the evidence on EbA effectiveness from 14 projects in 12 countries. Through continued engagement with policymakers at country and international levels, project partners will use the evidence generated to support mainstreaming EbA into national and international policies – and the inventory will be a valuable resource to support country partners, policymakers and other key stakeholders in doing so.  

The inventory is not exhaustive and the feedback call aims to garner information about any tools not included, plus potential gaps in tools and methodologies available. 

"As well as adding to the range of tools already listed, we are looking for feedback from the users themselves to improve understanding about which tools work, where, how and why," said Sylvia Wicander, programme officer, Climate Change and Biodiversity Programme at UNEP-WCMC. "More broadly, we are keen to hear whether there is enough guidance on EbA, and where the gaps might be. 

"Whether providing a step-by-step approach or guidance more generally, such tools can help practitioners incorporate EbA into their adaptation strategies from the planning stages through to evaluation.  

"Based on user experiences of existing EbA tools and methodologies, we'd like to hear how to improve what's out there, which formats might boost uptake and how to make tools more accessible. We're also interested in hearing what people see as the biggest barriers to planning and implementing effective EbA in their respective countries.

"Through this feedback process, knowledge goes beyond individual experiences and can be shared with the wider EBA community," Wicander said. 

The feedback will be added to the inventory which, with even more comprehensive information, will provide a baseline for the development of a toolkit or tool to support EbA planning and/or implementation.

Getting EbA on the policy radar

With a clearer understanding and more tangible evidence of how biodiversity and ecosystem services can help people adapt to climate change, policymakers are better placed to integrate EbA into decision-making processes.

And with the Paris Agreement on climate change in place, now is the time to raise awareness of the potential benefits of EbA, too often overlooked in national and international policy processes.

"With the Paris deal signed, the focus is quickly shifting to action and how the adaptation commitments under the landmark agreement will be delivered," said Wicander.

"In the years to come, countries will be developing and revising their national climate policies such as Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Programmes of Action. 

"It's crucial that people at all levels understand how to implement EbA and that this knowledge is fed into national policy and planning processes. This inventory is already proving a valuable resource for a range of stakeholders from the planning to policy level. With the help of demand-driven feedback, we hope to improve it further," said Wicander.

The inventory has been developed in collaboration with Mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA): strengthening EbA in planning and decision-making processes, implemented by GIZ.

The feedback window is open until 10 February 2017.

Please provide feedback following this link and return to charlotte.hicks@unep-wcmc.org.