Why working with nature pays off: The case for investing in Ecosystem-based Adaptation

Did you know that solutions based on nature can help protect us from climate change impacts while slowing further global warming, supporting biodiversity, and securing ecosystem services? Indeed, they can! Science has given us sufficient proof that well-managed ecosystems can protect communities from impacts such as storm surges, flooding, erosion, water scarcity, and low agricultural productivity. Because ecosystems help provide additional benefits such as diverse sources of nutrition and income, they can lessen the degree to which peoples’ livelihoods are affected by climate change – when other livelihood sources fail in the face of extreme events. This is why we need action inspired and supported by nature. Solutions that draw on the services humans derive from nature – i.e. biodiversity and ecosystems – are called Nature-based Solutions (NbS).  Nature-based solutions for adaptation are also called Ecosystem- based Adaptation (EbA) – two terms, same meaning.

This series of papers compiles arguments, facts and examples on the evidence of the effectiveness of EbA in the form of short, easy to read briefs.

Looking first at why EbA pays off in general, then at EbA in the water sector, in agriculture and in cities, it showcases why EbA offers cost-efficient solutions for adaption to climate change while also providing additional benefits for people and nature.

Each of the four briefs can also be used as a stand-alone document e.g. when discussing adaptation options with planners and decision makers in water management, land use or urban planning.