Climate change adaptation lessons by islands

On 3 December 2011, IUCN and  the European Commission are organizing a session on Ecosystem-based Adaptation in a Changing Climate: From Practice to Policy? Lessons learnt from islands. The event will take place at the Rio Conventions Pavilion during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 17), which has just started in Durban, South Africa. 

Mangroves in New Caledonia

Whilst ecosystem-based approaches (EbA) are now recognized in international climate change adaptation policy, gaining an understanding of the current status of implementation and availability of policy tools is still work in progress.

The strong dependence of islands on natural resources for their well-being, limited adaptive capacity and high exposure to climate risks make EbA approaches attractive and cost effective adaptation measures. An assessment of current status of implementation of EbA in islands may provide useful lessons and allow for the identification of information gaps and capacity needs from mainstreaming EbA in policy and programmes to the implementation on the ground. Guidelines for the implementation of EbA are also critically needed to bridge the gap between policy and practice and to guide implementation at the local, national and regional level.

A set of Draft Principles and Guidelines for Integrating Ecosystem-based Approaches to Adaptation in Policy and Project Design will be presented and made available during the session. These guidelines were developed by a group of organizations convened by the IUCN’s Commission on Ecosystem Management.

The aim of the session is to raise awareness of EbA policy and practice to better inform of the role of EbA in the climate change adaption policy debate by: 

  • providing a preliminary assessment of the implementation of EbA in islands of the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean Regions;
  • presenting for discussion Principles and Guidelines for Mainstreaming Ecosystem-Based Adaptation in Policy Making and Project Development;
  • considering initiatives for financing EbA;
  • identifying future actions needed to promote EbA in policies and programmes on climate change adaptation.

The detailed agenda of the session can be seen here.

For more information on this event, please contact Dominique Benzaken, IUCN Europe Overseas Programme Coordinator.

For information on other adaptation-related events at the UNFCCC COP 17, visit Adaptation Hub in Durban, browse the Adaptation Hub's website or write to the team of Adaptation Hub. 


Work area: 
Climate Change
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