Working with nature in and for islands

What can we learn from islands on ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) in a changing climate: from practice to policy? Read the summary and download presentations of the event on the topic convened at the Rio Conventions Pavilion during the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 17), in Durban, South Africa.

Mangrove à Mooréa, Polynésie-française

During the event on Ecosystem-based Adaptation in a Changing Climate: From Practice to Policy? Lessons learnt from islands Ambassador Ronald Jumeau, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Seychelles to the United Nations reminded that Islands are places of high biodiversity and that local economies and identity are highly dependent on islands ecosystems and associated natural resources. Yet islands are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts and least able to address them effectively. ‘Working with nature’ as EbA proposes is an attractive and cost-effective measure to build the resilience of island environments in the face of climate change.

The event outlined the complexity of developing effective EbA responses from problem identification through to policy, strategic partnerships, good practice guidelines and the need for strategic adaptation of plans. These plans should be supported by good science and vulnerability assessment and lead to implementation, political advocacy and the need for innovative financial mechanisms.

The full summary of the event can be accessed here. It includes the key messages on:

  • Implementing climate change adaptation programmes in island regions: A European Union perspective on the role of EbA;
  • What can we learn from implementing EbA in islands and island territories: From practice to policy;
  • Principles and guidelines for mainstreaming EbA in policy making and project development;
  • Debt-for-Adaptation-Swaps in SIDS.

All presentations can be downloaded from the links on the the right-hand side of this page.

The event was organized by IUCN and the European Commission as partners to the Rio Conventions Pavilion, with participation of the Global Islands Partnership (GLISPA), IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), and IUCN Members: BirdLife International and The Nature Conservancy (TNC).

For more information on this session, please contact Dominique Benzaken, IUCN.

For information on other adaptation-related events at the UNFCCC COP 17, please write to the Adaptation Hub or visit the Adaptation Hub online.

Work area: 
Climate Change
North America
North America
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