IUCN Daily Media Brief: Nature can be a cost-effective way to protect communities from climate change and extreme weather events. Healthy ecosystems, such as forests and wetlands, are beneficial to local populations for the many livelihood benefits that they provide: firewood, clean water, fibres, medicines, shelter and food. They can also form physical barriers against some extreme weather events, such as storm surges.
“The poor in developing countries will be hardest hit by climate change. They are also those most dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods,” says IUCN’s Climate Change Coordinator, Ninni Ikkala. “Conserving and managing nature, or ecosystem-based adaptation, is a means of adaptation to climate change impacts that is readily available to the rural poor; it builds on existing practice and addresses many of the concerns and priorities identified by the most vulnerable countries and communities. It is by no means the only solution, but an important part of the puzzle that we should not forget.”