Launch of Publication 'International Applications of Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction in Coastal Areas'
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) of the People’s Republic of China and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) jointly launched Chinese and English versions of International Applications of Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction in Coastal Areas, at the 2023 World Coastal Forum (WCF) held on 25 September 2023. The pamphlet contains eight cases of the practical application of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) with the demonstration of co-benefits of ecosystem service enhancement and disaster risk reduction in the course of conservation and development in coastal areas.
The launch is intended to further promote the exchanges and mutual learning in the application of Eco-DRR in fulfillment of our commitments to caring for the Earth and living in harmony with the coasts.
The eight case studies are: Esturaine Disaster Risk Reduction in China-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, Tianjin, China; Eco-DRR: A Case Study of the South Coast of the Yellow River Estuary, Dongying, China; Sand Coast Revegetation and Restoration of Binhai New City, Fuzhou, China; Restoring Mangroves to Reduce Coastal Risks in Xiatanwei, Xiamen, China; Ecological Stratification of Hongshahuan Seawall, Fangchenggang, China; Integrating Climate Adaptation, Poverty Reduction and Environment in Natural Resources Management in Kwale County, Kenya; Mangroves for Eco-DRR: A Case Study of Kala Oya Estuary, Sri Lanka; and Coastal Realignment Scheme, Medmerry, United Kingdom.
In the context of global climate change, risks of marine disasters from typhoons, storm surges and other phenomena have escalated. These disasters pose serious threats to the safety of people and properties in coastal areas and the sustainability of socioeconomic development. Compared with the high costs and sustainability constraints of traditional grey infrastructure, marine ecosystems such as mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass beds have proved effective in dissipating waves and currents, promoting accretion and protecting beaches. Conservation, restoration and sustainable management of these “Ocean Guardians” can address coastal risks and generate other co-benefits in support of the vision of living in harmony between people and nature.
Ecosystem approaches such as Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) have garnered worldwide recognition in reducing disaster risks. Enhancing ecosystem services through their effective management, conservation and restoration can generate co-benefits of addressing coastal risks and other societal challenges to achieve long-term sustainable and resilient development. Such approaches are highly in line with China's philosophy of 'Ecological Civilization' and the guiding principles for disaster prevention, mitigation and recovery.
The French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union (EU) have provided support to the research and compilation of the case studies through the China Biodiversity Facility. MNR and IUCN, together with other partners, call for governments, international organisations, not-for-profit organizations and society from all walks of life to further strengthen cooperation in disseminating good practices and experiences in applications of Eco-DRR. Exchanges and awareness raising of Eco-DRR are called upon in systematically addressing societal challenges and implementation of the targets and objectives enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration, United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and other global initiatives.