[Climate Change] Ecosystem-based Adaptation" (EdA), explained

In the last decade, we have heard the term "Ecosystem-based Adaptation" (EdA). This is a relatively new concept in climate change. It was first proposed in 2008 and the Conservation on Biological Diversity defined it as

"Ecosystem-based adaptation is the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change."

If you look at the Earth on the scale of hundreds of thousands of years, there have been ice ages, and if you look at it on the scale of 600 million years, it has been more than 10 degrees warmer than it is now. So climate change today is about human life, and this EdA is a human-centred solution. But, the concept of climate change adaptation is based on the fact that our lives depend on ecosystems.

Our economic and policy planning does not always take into account our dependence on ecosystems. To plan and evaluate EdA, we consider how and to what extent it can be effective from a non-ecological perspective (business as usual). EdA means effectiveness, which is based on cost-effectiveness and additional benefits. Cost-effectiveness refers to the cost savings of ecosystem-based solutions that, for example, increase water reservation of the land by creating forests instead of building dams to cope with less rainfall. Additional benefits are assessed by how much this ecosystem-based adaptation measure will benefit people. Mangroves have the effect of reducing storm surges due to sea-level rise, but they also create fishing grounds and provide firewood and timber.

I remember I wrote a paper on ecosystem-based adaptation the year it was proposed.

Perceptions of biodiversity, environmental services, and conservation of planted mangroves: A case study on Nijhum Dwip Island, Bangladesh


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