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Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in Action: The case of forestry

©FAO/Josil Murray
23/10/2018 23/10/2018

Scaling up of Adaptation in the Agricultural Sectors (SAAS)

Module 1: Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in the agricultural sectors

Webinar 7: Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Action: the case of forestry

Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 14:30 – 16:00  CEST (UTC/GMT+1)

Climate change and climate variability are threatening the functioning of forest ecosystems and their services. This in turn negatively affects the production and utilization of wood and non-wood forest products. According to FAO, forests directly contribute to the livelihoods of more than 1.6 billion people and the State of the World’s Forests (2018) estimates that around 40 percent of the extreme rural poor live in forest and savannah areas. Further to this, more than 75% of the world’s accessible freshwater for agriculture, domestic, urban, industrial and environmental use comes from forests.

Forests help to deliver clean and reliable water supplies and protect against landslides, erosion and land degradation. They provide employment, offering a range of livelihood and income generation opportunities through the supply of products for household use or sale. Forests also enhance the habitat of aquatic and terrestrial species providing a home for more than 80 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. Sustainably managing forests can reduce carbon emissions while at the same time increasing their carbon sink potential.

Forest managers will need to “hedge their bets” by managing forests for a wide range of climate scenarios. Adopting “no regrets” options that are consistent with good practices of having both adaptation and mitigation benefits are necessary. Ecosystem-based adaptation offers an opportunity to conserve, restore and sustainably manage forest ecosystems, and to provide both adaptation and mitigation benefits.

This webinar seeks to identify ecosystem-based approaches, tools and methods to promote the implementation of EbA in managing forests and degraded lands while improving livelihoods; share lessons learned including good practices generated from the past and ongoing experiences; and identify opportunities and challenges for scaling up EbA.

Presentations and Speakers:

Approaches for ecosystem based adaptation in forestry
Simmone Rose, Forestry Officer (Climate change and Bioenergy), FOA, FAO

Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) has been defined as an overall strategy that integrates the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services to help people adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. It includes the sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems to provide services that help people adapt to both current climate variability, and climate change. The presentation will highlight climate change adaptation through the management of forests and trees. Such approaches can diversify options – for the forest ecosystems themselves and for the livelihoods depending on them, and thus build resilience to climate change. The importance of appropriate legislation, policies and governance structures to support the implementation of EbA approaches in forestry will also be addressed.

See presentation and recording

Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Practice: lessons from the mountains
Andrew Taber, Senior Forestry Officer, FOA, FAO

Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) can be a compelling approach to build both environmental and societal resilience in ecologically degraded ecosystems with high levels of poverty. The presentation will introduce two examples from mountain regions drawing on the experiences of The Mountain Institute, IUCN, and its partners. In the Himalayas, the restoration of fragile highland forests by mountain communities is being advanced through the cultivation of high-value medicinal and aromatic plants on degraded lands. In the Andes, agropastoralists are using ancient water management techniques and the latest science to improve camelid production and protect the environment. In both cases, restoration of forest and other ecosystems are being promoted, natural hazard risks reduced, water resources improved, and livelihoods for impoverished communities bolstered. Constraints and enabling conditions to support such approaches will be discussed.

See recording

Ecosystem-based Adaptation experiences in agroforestry and forest ecosystems in South America
Karen Podvin, Programme Officer, IUCN

The presentation will introduce examples from agricultural and forest ecosystems drawing on the experiences of two collaborative projects in South America. In Ecuador, the comprehensive approach of implementing a variety of measures as an EbA package include agrobiodiversity, water conservation, ecotourism and sustainable goat management. The presentation will emphasize good practices in agrobiodiversity through training in integral farm planning and management with an EbA approach through “Field Schools for Farmers”. The second example will draw on experiences from Chile with an example of how science-based knowledge and evidence on the protective role of native forests can support planning and decision-making processes. These experiences show the need for focusing EbA on a landscape approach ‒forests and other (eco)systems‒ including participatory approaches and strengthening natural resource governance, enhancing livelihoods, and the need of robust evidence to inform planning processes.

See presentation and recording

For further information on the “Scaling-up of Adaptation in the Agricultural Sectors (SAAS)” webinar series, please contact [email protected] or [email protected].

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