The social dimension of ecosystem-based adaption to climate change in Colombia
This project was financed by the World Bank and implemented by Conservation International in Chingaza Massif- Rio Blanco (close to Bogota) (water resource management). The third project is called “Ecosystem-based Adaptation in the Seaflower Marine Protected Area” and it is implemented by the regional environmental authority Coralina in cooperation with other partners.
Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) is defined as 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. Concisely, EbA is “adaptation powered by nature”, where the goal is to boost the resilience of natural ecosystems and the services and species that support them, so that they and the communities that depend on them are prepared for the impacts of climate change. EbA approaches can be very diverse and include mangrove restoration to buffer against storm surges; watershed management to protect against droughts and floods; rangeland management to prevent desertification; and sustainable management of fisheries and forests to ensure food security. Adaptation has become an increasingly important part of the international climate policy agenda. However, there is still a lack of adaptation finance targeted to biodiversity and ecosystem services as adaptation planning and funding is mainly focused on traditional or hard adaptation options (e.g. infrastructure).
Besides its adaptation benefits, EbA is an interesting strategy, for academics and practitioners, because of the mitigation, socioeconomic, biodiversity conservation benefits (co-benefits) that it provides. Despite these benefits and the potential of EbA to be more cost-effective than other measures, EbA has been largely missed in the design of international and national adaptation strategies and has not been operationalised (mainstreamed) into policy-making arenas in developing countries (the ones most impacted by climate change). A recent review of national adaptation plans shows that only about 22% of the proposed projects include ecosystem activities for social well-being or adaptation but most of them focus on technological and infrastructure developments, such as the construction of dams and irrigation facilities. However, the implementation of successful EbA requires embedding it in the broader policy arenas, the provision of adequate (financial and political) support, and a strengthening of local capacities via guidance, knowledge and best-practice sharing assert.
Against this background, the LAG seeks to analyze the quality degree of the selected EbA projects by analyzing: the societal benefits they produce, the policy support they receive and their support for equitable governance as explained by FEBA (2017). The idea is to identify bottlenecks and ways forward for improved EbA. So far, there seems to be little experience and only few methodological approaches to systematically integrate EbA into equitable planning and decision-making processes. Colombia is chosen because of its vulnerability to climate change and its recent political uptake on EbA. Colombia has adopted an Integrated National Adaptation Plan (INAP) using EbA activities to address the impacts of climatic change in the country.
For our analysis, we depart from local projects and see how they have influenced policy mainstreaming and vice versa. Some of the potential projects that we are considering to analyze include projects focusing on coastal adaptation, water management and strengthening protected areas: The first project is called “Ecosystem-based adaptation strategies to climate change in Colombia and Ecuador” (Coastal adaptation). This project is financed by BMBU and implemented by GIZ in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, and the Research Institute for Marine and Coastal Areas (INVEMAR) in the Ciénaga de la Virgen (Cartagena). The second project is called “Integrated national adaptation plan - Colombia highland Ecosystems”. This project was financed by the World Bank and implemented by Conservation International in Chingaza Massif- Rio Blanco (close to Bogota) (water resource management). The third project is called “Ecosystem-based Adaptation in the Seaflower Marine Protected Area” and it is implemented by the regional environmental authority Coralina in cooperation with other partners (Strengthening protected areas).
Participants Research Team II: ColombiaAlessandro Döhnert, International Economics & Public PolicyLukas Kleiner, International Economics & Public PolicyMarjam Mayer, PolitikwissenschaftJulia Morawietz, PolitikwissenschaftEric Philipp, Environmental Change & Social PolicyFelix Weinsheimer, Internationale Beziehungen