Using ecosystem services to adapt to climate change

Project description

Title: Mainstreaming EbA – strengthening ecosystem-based adaptation in planning and decision-making processes
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), through the International Climate Initiative (IKI)
Country: Global
Lead executing agencies: Mexico: Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP); Peru: Ministry of Environment (MINAM), Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF); Philippines: National Climate Change Commission (NCCC); South Africa: Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA); Viet Nam: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE)
Overall term: 2015 to 2022

The international EbA Community of Practice gets together once a year to exchange on experiences with Ecosystem-based Adaptation.


Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) is a type of Nature-based Solution (NbS) focused on adaptation to climate change. EbA aims to support people in adapting to the diverse effects of climate change by making use of healthy ecosystems. To do so, EbA protects and restores ecosystems, and promotes their sustainable use.

Despite of increasing international awareness, significant successes and positive examples of Ecosystem-based Adaptation, many stakeholders are still unfamiliar with the EbA alternatives available to them or are unable to adequately assess them. This is due to a lack of transferable and user-friendly strategies as well as methods and instruments for mainstreaming the topic into key decisions and processes. Another problem is that knowledge about promising approaches is hard to access and dialogue platforms are lacking.


Key stakeholders are applying tested and approved EbA instruments and solutions for domestic and international planning and implementation measures in the climate and environmental sector. EbA is part of a holistic strategy for adapting to climate change.

A definition framework helps to make clear what qualifies as EbA.


In cooperation with its partners, the project develops instruments and methods to streamline EbA approaches and works to make them transferable and usable for stakeholders. Apart from that, the global project works with a learning and knowledge network to gather information from lessons learned while implementing, mainstreaming and disseminating EbA. Information is made available to the general professional public and to key players – for example in the form of guidebooks or scientific information on EbA. Moreover, practical examples from other sectors, such as water management, agriculture or infrastructure, are compiled into relevant studies and policy briefs. The Global Project also organises needs-based trainings, online seminars and conferences, inviting stakeholders to exchange their ideas on these inputs and enhance their skills on EbA. Project material and case examples are published on online platforms.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is working together with numerous international organisations to implement the project worldwide. These include the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and various United Nations (UN) institutions.

Whenever possible, experiencing EbA in practice is part of the annual international EbA Community of Practice workshops.


The project has helped to anchor EbA in international policies and relevant working fields – for example in cooperation with UN institutions such as the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nairobi Work Program under the UNFCCC, as well as with the Friends of EbA (FEBA) network and the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR).

The international EbA Community of Practice (CoP) was established as a global knowledge network. It already has more than 400 members from around 30 countries and 80 different organisations. The network is promoting EbA and its mainstreaming into negotiations and policies worldwide. It has also contributed to establishing national CoPs.

The project supports EbA activities worldwide and reaches a broad target group of practitioners, decision-makers and planners. Its knowledge products and case examples support many actors in planning and implementing projects and in providing policy advice which helps to mainstream EbA in the respective countries. A newly established EbA Support Facility offers technical backstopping and guidance on the key steps within an EbA project implementation cycle.

Last update: May 2021