Community based adaptation suggesting a fundamental role for nature Jo Phillips (RSPB) and Helen Jeans (WWF-Network) Adaptation “The adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities” IPCC, 2007 Climate change brings into focus the mutual relationship between society and nature... Overview • Adaptation – people and nature • Bringing what we know to the table • Back to basics – the role of ecosystems • Add climate change…. • Questions (10 mins) • Integrated approach • Case studies • Explore ways forward in discussion (20 mins) A ‘conservation’ approach • • • • • • • • Focus on biodiversity and ecosystems, the threats and opportunities facing them. Science based approaches (hence our science language) Site and ecosystem (landscape) scales Addresses systemic challenges linked to biodiversity loss Engagement with one or more local communities dependant on or impacting ecosystems and biodiversity. Enriching human life and livelihoods, alleviating poverty. Preserving natural resources into the future Intrinsic value of nature Back to basics: (i) Ecosystems – life on Earth An ecosystem is a community of interacting living and the non-living things. Biodiversity (nature) makes up the building blocks of ecosystems Ecosystems work at different and interconnected scales (e.g. mountain systems to small ponds) Changing one thing in an ecosystem, can change the whole ecosystem. Changes to ecosystems can alter the functions and services that ecosystem provides people. (ii) Ecosystem Services – life support systems Ecosystems provide the foundation of human life: air, food, water. Flows from ecosystems used by people are ‘ecosystem services’ Broadly 4 types of ecosystem services: 1. Provisioning: food, water, timber, etc. 2. Regulating: flood protection, waste recycling, water quality, etc. 3. Cultural: cultural diversity, beauty, spiritual meaning, etc. 4. Supporting: photosynthesis, soil formation, etc. (iii) Thinking beyond NRM… NRM tends to focus on provisioning services (food, water, timber, fibre) Regulating Services Provisioning Services Cultural Services Supporting Services (iv) Dynamic Relationships and multiple choices Add climate change... • Climate change impacts biodiversity, people, ecosystems and human systems • Increase vulnerability, risk and poverty for people. • Changes biological systems, increased extinction and change/loss of ecosystem services. Impacts and systems are interrelated and interdependent. Planned adaptation takes place within this complex dynamic relationship between human society and nature. A ‘Conservation’ perspective on climate change • Greatest long term threat to biodiversity • Will cause fundamental shifts and changes to ecosystems and ecosystem services • Additional stress exacerbating ecosystem degradation. However…. • Ecosystems can help mitigate climate change • Healthy ecosystems are more robust and resilient to climate change • Ecosystems can support local communities and their adaptive capacity over time Questions and reflections • Any technical questions? • Has this made you reflect on any particular experience or on how you might address community based adaptation? Discuss with neighbour (5 mins) • Opportunity to share with room (5 mins) An integrated approach to climate adaptation • • • • • • • • • • Values input from a variety of approaches Enables a broader understanding of issues Encourages systems thinking Increases adaptation choices and options Helps manage risk and uncertainty Facilitates “intentional” trade offs (i.e. more informed choice) Balances immediate needs and future options Minimises positive feedback loops (i.e. unintended outcomes) Builds adaptive capacity at all levels Works through partnerships The ‘conservation’ community can offer • Planning at ecosystem scale in support of the local community level • Ensuring solutions for one community don't negatively impact another • Expertise in maintaining ecosystem functions and services and increasing ecosystem resilience • Possibility of no/low regret, locally appropriate nature based solutions • Contributing to the building of adaptive capacity for present and future • Achieving mitigation and adaptation benefits Maintaining Landscape Scale Resilience Source: Ecoagriculture Partners Case Study: a conservation approach in Kenya The Kikuyu Escarpment Forest IBA provides water, fuelwood, herbal medicine and building materials for more than 200,000 local people, and the drinking water catchment for parts of Nairobi. Recent extended dry periods are being linked to climate change, and predictions suggest this may worsen. This has resulted in reduced crop yields, driving some local people to undertake largely unsustainable activities with negative impacts on the forests and the water catchment. To help address this…. Who: The Kijabe Environment Volunteers, with Nature Kenya and the Kenya Forest Service What: Site-based community workshops; local community partnerships to develop diverse strategies for coping with periods of drought; regular bird and forest walks to raise awareness; alternative or adapted livelihood activities such as agro-forestry, crop and livestock diversification, ecoagricultural practices (e.g. bee-keeping), and ecotourism. Benefits: Household income from unsustainable use of the forest replaced; impacts of climate change buffered; ecosystems conserved; water conservation improved, and reduced emissions from deforestation. Case study: In south-eastern lowland Nepal Why: Drier climate conditions have caused invasive plant species to thrive in the Sapta Koshi River, threatening the local resource base and biodiversity. Who: Bird Conservation Nepal and local community groups What: Invasive plants cleared and used for fuel and fertiliser. Benefits: innovative initiative has helped maintain and strengthen the wetland ecosystem and has provided alternative livelihoods for local people. Case Study: India’s Sundarbans Delta (WWF-India) • Sundarbans comprise low-lying mudflats, islands and tidal waterways that stretch across Bangladesh and India. • The Sundarbans Delta mangroves – – – – most extensive in the world home of the Bengal tiger act as a natural buffer from cyclones and storm surges provide nurseries for a diverse range of fish and shellfish, on which a significant proportion of the Bay of Bengal fishing industry food chain is founded. Stresses on the Ecosystem • unsustainable extraction of mangrove forests for fuel wood and commercial purposes • intensive cultivation of the land for agricultural use • intensive unsustainable aquaculture, especially shrimp farming. • dams, barrages and embankments built upstream have diverted water reducing freshwater inflow increasing salinity and causing changes in sedimentation and adverse impacts on forest’s biodiversity. Add Climate Change • sea level rise - up to 75% of the Sundarbans may be lost by 2050 • extremes in climatic variability - causing shoreline erosion, deposition and flooding • more intense cyclones and tidal surges • embankments frequently breached - leading to serious property damage, loss of land, and longterm salinisation • changes in precipitation rates and run-off rates • glacial retreat in the Himalayas will exacerbate riverbank flooding and erosion. What Working on 102 islands, 54 are inhabited • testing saline resilient paddy varieties • promoting sustainable aquaculture practices • installing pond sand filters for potable drinking water • pond excavation for irrigation • community based early warning system, training, disaster preparedness kits • seed bank for the saline resistant rice seeds • training community members on agricultural practices Cyclone Aila highlighted need for coordinated action of multiple stakeholders - development of a 'Delta Vision 2050’ with local communities, NGOs, research organisations, local and national government and multilateral agencies. An Integrated Approach ‘The complexity of what we are now facing in a rapidly climate changing world suggests that no one individual, group or organisation has all the necessary skills or competencies either to comprehensively understand the challenges involved or to design appropriate solutions’. John Colvin 'Learning to Live with Climate Change' (2009) Open University, UK ‘doing and learning together’ the key to seeing the wider, systemic picture, thinking and acting creatively. Discussion “Climate change … …challenges us to think differently at many levels. Above all, it challenges us to think about what it means to live as part of an ecologically interdependent human community.” Human Development Report , 2007/2008 Addressing this in context of CBA – What are opportunities and challenges? – What practical steps can we take from here? THANK YOU!