[INSERT PARTNER LOGOS]
Ailbhe Travers1, Carmen Elrick1, Robert Kay
and Ole Vestergaard
Anne Olhoff, UNEP-RISØ Centre
Anthony Mills, C4 EcoSolutions
Caroline Petersen, UNDP
Dominique Benzaken, IUCN
Emilia Pramova, CIFOR
Evan Girvetz, TNC
Geoff Dews, University of the Sunshine Coast
Jackie Alder, UNEP
Michael Rivington, James Hutton Institute
Musonda Mumba, UNEP
Nadia Manasfi, GIZ
Noah Zimba, Zambia Climate Change Network
Patrick Crist, EBM Tools Network
Richard Klein, SEI, PROVIA
Robert Munroe, BirdLife International
Rocio Lichte, UNFCCC
Takehiro Nakamura, UNEP
Terry Hills, Conservation International
Note: Version not for publication. Images have not been copyright cleared and will need to
University of Sunshine Coast, Australia
UNEP Division of Environment Policy Implementation
iii | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS .............................................................................................................................. IIIIII
WHY WE CREATED THIS GUIDANCE ..................................................................................................... VV
RATIONALE ...................................................................................................................................................................... VV
EBA GUIDANCE: MOVING FROM PRINCIPLES TO PRACTICE .......................................................... 11
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................................... 11
SCOPE ............................................................................................................................................................................. 33
TARGET AUDIENCE ........................................................................................................................................................ 33
STRUCTURE OF THE GUIDANCE ................................................................................................................................... 55
Summary of Design Considerations and Specifications ................................................................................ 77
REFLECT ON THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES ............................................................................................... 88
WHAT IS EBA? ............................................................................................................................................................... 88
WHAT IS EFFECTIVE EBA? ........................................................................................................................................... 88
How Do We Know If Investments In Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Are Effective? ..................... 1111
GOOD PRACTICE IN ADAPTATION PROJECT DESIGN ........................................................................................... 1212
COMPONENT ‘A’: SETTING THE ADAPTIVE CONTEXT ...............................................................1616
OVERVIEW .................................................................................................................................................................. 1818
SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................................................... 2222
COMPONENT ‘B’: SELECTING APPROPRIATE OPTIONS FOR ADAPTATION .......................2323
OVERVIEW .................................................................................................................................................................. 2525
SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................................................... 2727
COMPONENT ‘C’: DESIGN FOR CHANGE ............................................................................................2929
OVERVIEW .................................................................................................................................................................. 3131
DESIGNING FOR CHANGE IN AN EBA INITATIVE .................................................................................................... 3131
HOW CAN PERFORMANCE IN MEETING THE DUAL OBJECTIVES OF EBA INITIATIVES BE DEMONSTRATED?
Linking Activities to Outcomes ............................................................................................................................ 3333
Ecosystem-Based Indicators ................................................................................................................................. 3434
SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................................................... 3939
COMPONENT D: ADAPTIVE IMPLEMENTATION ............................................................................4141
OVERVIEW .................................................................................................................................................................. 4343
SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................................................... 4646
ANNEX A1: TOOLS AND TOOLKITS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE RISK SCREENING .............................................. 5555
ANNEX A2: EXAMPLES OF APPLICATION OF CLIMATE RISK SCREENING TOOLS (ADAPTED FROM TRAERUP
AND OLHOFF, 2011) ................................................................................................................................................ 5858
ANNEX A3: ECOSYSTEM SERVICES ‘CHECKLIST’ ............................................................................................... 6060
ANNEX A4: TOOLS AND RESOURCES FOR ESTABLISHING THE VALUE OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES ............ 6262
ANNEX A5: SELECTED RESOURCES ON IDENTIFYING IMPACTS TO ECOSYSTEMS ............................................ 6464
ANNEX B1: RESOURCES FOR ADAPTATION OPTIONS ANALYSIS ...................................................................... 6666
APPENDIX B2: OVERVIEW OF ADAPTATION TECHNOLOGIES ALIGNED TO IMPACT AREAS AND ECOSYSTEM
SERVICES ..................................................................................................................................................................... 6868
ANNEX B3: SAMPLE EVALUATION CRITERIA AND SCALE FOR ADAPTATION OPTIONS ANALYSIS .............. 8282
iv | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
ANNEX C1: GUIDELINES FOR PROGRAMME DESIGN AND MONITORING AND EVALUATION
ANNEX C2: RESOURCES THAT AID IN LINKING ACTIVITIES TO OUTCOMES ...................................... 8686
ANNEX C3: ECOSYSTEM-BASED INDICATORS ......................................................................................... 8888
ANNEX D1: RESOURCES OUTLINING AN ADAPTIVE APPROACH TO ECOSYSTEM
MANAGEMENT ...................................................................................................................................................... 9696
v | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
Why We Created This Guidance
Natural ecosystems benefit people in many ways, from regulating local climates to providing clean
drinking water. The benefits supplied by natural ecosystems are collectively referred to as ecosystem
services. While these services provide the basis for the livelihoods of many societies and play an
important role in ensuring food, water and energy security, they are also fundamental tools in climate
change adaptation. Essentially, Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA) addresses the crucial links
between climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainable resource management. In
this respect, the concept of using ecosystems as a basis to adapt to the impacts of changes in climate
has gained momentum in recent years and has now emerged as an important technology in the
There is a lack of information on Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA) technologies in comparison to more
‘traditional’ adaptation technologies. While an increasing number of EBA resources are becoming available,
information has not yet been collated to allow easy access for those who need to inform the decision-
The guidance ‘profiles’ EBA measures providing a description of opportunities, limitations, and
contexts for use. Further, EBA measures and traditional adaptation technologies are aligned to
discrete ecosystem services, to support profiling of adaptation technologies.
This guidance is built around a clearly defined adaptation problem statement. It supports selection of
the most appropriate adaptation options in a given context. Users are asked to consider their
ecosystems and associated services to inform problem development and goal definition. By defining
the problem that an adaptation intervention may wish to address with an ecosystem lens, EBA options
are placed on a ‘level playing field’ with respect to traditional adaptation technologies.
There is an increased emphasis on gaining ‘evidence of effectiveness’ of EBA; yet limited on-ground data
that can be drawn upon to make this case. Establishing an evidence base for decision making with respect to
EBA remains a challenge.
This guidance distinguishes between long-term monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and project M&E to
support the generation of an evidence base for decision making with respect to EBA. In particular, the
provision of examples of context-specific EBA indicators within the guidance is intended to support
decision makers to effectively generate this ‘evidence’. The two-tiered approach to M&E adopted
advocates adaptive management, transparency and accountability to further contribute to making the
case for EBA.
Existing information on EBA has been largely directed at the formulation of principles and objectives. While
capacity building expertise with respect to EBA may exist within the adaptation community and beyond, it
has yet to be extended to the provision of support for on-the-ground decision-making at a project level.
The guidance provides targeted operational advice that is not currently available. Importantly, this
guidance is not an ‘off the shelf’ resource, but a living document that will be updated by drawing on
the training and capacity building activities delivered in partnership with the guidance. It presents a
first step in ensuring a long-term adaptive approach to adaptation that endeavours to build the
evidence base on EBA to inform climate change adaptation now and in the future.
Key questions to consider at the outset of this EBA guidance are provided Figure 1 with key elements
encompassed in each of the four Components of the guidance (A, B, C & D) summarised in Table 1.
These components will be expanded upon through the various sections of the guidance that follow
with links to useful resources and tools in the associated Annexes to this document.
vi | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
Figure 1: Questions to consider before using this Guidance
vii | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
Table 1: Components of the EBA Guidance
viii | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
PAGE LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK
1 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
EBA Guidance: Moving from Principles to
The impacts of climate change on human and natural systems are already being felt on a global scale
and will likely intensify significantly in the future. Increased climate variability, such as the occurrence
of more frequent droughts and storms and more erratic or intense rainfall patterns will be associated
with these changes in global climate. This, in turn, will have important implications for the capacity of
ecosystems around the world to continue to provide the services upon which a wide range of
Healthy ecosystems and their services provide opportunities for sustainable economic prosperity in
conjunction with the provision of defence against the negative effects of climate change. Conversely,
degradation of ecosystems results in increased climate change vulnerability for the communities that
live in these ecosystems as well as for the ecosystems themselves.
Essentially, Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA) addresses these crucial links between climate
change, biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainable resource management. Although the
importance of EBA in the adaptation toolbox is being increasingly recognised, robust information on
specific benefits of EBA and the conditions under which those benefits are likely to be received is
generally lacking (World Bank, 2010). Importantly, decision makers need to be convinced that
'environmental infrastructure' is capable of meeting their adaptation objectives. This will require a
systematic consideration of the applicability, limitations and risks of EBA options as compared to
traditional, often 'hard' infrastructure alternatives.
As a global leader in science-based environmental policy-setting and implementation, UNEP has
taken the step of selecting EBA as one of its key programmes to assist countries, their people and the
environment in their adaptation efforts. UNEP’s long-term involvement in addressing climate change
and its experience in managing ecosystems provide UNEP with a deep knowledge and management
expertise to foster EBA as an integral part of the global adaptation strategy and national adaptation
The overarching goal of the UNEP EBA programme is to help vulnerable communities adapt to
climate change through good ecosystem management practices, and integration into global, regional,
national and local climate change strategies and action plans. The Programme has an emphasis on
Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and Africa.
Consequently, the guidance provided in this document is intended to support LDCs and SIDS through
their adaptation decision-making process as they move towards building resilience for, and restoration
of, degraded or vulnerable ecosystems.
This guidance has been framed to enable consideration of EBA in the context of other adaptation
technologies and comes with the acknowledgement that EBA may not be the most appropriate option
in all contexts. It is important to distinguish that while evaluating effects on ecosystems and potential
roles for ecosystems in adaptation should be part of every adaptation initiative, the final decision
about adaptation technology must take many factors into account. This guidance asks the decision
maker to consider EBA on a level playing field with the suite of available adaptation technologies and
provides supporting information on context- specific EBA options and their opportunities and
limitations where available. A systems approach is advocated throughout the adaptation planning
guidance (BOX 1).
2 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
BOX 1: ADVANTAGES OF THE SYSTEMIC AND PROACTIVE APPROACH T0 EBA
ROBERTS ET AL. (2011)
‘The systemic and proactive approach of EBA contrasts with the interventionist and reactive nature of many
existing adaptation proposals and plans that portray adaptation as a tool of last resort in dealing with the
threat of an unpredictable climate. This reactive approach supports the prioritization of “...already existing
strategies“ and results in “end-of-the pipe” infrastructural, land use planning and technological interventions
that are responsive to only a narrow range of outcomes and probabilities. What is required is the development
of conceptual frameworks that question how wealth, value and quality of life are understood and framed in
relation to natural resource consumption over a broader range of scenarios.
In this regard, EBA builds on the premise that “...in most places in the world, nature is the single most
important input into local economies and human well-being.” This “beginning-of-the-pipe” role for ecosystems
creates new opportunities for more flexible, systemic and responsive win−win−win outcomes that address
climate change (both adaptation and mitigation), biodiversity loss and the need for improved human
wellbeing. It also increases the political agency of adaptation, making it a development response to the
stimulus of climate change by harnessing the full potential of natural systems to ensure a sustained quality of
life and by helping “...people, infrastructure and economies” to adapt to variable conditions’.
The guidance was formulated through a
combination of theoretical desktop investigations
and a participatory, collaborative process involving
targeted consultation through an EBA expert
workshop. The theoretical background work was
carried out to ‘profile’ international EBA initiatives to
explore the ‘who, what, where, when and why’ of
EBA (lead organisation, temporal and spatial scale,
ecosystem type, climate change driver addressed
and overriding adaptation goal). In addition,
principles of ‘good practice’ EBA were considered
in conjunction with the tools and approaches
currently employed to evaluate EBA and adaptation
more broadly from an operational perspective. Key
recommendations from the expert workshop were
used as an impetus for the approach to and
structure of the guidance.
Importantly the guide is not intended as a
standalone resource. Rather, it provides an
overview of a decision-making process that aims to
synthesise current thinking about good practice
adaptation and good practice ecosystem-based management. It is intended that the guidance be
used as a tool for training and capacity building and should be seen as a ‘living document’ that will be
updated and enhanced during field-testing.
A brief overview of the guidance provided in this document follows in the remainder of this
introductory section outlining the:
• Target Audience; and
WHAT INFORMED THE EBA
• Profiling of global Climate Change
Adaptation (CCA), Community Based
Adaptation (CBA) and EBA projects and
programs (who, what, why and where of
• Review of EBA principles, concepts and
approaches to evaluate EBA from an
operational perspective (incorporating CCA
and EBM principles and concepts where
• Review of monitoring and evaluation
landscape to develop a proactive and
reflexive framework to guide EBA decision-
• Expert Consultation
3 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
The user is directed towards supporting background resources where appropriate and should refer to
the supplementary documents produced through the UNEP EBA Effectiveness Project
theoretical approach adopted in formulating the guidance.
This guidance has been produced to provide assistance to adaptation practitioners in the:
Implementation of adaptation activities that consider EBA in the suite of available adaptation
The guidance is the result of a UNEP led initiative concerned with the effectiveness of EBA as a
means to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. The initiative has focused on confirming the
constituents of ‘best practice’ for EBA with a focus on approaches for monitoring and evaluation to
build a persuasive case for the utility of EBA within a holistic approach to optimising adaptive actions.
In this context, the provision of ‘evidence’ of the effectiveness of EBA relative to the range of
adaptation technologies traditionally employed by decision makers has been considered.
The guidance has been formulated to explicitly recognise the decision context for effective EBA.
Additionally, it is focused on the provision of monitoring and evaluation guidance to support EBA
effectiveness. The guidance is an initial step in moving from a list of principles for effective EBA, to
supporting its practice.
EBA is one of the many tools that support a systems approach to adaptation
Ecosystem-based measures should be part of an adaptation toolkit containing a range of adaptation
technologies. The guidance supports selection of adaptation technologies based on an understanding
of the context in which adaptation takes place. Appropriate options are selected with clear reference
to adaptation goals that have been defined cognisant of the role ecosystem services play in
contributing to system sustainability and human well-being. The guidance provides users with the
support to determine what adaptation technologies are not applicable in their context and also
provides guidance on refining the measures that will most effectively meet their objectives.
Understanding effectiveness will support immediate and long-term adaptive management
Adaptation interventions are implemented to reduce the impacts of climate change within a system
that is exposed to a range of climate and non-climate impacts that affect sustainability. However,
demonstrating that an adaptation intervention has been effective is challenging due to a range of
factors including moving baselines, long timelines for actual climate impacts to be realised and/or for
EBA actions to reach full effectiveness, unclear objectives and different views on what constitutes
Promoting implementation of selected adaptation technologies in the absence of evidence that
demonstrates effectiveness is difficult. In addition, the ability of decision makers to be adaptive is
hindered when evidence of the success and failure of adaptation interventions is unavailable. This
guidance supports decision-makers in designing an adaptation intervention, or a programme to
implement their selected adaptation measure, that is cognisant of the need to provide a sound
evidence base to inform adaptive management and provide the case for future funding and
implementation of adaptive measures. The guidance supports the user in developing a programme
that will facilitate effective evaluation both during and after the conclusion of the adaptation initiative.
The main clients of the UNEP EBA Programme are communities in those countries with high
vulnerability to negative climate change impacts due to degraded and/or vulnerable ecosystems.
These are primarily Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and
African countries, especially those with high vulnerability (UNEP EBA Flagship, 2010).
UNEP EBA Workshop Background Report (2012); UNEP EBA Workshop Summary Report (2012).
4 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
The focus of this guidance is on the project scale that can link into a broader enabling environment. It
is important to clarify that while a user is operating at a demonstration project scale, they must also
consider the broader context in which a project is being implemented – ‘what is the demonstration
The guidance is intended for:
• Adaptation practitioners interested in adopting a holistic approach adaptation planning;
• Ecosystem-based management practitioners intending to integrate climate change into their
• Planners and managers interested in exploring the applicability of EBA to treat their climate
change adaptation challenges.
Overall it is envisaged that the user of this guidance will have an awareness of their underlying
climate change problems as well as the priority areas for potential adaptive action. While previous
experience in EBA project design and implementation is not necessary, an overall working knowledge
of project design is assumed.
5 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
STRUCTURE OF THE GUIDANCE
The guidance is organised around the main steps in project design (see box below) and presents four
key Components in the adaptation decision-making process (Components A, B, C & D) (Figure 2).
A brief introduction to EBA and ‘effective’ adaptation is summarised in Section 2 together with an
overview of the principles considered at the core of the guidance.
The guidance is constructed based on the assumption that users may enter at different points with
differential capacities and data availability. For example, some users may have identified locations for
implementing an intervention and have clearly defined problem statements and associated adaptation
goals. If so, they would enter the guide at Component ‘B’ and do not require an in-depth consideration of
the guidance presented through Component ‘A’. Importantly, the guidance is not envisaged as ‘step wise’
or iterative. For example, a user is not expected to carry out all the activities listed under Components ‘A’
and ‘B’ to be able to undertake ‘C’. Likewise, there is no ‘direct’ order with which the different elements
within ‘A’ and ‘B’ are undertaken. Rather, the guidance within these components is intended to ensure
the user has an appropriate working understanding of their adaptive context while ensuring flexibility in
application of the guidance as a whole.
Overall, the strategic decision-making process with respect to selecting EBA among different adaptation
options is the focal point as opposed to a prescriptive methodology for implementing a
specific EBA option in a given context. In this respect, the guidance provided is necessarily broad with
links to more detailed information to inform the decision-making process as appropriate.
A PROJECT DESIGN FOCUS FOR EBA GUIDANCE
It is recognised that a rational ‘project’ view of EBA activities is only one context required for EBA decision support.
In many ‘real world’ decision-making contexts they are often ‘messy’, where different stages of decision cycles,
such as information gathering, policy development and impact assessment all occur at the same time, thus
influencing each other. Consequently, while using a ‘project cycle’ approach to the design and implementation of
projects provides a useful frame of reference for analysis, it is recognised that that there are many situations for
which this approach may not apply. However, a project cycle approach is both applicable in many contexts and
provides a useful starting part for systematic analysis, particularly if it assumes that EBA activities are ‘starting
from the beginning’ (i.e Component A or Stage 1 in the project cycle). As such, the approach captured within the
guidance is based on the assumption that project-oriented EBA is being undertaken that follows (in order) the five
Example of UNEP 5-stage project design cycle
6 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
The approach to formulation of this guidance reflects the latest theory and conceptual understanding of
the non-linear nature of climate change adaptation
. The four components (A, B, C and D) are presented
individually with associated focus questions and links to resources provided in the Annexes attached to
this document. The format of the guidance provided in Components ‘C’ and D is necessarily discursive in
nature while context setting information in A and B lends more to a question-and-answer format.
Figure 2: EBA Guidance Framework
It is important to bear in mind that the guidance is not envisaged as an ‘off the shelf’ resource. Rather
users will be guided through hands-on training aimed to increase their decision-making capacity with
respect to Ecosystem Based Adaptation and allow them to subsequently use the guidance presented
here in their own decision-making contexts in-country.
For example, the 2005 UNDP adaptation policy framework had at its core a flow diagram of the ‘steps’ to move
through effective adaptation planning. This evolved into the 2012 UNDP framework that takes a planning cycle
approach. Similarly the USAID takes an explicit decision support focus that while linear in its organising diagram is
specifically a holistic, development systems focused framework. In addition, recent work undertaken by IIED (Brooks
et al 2011) and GIZ (Spearman and McGray, 2011) advocates a similar approach. The recent UK AdaptME
framework from Pringle (2011) has also informed formulation of the guidance.
7 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
Summary of Design Considerations and Specifications
EBA can be implemented at a range of scales, from site-specific actions to mainstreaming in national
policies and plans. Mainstreaming is supported by demonstrated good practice at local scales. The
guidance is designed with a focus on a bottom-up approach, where EBA approaches will be implemented
via demonstration activities that are couched within either national or regional programmes. Such
programmes inform the subsequent development of top-down approaches, via for example,
mainstreaming of EBA into national development planning objectives.
Multiple Entry Points
As outlined above, the guidance has multiple components that align to each objective of the framework.
The guidance is constructed based on the assumption that some users will enter the decision-making
process from different points.
Differential Capacity and Data Availability
It is recognised that users considering this guidance will have differential capacities and data
requirements. These could range from what may be termed:
Qualitative appreciation; and
Quantitative understanding of the issues a user is dealing with through the EBA decision-making
Importantly, no matter which point in the spectrum a user is approaching the guidance from,
consideration of the Components outlined here will support robust decision-making to facilitate effective
EBA. The primary difference between the three scales is that as the user progresses along the scales,
the ability to ‘strengthen the case’ for EBA is enhanced. In other words, the quantitative approach
provides a more defensible case demonstrating the value of the EBA intervention than the qualitative
Throughout this guidance there is an assumption that the majority of users will be entering at the
8 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
Reflect on the Guiding Principles
Prior to presenting the core components of the guidance, it is important to reflect on the guiding principles
that help lay the groundwork for implementing EBA namely; what is EBA?; what is ‘effective’ EBA?; and
how to gather evidence for effectiveness?.
WHAT IS EBA?
While several perspectives on what constitutes EBA exist (see for example TNC 2011), this guidance
adopts the definition of EBA currently used by UNEP:
The use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaptation strategy to
help people and communities adapt to the negative effects of climate change at local,
national, regional and global levels.
In this context, ecosystem services may be defined as the benefits people obtain from ecosystems.
These include provisioning services such as food; regulatory services that affect climate and water
cycles; cultural services that provide recreational and spiritual benefits; and supporting services such as
nutrient cycling (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005; Figure 3).
Figure 3: Ecosystem services (UNEP, 2004; MEA, 2005)
WHAT IS EFFECTIVE EBA?
There is no universal definition for ‘effective’ adaptation, much less, ‘effective’ EBA in its capacity as an
emerging approach in the adaptation landscape. Rather, it is clear that the constituents of an effective
EBA initiative will be dictated by the organisational objectives of the implementing body, as well as the
scope of the overall initiative itself within a unique suite of decision-contexts (Box 1).
In the run-up to, and during, UNFCCC COP-17 in Durban, a number of studies pertaining to EBA were
released by a range of organisations, several of which relate to principles and guidelines for best practice
or ‘effectiveness’. A summary of key principles from the emerging literature is outlined in Table 1.
9 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
On reflection ‘good’ EBA should draw on multiple streams of knowledge from Ecosystem-Based
Management (EBM) and climate change adaptation (CCA). EBM is an approach that goes beyond
examining single issues, species, or ecosystem functions in isolation. Instead it recognises ecological
systems for what they are: a rich mix of elements that interact with each other in important ways. EBM
involves two changes in how management is practiced: (1) each human activity is managed in the
context of all the ways it interacts with marine and coastal ecosystems, and (2) multiple activities are
managed for a common outcome (UNEP 2011). Further, CCA initiatives must be measurable and
reflective; prioritised; effective, cost effective in the long term; couched within existing policies and
catalysed by strong leadership, particularly at a local level, if it is to be an effective endeavor.
BOX 1: CONTEXT MATTERS
There is a range of criteria that may be considered as effective in context, such as greatest net community benefit,
optimising decision timing, short-term cost effectiveness (or return on investment), biodiversity conservation and
so on. The key point is that ‘effective’ adaptation depends on the context within which adaptive decisions are
made (UKCIP 2011). This ‘it depends’ factor (on adaptive context) has rapidly become a central tenet of
adaptation effectiveness thinking (Brooks et al, 2011; Spearman and McGray 2011; Lamhauge et al 2011; Hills and
If the ‘it depends’ concept is accepted, the next question is: ‘it depends on what?’ It is useful to think about three
dimensions (Kay et al, in press):
• Spatial dimension – over what geographic scale is the action targeted (i.e. from household through to
• Temporal dimension – when is the action to be implemented and over what timeframe will the action be
• The focus of adaptive action – along a spectrum from those actions that address the drivers of
vulnerability to climate change at one end, with those actions that address climate change drivers only at
the other (McGray et al, 2007).
Table 1: Overview of Principles for Effective EBA (Adapted from TNC 2011)
Modeling of projected climate change
Revise systematic planning
Revise protected area systems design
Involve local communities in restoration
Adjust management programs and actions
EBA approaches cover a broad
spectrum in land management, policy
and project implementations. Promoting
ecosystem resilience for the benefit of
communities is the first and most
obvious set of actions.
Valuation of ecosystem services
Determine climate change impact
Identify options for managing ecosystems
or managing use
Involve user communities in adaptation
Maintaining ecosystem services is key –
and, again, something that the field of
conservation must develop better
understanding of how to design and
implement, and especially improve our
ability to effectively measure benefits
Include approaches in national adaptation
Incorporate ecosystem services in
land/coastal management frameworks
Influence sectoral development plans –
e.g. agriculture; water supply
Ensure adequacy of coastal zone
New opportunities are opening up for
partnerships and natural system
solutions with many of societies’ sectors
impacted by climate change. Municipal
water supply and agriculture are
Ecosystem-Based Adaptation: Bridging Science and Real-World Decision-making. Second International Workshop
on Biodiversity and climate Change in China. Anne Wallach Thomas, Global Climate Change Adaptation Program.
10 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
Restore key habitats that reduce
o Storm damage – coastal
o Catastrophic fire – fire-adapted
o Water security – watersheds
Involve vulnerable communities in
There is growing interest in the security,
public safety and disaster prevention
communities -- we are seeing
increasing awareness of climate
impacts and for the potential of natural
Dam re-engineering – maintain ecological
flows in rivers
Dams, levees – Restoration of floodplains
for flood attenuation
Reservoirs – restoration of forests and
Innovations and strategies like these,
for complementing infrastructure, are
being tested now around the world.
They include: land management of
forests and watersheds that includes
understanding of future scenarios to
improve water security in a world of
Improve analysis of impacts from
Reduce negative impacts on natural
Avoid inadvertent impacts on natural
ecosystems and communities
Some engineered solutions can have
significant negative impacts to natural
systems – and we are looking for ways
to prevent this in the planning stages -
before engineered solutions are
designed and implemented.
It is increasingly recognised that the thinking that is embedded in both current EBM and CCA practice is
to consider a holistic approach to support an optimal management response. In this regard, it is
acknowledged that ‘effective’ EBA should encompass a participatory process (Box 2) with a systems-
based view that considers all relevant drivers and responses to change, including, climate-driven change,
disaster risk response, climate variability, and broader long-term socio-economic change.
BOX 2: PARTICIPATION AND ENGAGEMENT
Participation and engagement are the cornerstones of effective EBA. There are two levels at which
participation/engagement can occur (i) within the implementing group; and (ii) the broader constituent group. The
implementing group incorporates organisations responsible and accountable for the project and those responsible
for activities that influence the project, for example, institutions that have a role in the management of
ecosystems. The constituent group includes stakeholders that have an interest in the project area. Drawing on
lessons from ecosystem-based management (EBM), successful progress towards an EBA will require engagement
from a broad base of people, to ensure reduction of sectoral barriers, to facilitate trust and information sharing
and to allow for high levels of understanding and vision for the project area.
Example categories of stakeholder groups to be engaged and their type of engagement, may include:
• Private business
• Research community
• Non-government organisations
• Community groups
Categories for engagement may include:
• Information provision
• Setting goals and objectives
• Monitoring and evaluation
11 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
How Do We Know If Investments In Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Are Effective?
Striving to develop a single definition of effective adaptation and a simple set of indicators to measure
effectiveness is not the answer (McGray, pers comm)
. Rather, a better way forward is to be rigourous in
addressing some aspects of the issue, while flexible in others. A critical area of required rigour is clarity
on what is meant by ‘adaptation’ within a range of different adaptive decision contexts. The next required
step is stringent analysis of what key elements within each of these contexts are considered ‘effective’.
Aligning the conceptual issues of assessing effective adaptation to a practical set of indicators that can
help ‘track’ on-ground initiatives is a challenge faced by all. The key challenge is practically defining
indicator measures that are applicable in a given context and also compatible with indicators that are
applicable in other adaptive decision contexts.
In the case of EBA, while the theoretical qualities or principles that underlie ‘effectiveness’ are well
defined (Table 2), there remains limited robust evaluation in practice. Although several ongoing initiatives
are attempting to address this question, the evidence base for existing EBA remains the subject of
ongoing analysis given the ad-hoc and generally reactive fashion in which M&E has been applied
Table 2: Principles of good-practice for EBA performance evaluation
Adopt a systems
EBA initiatives contribute to the maintenance and repair of ecosystems to enhance the
delivery of ecosystem services. Ecosystems are complex, interacting with social and
environmental systems across a range of scales. Consequently, performance
assessment must move beyond a consideration of the impacts of climate changes to
assess the range of drivers that will influence ecosystem service delivery.
A thorough M&E process will include variables that contain specific vulnerabilities to
climate variability and extreme events as well as the underlying causes of vulnerability.
This will support a deeper understanding of whether adaptation takes place, to what
extent and why, and the inter-relationship between the socioeconomic factors that lead
to vulnerability. M&E processes need to reflect thoroughness and embrace a wider
range of indicators, which facilitate the identification of maladaptative pathways.
(Villanueva 2011; Brooks et al 2011; UNEP 2011)
at the core of the
Identifying, recognising and understanding the values and interests of a diverse set of
stakeholders is critical. People’s perceptions of ecosystem contribution to livelihoods and
of risk and capacity should be at the core of initiative design, and in turn, performance
evaluation systems. This will provide insight on the social determinants of adaptation,
the extent to which these may constrain or enable adaptation, and evaluation can be
conducted cognisant of this context (Villanueva 2011).
Adopt a flexible and
M&E systems must be flexible in order to support learning and allow new insights to be
integrated as they emerge. EBA (and adaptation more generally) should adopt
approaches that can be tailored to changing circumstances through a system that allows
for a diversity of answers to a single question, redundancy in adaptation technologies
(several different parallel efforts toward a similar goal), and a willingness to change
focus or pathways mid-stream. Monitoring and reporting structures must be designed to
accommodate multiple pathways to success.
Process-based indicators allow the introduction of new information and activities to
shape the course of adaptation at later stages, following incremental reviews. An
adaptive M&E process evolves as understanding of the situation improves and searches
for innovative strategies that will contribute to short- and long-term goals.
While M&E can play a critical role in learning from successful pathways towards
adaptation, it can also be a critical tool for identifying mal-adaptative pathways. There is
therefore a need for M&E to include a basket of indicators that move beyond risk and
exposure to, for example, livelihood and access to resources (Villanueva 2011; WRI
2011; Agardy et al 2011; UNEP/EPA 2006).
Objectives and goals must be clear and transparent. General goals such as ‘biodiversity
Presentation during the Development and Climate Days held at the margins of UNFCCC COP 17.
Most notably assessed through the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.
12 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
conservation’, ‘fisheries sustainability’, and ‘hazard reduction’ are not specific enough.
More careful and precise definition of the outcomes that a given generation of a
programme is working to achieve is required (UNEP/EPA 2006; TNC 2006). Goals
should be specific to your context – what does a ‘resilient’ system, or ‘sustainable
livelihoods’ look like in your context? How would you know if you saw it? By establishing
clear gaols, the selection of indicators to monitor those goals is a more straightforward
EBA takes place against a backdrop of evolving climate hazards, which may become
more frequent, severe and unpredictable. From an M&E perspective, baseline
information needs to include climate variability and hazards. However, hazards are
always changing in the light of new climatic conditions – so M&E will take place against
a ‘moving target’. Key implications are: i) climate risk must be managed and assessed
against changing hazard profiles; ii) climate data is indispensable in setting the context
of a project/ policy and planning, and; iii) uncertainty about climate data means that
adaptation will take place in highly uncertain scenarios.
Indicators and targets need to be set within a framework that considers changes over
time. The ability to deal with uncertainty and the dynamics of the changing environment
becomes a key component of the M&E process (Villanueva 2011; Brooks et al 2011;
Ollsen et al 2009; UNEP/EPA 2006)
Account for factors that affect long-term changes, even if they cannot be definitively
measured in a given implementation period. Results-based management (RBM) is one
approach that can be adopted to assess implementation efforts and the results of those
efforts (Refer to Annex C2 for details on log frames and results-based management).
Stakeholder participation beyond data gathering strengthens people’s capacity to take
action and promote change. Participatory monitoring and evaluation enables people to
reflect on past experience, examine present realities, revisit objectives, and define future
strategies, by recognising different needs of stakeholders and negotiating their claims
A participatory M&E process can support flexibility and adaptability to local context and
address the needs and concerns of all stakeholders (Villanueva 2011).
The principles are similar to those for monitoring and evaluation of broader adaptation projects and
programmes, yet the systems perspective and long-term evaluation is a particular focus embedded in
GOOD PRACTICE IN ADAPTATION PROJECT DESIGN
The approach to the guidance provided here has been framed to enable consideration of EBA against a suite of
alternatives, and comes with an acknowledgement that EBA may not represent the appropriate adaptation
solution for all contexts.
As such, useful guidance for EBA decision-making should consider an evidence base for decision
making as a key concept when considering the potential for future implementation of EBA as a means to
address the inevitable impacts of a changing climate. That is, qualification of the effectiveness of EBA as
a discrete approach and provision of evidence that EBA is the most appropriate approach to apply in a
given context is considered at the heart of the framework.
The guidance is built around an embedded M&E framework that is both adaptive and flexible to inform the
process of selection, design and implementation of initiatives selected with an EBA lens. The approach
advocates pro-active, framing, M&E guidance that acts to shape the key questions to be addressed in the
project design phase and through the life-cycle of the EBA initiative (Figure 4 & Figure 5).
13 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
The overriding principles of EBA that are particularly pertinent for the effective evaluation of ecosystem-
based adaptation interventions include:
• Adopt a systems perspective.
• Include perceptions at the core of the evaluation framework.
• Adopt a flexible and adaptive approach to evaluation.
• Establish clear program goals and objectives.
• Monitor against moving baselines.
• Focus beyond outputs to outcomes – results based management at a range of scales.
• Adopt a participatory approach.
The principles align to those cited in the climate change adaptation and ecosystem management
literature. The interrelationships between the principles in the design and implementation of EBA
interventions are presented in Figure 4. A brief description of each is provided below.
Founded on perceptions
Vulnerability is a subjective concept – vulnerability of whom to what
(and when) must be clearly established and articulated. Thus
perceptions of vulnerable populations regarding risk and capacity
should be at the core of any program focused on addressing
vulnerability to climate change. Linking to the principle of a
Participatory Approach, EBA programs should be designed with an
inherent understanding of local perceptions on capability and risk
related to a changing climate (Villanueva 2011).
Ensures interventions are acceptable and legitimate.
Adopt a systems perspective
Incorporate underlying causes of vulnerability.
Variables in the M&E framework should capture both climate and
Adopt a flexible and adaptive
approach to evaluation
Support iterative and learning based evaluation.
Allow for change as understanding improves.
Willingness to change should be promoted.
Include formative and summative evaluation. Formative evaluation
occurs during project implementation and is critical in ensuring a
flexible and adaptive approach to project implementation.
Summative evaluation predominately occurs at the end of the
project and enables reflection on the achievements of the
intervention in its totality. The outputs of summative evaluation can
inform the development of subsequent interventions (UKCIP 2011).
Establish clear program goals
Unclear terminology is a key barrier to evaluation. It is vital to
specify what effective adaptation looks like in context X, i.e. what
would a ‘resilient’ community, ‘enhanced livelihoods’, or ‘conserved
biodiversity’ look like in context X?
Without clear objectives it is difficult to monitor progress as
indicators may be differentially interpreted
Monitor against moving
EBA initiatives aim to achieve long-term outcomes and therefore
must assess change against moving baselines.
Adopt a participatory approach
Engage a broad range stakeholders from the outset to deliver an
equitable, transparent and endorsed adaptive approach.
14 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
Figure 4: Principles for effective evaluation
It is clear that simply undertaking monitoring and evaluation activities within an EBA context in a reactive
fashion at the conclusion of the project cycle will not facilitate the reflexive, tiered, and adaptive approach
advocated by researchers and practitioners alike. Rather, a cohesive, well informed, objective driven
M&E framework should inform the project design phase, be embedded within the project cycle and
include the identification of monitoring and evaluation in the later stages of project implementation (Figure
Figure 5: A framework for monitoring and evaluation guiding each stage of the project cycle to support
design, selection and implementation of effective ecosystems based adaptation
Overall, the approach to formulating the guidance was based on a consideration of the barriers identified
with implementation of ‘effective’ adaptation initiatives and their associated evaluation. Key components
of the guidance were then constructed in a manner that seeks to address these barriers as far as
possible (Table 3).
15 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
Table 3: Key Characteristics of the Guidance Addressing Identified Barriers Advocating ‘Good Practice’ for EBA and its Evaluation
Approach to Guidance Formulation
Systems view of
Guidance formulated under the
assumption that good adaptation
considers all available options in a holistic
manner from a systems perspective.
Also, explicit acknowledgement that EBA
In keeping with these assumptions, a multi-scalar approach to design, select and implement EBA
interventions is presented. A systems perspective ensures a focus on both climate and non-
climate drivers of vulnerability in issue identification and in the establishment of variables to
monitor and evaluate.
Prior to detailed project design, a focused context setting exercise is undertaken by guidance
users to ensure they are making decisions with an awareness of their natural, governance, socio-
economic and cultural systems.
Targeted at the
Key users would include those responsible
for project design, monitoring and
evaluation in adaptation and DRR
Guidance will be utilised within conscious design activity – be that for a specific EBA
project/programme, or for other activities within which EBA may be considered as part of an
integrated adaptive response.
Targeted advice based on differential
Users of the guidance will be supplied with a series of target questions that allow them to reflect
on their capacity to make decisions at discrete points within the process.
An inclusive and participatory approach
should be at the heart of any EBA
Endorses a participatory approach to establish current levels of vulnerability drawing on local risk
perception and perceptions of adaptive capacity; based on an understanding that perceptions
should be at the core of the framework.
Promote stakeholder engagement at the outset of programme design - both in defining
objectives, clarifying terms, and setting capacity and risk baselines. Facilitates an equitable
Focus on maintaining and/or enhancing
ecosystem services due to their integral
role in contributing to system resilience
and human wellbeing
Users of the guidance are guided through a process of identifying and appreciating the key
service delivery roles played by their ecosystems to inform ‘problem definition’ and ultimately
selection of the most appropriate treatment options to ensure systems resilience.
Goals and objectives are clearly defined
Set clear objectives by defining terms as they apply in the local context in a participatory manner.
Built around an
Formative evaluation supports an adaptive
management approach, while summative
evaluation enables reporting against
objectives and collection of lessons learnt
Integrates activities that contribute to M&E framework design in each stage of programme
design, following standard Programme Design and Evaluation principles.
Reflexive framework designed to:
Reflect and adapt.
Develop evidence of EBA
Promotes a focus of evaluation that moves beyond measuring performance against objectives (to
Promotes long-term adaptive management by considering sustainability of evaluation post
completion of the initiative.
16 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Guidance: Moving from Principles to Practice
Component ‘A’: Setting the Adaptive Context
17 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
18 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Selection, design and implementation of an EBA intervention are highly dependent on context. In
particular, the scales at which a project is being implemented (time/money/resources) and the ecosystem
within which it is being implemented are important.
To inform robust decision-making with respect to EBA project design it is important to have a clear
understanding of the ‘context’ in which the project is being undertaken. The key elements that constitute
this project context are explored within Component ‘A’ of this guidance through a series of Focus
Questions that consider:
The vulnerability of the area under consideration (may be national, regional, local);
Potential demonstration sites for proposed EBA initiatives;
The availability of information on natural, socio-economic and governance systems;
The extent to which the climate change impacts and issues that the area may face in the future
are understood (understanding the problem); and
The definition of clear, context-specific goals for adaptation.
The context for your intervention is also set based on a consideration of normal project design criteria,
such as available resources (financial, human and technological) and project timeframe. Whilst not
outlined as Focus Questions, project resourcing will inform design as you progress through each
component of the guidance.
COMPONENT ‘A’ FOCUS QUESTIONS
1. Do you have predetermined demonstration sites?
2. Do you have information on the systems characteristics and ecosystems services for your proposed
3. Do you have a clearly defined problem statement?
4. Do you have clearly defined adaptation goals?
Question A1: Do you have predetermined demonstration sites?
Adaptation interventions are implemented in areas identified as particularly vulnerable to the impacts of
climate change. These sites, commonly termed ‘demonstration sites’, provide a good practice location for
implementing ecosystem-based adaptation interventions. Demonstration sites can be selected on the
basis of defined criteria either as prescribed by a project donor or through consensus with stakeholders.
IF YES, go to QUESTION A2
If you have selected sites there is an assumption that you have the necessary understanding of your
IF NO: Do you understand your Vulnerability? (BOX 3)
If you understand your vulnerability …..: Agree on criteria to select demonstration sites (consult with stakeholders
and consider donor protocol ) See BOX 4 for details
If you do not understand your vulnerability ….. Collate information to allow you to determine your vulnerable
sectors & locations. You need to establish what your priority climate change impacts are likely to be and where to
allow you to subsequently evaluate potential demonstration sites based on agreed criteria.
See ANNEX A1 & A2 for details:
ANNEX A1 provides a summary of key tools, toolkits and additional resources to help users define their ‘problem’
through a risk screening approach
ANNEX A2 provides examples of the application of climate risk screening tools after Traerup and Olhoff, (2011)
19 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
BOX 3: ASPECTS TO CONSIDER WHEN IDENTIFYING POTENTIALLY VULNERABLE
1. How exposed is the area to the influence of climate change?
2. How sensitive is the area to the influence of climate change?
3. What is the capacity of the system to manage the impacts of concern?
Exposure is defined as ‘degree of climate stress upon a particular unit analysis; it may be represented as either
long-term changes in climate conditions, or by changes in climate variability, including the magnitude and
frequency of extreme events’ (IPCC, 2001)
Sensitivity is the degree to which a system will be affected by, or responsive to climate stimuli (Smith et al., 2001).
Sensitivity is basically the biophysical effect of climate change; but sensitivity can be altered by socio-economic
changes. For example, new crop varieties could be either more or less sensitive to climate change.
Adaptive capacity refers to the potential or capability of a system to adjust to climate change, including climate
variability and extremes, so as to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope
with consequences (Smit and Pilifosova, 2001). As the name suggests, adaptive capacity is the capability of a
system to adapt to impacts of climate change.
Conceptual diagram showing the interrelation between climate change exposure, sensitivity, adaptive capacity,
vulnerability and adaptation
20 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
BOX 4: SITE SELECTION SCREENING QUESTIONS
Does the site have the following attributes?
1. Highly vulnerable to climate change
2. Strong community leadership and social networks
3. Willingness of communities/demand by communities to try new adaptation approaches
4. Existing capacity development or investments which a potential adaptation initiative could be
5. Return on investment likely to be greatest
6. Accessibility in light of the need for ongoing monitoring and evaluation
Question A2: Do you have information on the environmental, socio-economic and
governance systems in your area of interest as well as an understanding of the
services provided by existing ecosystems?
‘Systems’ refer to the environmental, socio-economic, governance and institutional systems in your
specific project context. Information on the characteristics of your system may include elements such as
livelihood types, items of significant biodiversity, management structures in place (plans, regulations,
policies) and cultural elements. A ‘system wide’ understanding should be sought, with an appreciation of
the relationship between system components. If adopting EBA, there should be a particular focus on the
role ecosystems and their associated services play in your context.
Collate and reflect on this information to allow you to identify and prioritise services provided by your ecosystem
and inform definition of your over-riding Problem
Refer to ANNEX A3, A4, A5 for details:
ANNEX A3 provides an ecosystems services ‘checklist
ANNEX A4 provides a list of tools and resources for establishing the value of ecosystem services
ANNEX A5 provides selected resources on identifying impacts to ecosystems
Then proceed to QUESTION A3
Prior to using the resource material in the aforementioned annexes you should consider the following questions:
Will a site appreciation assessment be carried out as a forerunner to your project?
A site appreciation assessment is undertaken to collect information on the characteristics of your system.
Yes - a site appreciation assessment will be carried out:
Agree on key elements of interest/relevance for your demonstration site and select appropriate tool/toolkit to
facilitate context specific site appreciation.
Refer to BOX 5 for details.
No - if a site appreciation assessment will not be carried out:
Source additional funding to carry out site appreciation OR, as a minimum requirement, consult with relevant
stakeholders, potentially through a workshopping process, to agree on the key elements that are important to
consider for your demonstration site. Importantly, an awareness of the ecosystems within your project area and
an appreciation of the services that they provide are required.
21 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
BOX 5: SITE SPECIFIC ATTRIBUTES YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER
e.g. ecosystem identification/valuation/impact assessment; habitat identification, status and condition.
SOCIOECONOMIC & CULTURAL SYSTEMS:
e.g. Stakeholder identification; capacity assessment; livelihood analysis.
e.g. Institutions engaged in the management of natural systems; current controls; institutional analysis.
Question A3: Do you have a clearly defined problem statement?
A problem statement describes the primary issue or concern that will be addressed through your initiative.
Importantly, your problem statement must be couched within an understanding of the role of ecosystems
services as elucidated through the guidance under Question A2 above, if EBA is being considered to
treat identified climate change impacts.
Answering ‘YES’ to Question A3 indicates that you understand your current issues, your likely future climate
change risks and the potential impact that these may have on the delivery of ecosystem services
Go to QUESTION A4
Do you understand your existing issues, projections for changes in climate and likely impacts on the delivery of
services within your ecosystem?
Use this information to formulate a ‘theory of change’ to inform elucidation of a clearly defined, context-specific,
Refer to BOX 6 for details
Carry out a screening assessment to identify and prioritise existing issues in the context of the ‘systems’
characteristics gathered through Question 3. Establish the likely direction of change in key climate variables for
your area of interest and assess how these changes will impact the delivery of ecosystems services (ANNEX A5).
Use this information to formulate the ‘theory of change’ referred to in BOX 6.
BOX 6: FORMULATING A THEORY OF CHANGE
Consider the following focus questions:
1. What are your existing issues?
2. What are the relevant projections for changes in climate and socioeconomic situation?
3. How will the projected changes impact your area of interest?
4. What will this mean for the delivery of ecosystem services in your context?
22 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Question A4: Do you have clearly defined adaptation goals?
Adaptation goals refer to the intended outcomes of the adaptation intervention, both during the lifetime of
the initiative and in the future (i.e. longer term adaptation goal). Importantly, these adaptation goals
should be cognizant of ecosystem service delivery for your area of interest.
You understand the primary problems at your intervention site from a systems perspective and have formulated
context-specific adaptation goals and objectives to inform selection of adaptation options through Component ‘B’
Go to COMPONENT ‘B’
Consider the following questions:
What is your problem statement?
What would your preferred future look like?
How would you get there?
How would you know if you had achieved your desired results?
For guidance on answering these questions refer to BOX 7.
BOX 7: GUIDANCE ON DEFINING PREFERRED FUTURES AND CONTEXT-SPECIFIC
1. What would your preferred future look like?
Describe the characteristics of your ideal future system, including social, cultural, environmental and
ecosystem specific characteristics
2. How can you get there?
Consider all of the activities that would need to take place to ensure that the system transitioned to this
new future. Some of the activities will be outside the control of your intervention. However, make sure
all activities are recorded. You can then be clear later in the project design how your activities contribute
to this future and what is beyond the scope of your project.
3. How would you know if your system had transitioned to the new desired state, what would it look like?
Work with stakeholders to describe ‘what success looks like’. Refer back to your preferred future and
describe what this looks like in your context. For example, if you noted that your future system would
have resilient livelihoods, explain what a resilient livelihood looks like in your context – e.g. households
have tin roofs.
4. What are the thresholds for unacceptable change?
Discuss the expected system changes based on socio-economic and climate projections and the
associated impacts. Through a collaborative process, work with stakeholders to define the unacceptable
changes in your system.
The activities outlined through Component ‘A’ were designed to guide the user through an exploration of
their adaptation context. Users were asked to consider their ecosystems and the services that they
provide to inform development of a problem statement. By defining the problem that an adaptation
intervention may wish to address through an ecosystem ‘lens’ it is anticipated that the user will be in a
position to assess EBA options on a ‘level playing field’ with traditional adaptation technologies
(addressed through Component ‘B’).
23 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Component ‘B’: Selecting Appropriate Options
24 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
25 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
The guidance provided through Component ‘B’ informs selection of appropriate interventions to suit your
discrete adaptation context. A summary of resources that may assist the user in completing an
adaptation options analysis is provided in Annex B1. An indicative range of available adaptation options
are outlined and aligned to discrete ecosystem service categories in Annex B2 with information on the
advantages and disadvantages of different approaches provided where possible. Annex B3 provides the
user with examples of criteria and scales to use in the evaluation of discrete adaptation alternatives to
allow selection of prioritised, appropriate options that align to identified adaptation goals and objectives.
The overall focus of Component ‘B’ is on putting adaptation options in place. While users may enter the
guidance here (i.e. do not need to complete the activities within Component ‘A’) you must have access to
equivalent outputs from Component ‘A’ (See Table 1 and Summary on p21 for details). Essentially, the
prerequisite for Component ‘B’ is an awareness of your problems and an outline of goals for adaptation
within your context. Importantly, this must be cognisant of the service delivery role of ecosystems in your
area of interest if an EBA lens is to be applied through the adaptation options analysis.
The adaptation options analysis outlined here is built upon a number of Focus Questions that consider:
The identification of context-appropriate interventions;
Evaluation of the applicability of specific interventions to address adaptation goals; and
Prioritisation of options for further consideration by key stakeholders.
The Focus Questions to be considered by the user in Component ‘B’ are designed to enable
comparisons between the conventional adaptation options (i.e. typically delivering a smaller range of
services that are easier to quantify) with EBA options (i.e. deliver a greater range of options that are more
difficult to quantify).
In considering the guidance in Component ‘B’ the user should keep in mind that a ‘pure’ EBA option may
not be deemed the most appropriate or the only adaptation option for a given context. However, because
the decision making process has been conducted from a ecosystem services perspective from the outset
(through situation analysis, problem definition and adaptation goal setting) it is anticipated that ecosystem
resilience remain at the heart of the adaptation initiative as the user moves from Component ‘B’ to ‘C’ to
inform programme design.
COMPONENT ‘B’ FOCUS QUESTIONS
1. Do you have a preferred ‘shortlist’ of adaptation measures for your context?
2. Have you considered how adaptation measures translate to discrete options in your context?
3. Do you have pre-defined evaluation criteria to apply to your adaptation options?
Question B1: Do you have a preferred shortlist of adaptation measures for your
A shortlist of adaptation measures refers to a select list of adaptation technologies that may be applied in
your intervention to treat the identified problem and achieve your stated goals. The adaptation
technologies may include EBA technologies and ‘traditional’ adaptation technologies. For example, refer
to ANNEX B2.
Review these measures and align to your stated adaptation goals within your context to ensure the measures will
contribute to achieving the stated adaptation goals
Go to QUESTION B2
26 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Identify the range of potentially appropriate measures to treat your stated problem and achieve your context
specific adaptation goals:
Review measures aligned to ecosystem services (ANNEX B2)
Consider priority ecosystem services in your system to inform selection of the range of potentially
applicable treatment alternatives (Refer to ANNEX A3)
Select measures that are deemed potentially appropriate to treat the identified problems and meet
specified objectives (ANNEX B3)
Question B2: Have you considered how measures will be implemented on the
Question B2 asks if you know how the adaptation measures translate into implementable actions in your
context (see below for example).
Explicit options are aligned to impacts/adaptation goals and objectives
Proceed to QUESTION B3
Consider a checklist to allow you assess if you have internal capacity to specify your adaptation options or if you
require external advice from a relevant expert
Example: Mangrove Planting
Q: Do you know the most appropriate species for your area of consideration?
Q: Are you aware of the optimal energy setting, density of planting, ongoing care requirements?
Q: Do you have local knowledge and/or stakeholder capacity to inform these questions?
If you can answer YES to these questions then it is likely that you have the capacity to make an informed decision
with respect to discrete options to be employed in your context. If you answer NO to any of the above questions,
it is likely that you require the input of an external expert to assist in translating generic measures to operational
actions in your area of consideration.
Question B3: Do you have predefined evaluation criteria to apply to your
Use the pre-defined criteria to determine what options are most suitable in your context and prioritise those that
you will potentially implement in your adaptation initiative (See ANNEX B3 for an example)
Then proceed to Component C
Consider the range of criteria to undertake adaptation options analysis (ANNEX B3)
Revisit your adaptation goals to inform selection of most appropriate assessment criteria
Engage in an inclusive, collaborative, and stakeholder-driven process to select assessment criteria and undertake
Conduct evaluation in the context of the problems observed in your specific context, particularly those concerning
land use and livelihoods to inform selection of the most appropriate options for the intervention site
27 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
On completion of the activities outlined through Component ‘B’ it is anticipated that the user will have
selected prioritised, appropriate adaptation options for their project context. The user is guided through
this decision-making process with a particular consideration of adaptation options aligned to ecosystem
service delivery areas. By considering the benefits and limitations associated with each approach, in the
context of their discrete ‘problem statement’ (as outlined in Component ‘A’) the user should have an
appropriate set of options to implement to achieve their adaption goals. It is recognised that these
options may be explicitly EBA (e.g. planting mangroves) but may also encompass ‘hard’ technologies
(e.g. building a sea wall to ‘hold the line’ and facilitate ‘soft’ options within a shoreline buffer).
28 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
PAGE LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK
29 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Component ‘C’: Design for Change
30 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
31 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Design for change involves specifying how the selected adaptation options will be implemented, why they
will achieve the adaptation objectives, and developing a monitoring and evaluation plan to evaluate
performance during implementation. EBA initiatives aim to contribute to short-term development priorities
and longer-term adaptation objectives by enhancing or maintaining ecosystem services. The objective of
Design for Change is to clearly demonstrate:
How the selected adaptation options will contribute to achievement of objectives; and
The activities that will be undertaken during implementation to reflect on performance and make
adaptive change, as required.
Design for Change is an activity undertaken in all adaptation initiatives – and is not unique to ecosystem-
based adaptation. Many users may have experience in designing adaptation initiatives and monitoring
and evaluation frameworks for performance assessment. This guide does not provide a step-wise
approach to initiative design and/or development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks – such
support is readily available elsewhere (refer to ANNEX C1 and C2 for guidance on initiative design, C1,
and, more specifically, log frame development, C2). The purpose here is to draw attention to the aspects
that need to be considered to deliver outputs that make the case for EBA, within the standard project
cycle approach to initiative design and implementation.
Importantly, the guidance is not only applicable for EBA options. The adaptation measures selected in
Component B were identified and evaluated applying ecosystem-based lens. Consequently, all options,
regardless of whether a traditional adaptation option or an EBA option, are contributing to adaptation
goals that are cognisant ecosystem services. Therefore, they each contribute to the EBA initiative and
therefore are addressed within Component ‘C’.
Component ‘C’ is structured as a list of questions that should be answered to deliver an EBA initiative
that that is Designed for Change. In some cases, the questions link to material that may help answer the
questions. In other cases, the questions are ‘thought-starters’ for the considerations relevant to EBA
IS THERE A DONOR PROFORMA (MANUAL) FOR INITIATIVE DESIGN?
Many adaptation projects and programmes receive financial support from government, multi-lateral and/or bi-
lateral agencies. These agencies provide guidance on project design, monitoring and evaluation. The guidance
presented here supplements and complements these resources by providing EBA-specific guidance, as
appropriate. It is not a stand-alone guide to project design, implementation, or monitoring and evaluation.
Consequently, you should refer to your project sponsor’s proforma for full details on initiative design.
If your initiative is not funded by a donor agency that provides guidance on project formulation, design and/or
approaches to monitor and evaluate; you can apply donor guidelines as a reference for good practice approaches.
Links to a select number of donor guidelines are presented in ANNEX C1. The adaptation landscape is rapidly
evolving, and approaches and guidelines for good practice initiative design, implementation and evaluation are
also rapidly changing. The examples provided in ANNEX C1 provide a snapshot of currently available guidance. It is
important to keep abreast of updates, as they are made available.
DESIGNING FOR CHANGE IN AN EBA INITATIVE
EBA strives to increase the resilience of social and ecological systems by enhancing and/or maintaining
the delivery of ecosystem services. Consequently, EBA initiatives should meet both short-term
development objectives and longer-term adaptation objectives.
Determining the contribution of different activities in an initiative to longer-term resilience and to shorter-
term development objectives is an important target for EBA initiatives. These dual objectives should
inform initiative design, review and evaluation.
32 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
HOW CAN PERFORMANCE IN MEETING THE DUAL OBJECTIVES
OF EBA INITIATIVES BE DEMONSTRATED?
Objective 1: Accountability and Transparency
The objective is to evaluate project performance to ensure accountability and transparency that can be
reported to project partners and other stakeholders, whilst also collecting an evidence base for EBA
effectiveness – to promote sustained investment in EBA activities and ensure achievement of long-term
Have you demonstrated the links between project activities, outputs, and
outcomes – with a focus on anticipated outcomes for ecosystem services?
See Linking Activities to
Are assumptions clearly specified?
Have barriers to implementation and other potential risks been identified and
Have you considered what maladaptive outcomes may result from programme
Have you defined indicators to evaluate both positive and negative
Do the indicators you selected cover both vulnerability and broader
See Ecosystem Based
Has data collection for monitoring and evaluation been linked to project
What are the baselines? (BOX 5)
What indicators will be used to measure performance?
Have approaches to evaluating costs and benefits been considered?
Refer to BOX 10 & See
Ecosystem Based Indicators
Has the role of stakeholders in data collection, review and performance
assessment been outlined?
Refer to BOX 11
Have you scheduled regular performance assessments meetings?
Refer to BOX 12
Does your initiative meet the accountability and transparency checklist?
Refer to BOX 13
33 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Linking Activities to Outcomes
This is a critical stage of initiative design. Often referred to
as ‘programme logic’ development, it involves defining (i)
the activities that will be undertaken, (ii) the outputs that
will come from those activities; (ii) how the outputs will
contribute to the intended outcomes; and (iv) the long-term
impact of the intervention.
There are a number guides for developing programme
logic or results-based management (refer to Annex C2).
Some considerations for an EBA initiative include:
Link ecosystem-based adaptation options to outcomes with a focus on contribution to the
delivery of ecosystem services. How will the selected measure maintain or improve the delivery
of ecosystem services in the immediate, short and long-term? Consider your context; the
rationale for selecting an EBA option and the expected outcomes that will be delivered in your
context should be specified.
Specify the assumptions that have been made in relation to the link between option
implementation and the delivery of ecosystem services. Assumptions may include process-
response relationships or patterns of human behaviour and use.
Consider opportunities for adaptive implementation. Are some options more applicable to
achieving short-term objectives? Can one option replace another if the initial option, which may
now appear to be lower cost and higher return, is ineffective? Developing a staged plan for
implementation of EBA options and recording the assumptions that inform plan design is critical
to support adaptive implementation in later stages of the initiative (refer to Component D).
Consider thresholds for action. Should all identified options be implemented immediately, or
can some be implemented when future changes in the social or natural environment have been
observed. Defining thresholds for change will inform implementation.
WHAT IS THE EXPECTED CONTRIBUTION OF EBA MEASURES TO INITIATIVE
In ecosystem-based adaptation initiatives a number of adaptive actions are undertaken, from active management
measures (for example in the coastal zone, sediment deposition and planting mangroves) to capacity building
actions such as training and community awareness campaigns. The ecosystem-based adaptation measures are
implemented to achieve specified outcomes (i.e. increase buffering/or regulatory function of the ecosystem).
When designing the initiative, it is important to clarify the expected contribution of different initiative actions to
achievement of outcomes (see figure below for example). This way, relative contributions can be assessed during
implementation, to provide an evidence base for EBA effectiveness and to guide adaptive action.
NEED AN EXPERT?
Some initiative designers may like to seek the
support of a monitoring and evaluation
expert. While the activity can be completed
without such expertise, engaging an M&E
expert at the outset of initiative design will
ensure a robust framework for performance
evaluation during intervention
34 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Indicators facilitate performance assessment. There are a number of guidance manuals that support the
selection of indicators to facilitate assessment of EBA (refer to Annex C3). When selecting indicators, the
following question should be considered:
• How will data availability change during the
period of implementing the intervention and
• What existing metrics are available and what
data, collected for other purposes, could be
applied in your assessment?
• Can local ecological knowledge inform the
selection of indicators?
Where possible, use ‘open’ questions and
participatory techniques that allow participants to
explain what they think worked well (or not) and why.
Further, it is important to ensure that indicators are aligned to aspect of the intervention, from activities to
outputs and outcomes (Spearman and McGray 2011). This will ensure that performance can be
assessed across the results-based chain.
A FRAMEWORK FOR INDICATOR SELECTION
Ecosystem-based adaptation interventions aim to enhance the delivery of ecosystem services. Sparks et al (2012)
proposed a four-point framework to assess change in biodiversity, which could guide the selection of indicators to
evaluate the effectiveness of EBA interventions. Indicators reflecting four focal areas may be incorporated:
Responses: Indicators measuring the implementation of policies or actions to prevent or reduce
Pressures: Indicators monitoring the extent and intensity of the causes of biodiversity loss that responses
aim to address
State: indicators analysing the condition and status of aspects of biodiversity
Benefits: indicators quantifying the benefits that humans derive from biodiversity
Monitoring indicators across each element will provide a greater understanding of performance and facilitate
adaptive management, with actions focussed on the identified areas of concern
A NOTE ON INDICATOR SELECTION
There are no ‘best’ indicators that enable evaluation of the effectiveness of ecosystem-based adaptation
interventions. The best indicators are those that most accurately monitor change in your context. Therefore, a
good approach to indicator selection is via discussion with a broad range of stakeholders, including ecosystem
management experts and local community members. With this in mind, the examples presented in ANNEX C3 are
just that, examples. And are not appropriate in all contexts. Consider what is relevant for your system and be open
to changing indicators if the ones originally selected do not enable assessment of change as anticipated.
WHAT ARE INDICATORS?
Indicators are quantitative or qualitative
statements or measured parameters that can be
used to describe existing situations and measure
changes or trends over time. Indicators simplify
complex phenomena so that communication of
information is enabled or enhanced. They are
powerful tools in the feedback loop to an action
plan as an early warning signal about an emerging
35 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
COST BENEFIT OF ECOSYSTEM-BASED ADAPTATION
Ecosystem-based adaptation delivers co-benefits. However, the evidence base that demonstrates contribution to
co-benefits is weak. By considering the need for such data at the outset of an intervention, the evaluation
framework can be structured to collect relevant information. Collecting data on the cost benefit of EBA
approaches in your initiative will provide the evidence base for sustained investment. Therefore, it is important to
consider how the cost-benefits of ecosystem-based adaption technologies will be evaluated during the life of the
intervention and beyond. This could be through the use of qualitative or quantitative indices.
For further guidance see Annex A2, which lists a number of tools and resources for valuing ecosystem services.
BOX 8: ASSUMPTIONS
Specify the assumptions that have been made in relation to the link between option implementation and the
delivery of ecosystem services. Assumptions may include process-response relationships or patterns of human
behaviour and use. The resources presented in ANNEX C2 provide further guidance on defining assumptions.
BOX 9: BARRIERS TO IMPLEMENTATION
Drawing on an understanding of your context, barriers to implementing the intervention should be explored.
Barriers can be broken into two categories:
Systemic: (i) institutional, (ii) policy (iii) behavioural; and (ii) financial; and
Discrete (i) technological and (ii) information.
GEF/UNDP (2011) suggest that such barriers may be removed via:
Support to key sectoral governance entities to develop and strengthen policies, institutions and knowledge for
integrated ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation based on:
Development, dissemination and application of improved climate change risk information relevant to a
broad range of end users
Strengthened institutions across sectors and at different levels in conjunction with harmonised
institutional mandates to coordinate and jointly formulate and implement climate change policy
Establishment of policy development and review mechanisms to iteratively integrate ecosystem-based
approaches to manage climate change risk into relevant policies, strategies and plans
Mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation according to broader development frameworks and sectoral
Increased knowledge and understanding of climate variability and change- induced threat at the country
level and in vulnerable areas
Strengthened awareness and ownership of adaptation and climate risk reduction processes at the local
Enhancement of enabling environment and successful demonstration and deployment of relevant
adaptation technologies to facilitate technology transfer
Use of the full range of public and private financing mechanisms by ministries of finance and national and
subnational planning bodies to support ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation that includes:
Pro-poor public sector budgeting adjusted to incorporate climate change risk and adaptation
Design and application of climate change risk finance mechanisms
Implementation of incentive structures by ministries of finance and national and subnational planning bodies
designed to effect behavioral adjustments by the public and private sectors. Examples include:
Regulatory and fiscal incentive structures adjusted/expanded in relevant institutions, including key
sectoral ministries and subnational governing bodies, to stimulate climate change risk reduction by the
private sector and households
36 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Social safety nets enhanced to support vulnerable groups, especially women, impacted by climate change
BOX 10: BASELINES
Adaptation interventions aim to deliver change in social and natural systems. To determine if changes have
occurred it is vital to understand the current situation, referred to as baseline, so that deviations from the current
situation can be tracked. A number of questions should be considered when defining baselines:
• Will your baselines provide a clear picture of both climate and non-climate vulnerabilities and impacts?
• How will data availability change during the period of implementing the intervention and beyond?
• Will your defined baselines help you make better decisions during and after the intervention?
• How will your baselines change over time, and how can progress be monitored against a moving
Dynamic Monitoring and Moving Baselines
EBA activities aim to deliver long-term change and therefore it is important to incorporate changes in future
climate in the development of baselines, intermediate milestones and final targets (Lamhauge 2011). EBA will take
place in the context of changing climate hazards. From an M&E perspective, baseline information needs to include
climate variability and hazards. However, hazards are always changing in the light of new climatic conditions – so
that M&E will take place against a ‘moving target’. Key implications are: i) EBA must be assessed against changing
hazard profiles; ii) climate data is indispensable in setting the context of a project/ policy and planning, and; iii)
uncertainty about climate data means that EBA will take place in highly uncertain scenarios (Villanueva 2011).
Indicators and targets should be set within a framework that considers change overtime. Tracking climate data
should be a key part EBA M&E. The ability to deal with uncertainty and the dynamics of the changing environment
is a key component of the M&E process for strategies focused on reducing long-term climate risks (Villanueva
2011; Brooks et al 2011).
BOX 11: PARTICIPATION
Stakeholders from a range of scales (e.g. community members, managers and government) should be engaged in
initiative design. All stakeholders should be clear on the intended activities of the initiative and the expected
outcomes to be achieved. This will ensure greater collaboration, ownership and participation throughout the
intervention. EBA involves adapting with ecosystems to deliver services that support human well-being –
therefore, engagement is critical to communicate how the programme will improve well-being and the role of
stakeholders in ensuring its success. There are a number of specific guides for developing participatory approaches
to adaptation developed by NGOs and development agencies (See Annex A1 & A2) that provide useful methods
and tools for participation.
BOX 12: REVIEW AND REFLECTION
Performance assessment is an opportunity for the project team to discuss ‘what is working and what isn’t’.
Reflection is the key message. It is not a stringent review of performance against indicators and objectives
(although such reviews remain important). It is a chance for open dialogue between project members and broader
stakeholders on the progress of the intervention. EBA is implemented within evolving social and ecological
environments and as such, performance must be considered within a changing system. Broad engagement during
reflection sessions will contribute to a shared view on progress and the development of strategies to build on what
is working, or to modify and adapt what isn’t working.
37 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Things to consider in planning for performance assessment:
• Who will be involved in reflection sessions?
• How often will they be held?
• How will the discussions be recorded?
• How will the outputs of the discussions feedback into programme design and formal reporting processes?
To answer the final question, there is the need to collaborate with funding partners to outline the mechanisms for
adaptive implementation of the initiative. The following questions should be answered:
How flexible is your initiative? What changes can be made?
Who must be consulted to implement change and how can you ensure transparency in process?
CASE STUDY – PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK FOR EBA IN RWANDA
The Republic of Rwanda was a beneficiary of two climate change adaptation initiatives, funded by the Government
of Japan and the Least Developed Countries Fund. To monitor performance across both initiatives, a 3-week
mission was undertaken to establish baselines and develop recommended indicators for the projects.
During the mission information was gathered from literature sources, field visits and interviews with farmers at
the pilot project sites to deliver: i) a household vulnerability assessment; ii) agroforestry and reforestation
assessment; and iii) evaluation of project results frameworks. These assessments were used to recommend
indicators, baselines and targets for the intervention.
For example, an activity based indicators to assess change in community-adaptation included:
- Percentage change in climate change awareness index.
- % area (ha) increase in rehabilitated land disaggregated by each project site and each type of land
rehabilitation (woodlots, agroforestry, horticulture, and terraces).
The associated strategy to collect data for each indicator included:
Percentage change in climate change awareness
- Mid-point and end of project surveys to assess change in average awareness indices for men and women
at the project sites. The surveys replicate the baseline survey, thus providing information on change over
time. Further, respondents of the baseline survey were given priority when selecting respondents for the
follow-up surveys to reduce other variables that may influence change in awareness over time.
- For statistical rigour, it was recommend that a minimum of 30 interviews be undertaken. A random
gender-sensitive selection of households should be adopted. Additionally the survey should cover all
relevant districts, with at least 1 village surveyed per district. The M&E team should ensure that all
selected villages are representative of all the different activities.
- Contact details of baseline respondents were listed in the project documentation to enable the same
respondents to be contacted in follow-up surveys. Further, consistent data collection templates would
% area (ha) increase in rehabilitated land
- Conduct regular field visits (annual) to the project sites in order to assess rehabilitation success and track
the progress of all rehabilitation activities in each project site. The progress and success of land
rehabilitation activities should be evaluated by:
- Reviewing maps developed by the project or the executing agency showing the extent of the area that
has been rehabilitated;
- Taking fixed-point photos of the rehabilitation area and recording the relevant GPS coordinates of the
- Conducting field surveys for measuring and monitoring vegetation recovery and regeneration
38 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
BOX 13: AN ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY CHECKLIST
Stakeholders have been engaged in design of the EBA initiative. Participatory processes are crucial
for strong ownership and the development initiatives that are acceptable in the local and cultural
Project activities have been designed with explicit recognition of available resources (human,
financial and technological)
Implementation timeframes have been designed with an awareness of external factors that may
influence project outcomes
Lessons from past experiences in the project area have been incorporated into project design and
feasibility determinations, where available.
The initiative will involve and promote coordination among multiple stakeholders, including
government and civil society.
The initiative is integrated and aligned with existing development plans, programmes and
frameworks, where feasible.
This initiative includes actions to strengthen and utilise local institutional and human capacity.
Assumptions regarding the link between EBA measures and delivery of outputs, outcomes and
impacts have been clearly articulated; and provide a reference point for reflection when reviewing
The expected contribution of each EBA measure to immediate and longer term outcomes and
impacts of the intervention has been specified
Indicators that consider (i) costs and benefits; (ii) system-wide vulnerabilities; and (iii) mal-
adaptation have been incorporated within the evaluation framework
39 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Objective 2: Longer-term adaptive management
Change in ecosystem services may only deliver weak signals during project lifetimes, with changes in
ecosystems occurring over long timeframes. Therefore, there are a number of considerations in project
design to ensure that the longer-term changes can be monitored and evaluated to build the evidence
base for EBA measures and support long-term adaptive management.
Have you considered how the ‘weak’ signals of change in ecosystem
services can be monitored during implementation?
Have you considered how evaluation of the effectiveness of the
adaptation measures will continue after the initiative?
BOX 14: MONITORING LONG TERM-CHANGE IN THE SHORT-TERM
Traditional knowledge is vital in monitoring change in ecosystem services. Local stakeholders are best placed to
recognise the gradual or ‘weak’ signals of change in ecosystems and their service delivery over short time frames.
Consequently, qualitative data can be collected via discussions with local stakeholders, which is a critical
supplement to quantitative data collection activities. Further, qualitative data may provide insight into whether
quantitative data is adequately capturing change or if alternate monitoring techniques would be more
appropriate. This information will inform an adaptive approach to monitoring and evaluation.
BOX 15: SUSTAINABLE MONITORING AND EVALUATION
Sustainable monitoring and evaluation (M&E) can be supported by linking M&E activities such as data collection
and review to activities occurring outside of the initiative itself. Some opportunities may include:
Engaging local universities to lead data collection activities for monitoring change in ecosystem services.
The data collected by the institutions can be applied during implementation of the initiative and continue
to be collected and analysed after completion of the initiative, if ownership for monitoring and evaluation
is vested in the university.
Consider government and non-government programmes that are underway and that may have a data
collection component. Can the information collected for these purposes provide insight into the
performance of EBA measures in your initiative? If not, can the initiative play an advocacy role in
promoting the collection of information that will inform long-term adaptive management?
Component ‘C’ commenced with a list of prioritised adaptation measures and the need to develop a
strategy to implement those measures (a program for implementation). During Component ‘C’,
approaches to evaluate the performance an EBA initiative to ensure accountability and transparency,
whilst also collecting evidence of EBA effectiveness were considered. Initiative activities were linked to
outcomes and indicators relevant to local context were selected. The output is an EBA initiative that (i)
has clear and context specific goals and objectives; (ii) is based on a foundation of participatory design
and implementation; and (ii) enables monitoring for accountability and transparency as well as for long-
term adaptive management.
40 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
PAGE LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK
41 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Component D: Adaptive Implementation
42 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
43 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Adaptive Implementation promotes an adaptive and flexible approach to implement your EBA initiative.
EBA is gaining increased attention; however, there is limited evidence to guide users in the selection of
the most appropriate options for their context. Consequently, while the evidence base is developed, it is
vital that a learning-by-doing approach is adopted. This approach advocates for constant reflection on
your initiative to inform change of course both during project implementation and also to continue to
collect lessons post implementation that will facilitate longer-term adaptive management.
There are four steps in Adaptive Implementation (Table 4):
Reflect and Adapt and
Develop an evidence base for EBA effectiveness
Key questions to ask during each step are presented here. The questions will guide an adaptive
approach to initiative implementation. In addition, other guidelines outlining adaptive management
approaches are presented in ANNEX D1.
Table 4: Steps in Adaptive Implementation
Monitoring progress is the task of assessing progress of project/program
implementation. There are two components to the monitoring process. Data will
be collected to:
Demonstrate accountability and transparency
Collect evidence of the effectiveness of intervention actions in achieving
Ensuring that the program is on time and budget is a vital component of
monitoring activities. It demonstrates accountability for the expenditure of funds
to ensure that they are used in the most effective manner. One way to
demonstrate this is to track project performance and delivery against the project
In addition, monitoring involves the collection of data that will be used to assess
the effectiveness of individual actions within the intervention in achieving the
intended objectives. For example, data collection may include changes in the
buffering capacity of mangrove systems (via qualitative data collected through
discussions with local community stakeholders and/or detailed quantitative
monitoring of change in wave inundation for different wave conditions). The
outputs of the monitoring are reviewed in the next step.
The outputs of the monitoring activities are collected and reviewed.
In many cases, program design and development is undertaken within certain
constraints and with certain levels of understanding. This understanding informs
the assumptions contained within project documentation. The assumptions may
be in relation to climate projections or environmental and social response to
projected climatic changes. Due to the uncertainty in climate projections and the
social-ecological response of natural and human systems, it is important to verify
the assumptions made at the outset of project design. If the assumptions prove
incorrect, the activities within the program may need to be updated.
Monitoring progress and data interpretation (which involves reviewing
assumptions) will provide information on the effectiveness of the adaptation
intervention. Effectiveness in this context refers to the ability of a program or
intervention to successfully meet the intended outcomes and objectives. If a
program is not progressing as intended, and/or the assumptions made are
incorrect, then there is the need to consider how barriers to program
implementation can be removed and how program activities and inputs can be
44 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
altered to align to updated assumptions.
Reflect should be undertaken in a collaborative manner – ensuring broad
stakeholder engagement in the review process. This in turn will ensure
agreement on the updated assumptions that will guide program modifications.
Adapt is the process of updating the program or plan of action. The updated plan
will then be monitored and reviewed, as per the initial stages of the M&E process
– monitor progress and review assumptions.
This is a cyclical process that continues throughout project implementation
(Figure 6) and can be termed Formative Evaluation.
The outputs obtained from monitoring and evaluation activities, particularly at the
scale of monitoring adaptive action, can provide ‘evidence for persuasion’.
Evidence for persuasion refers to information (or evidence) that demonstrates the
effectiveness of a particular adaptation intervention in achieving intended
outcomes. Evidence can be presented to decision makers to make the case for
continued or increased investment in adaptation interventions.
This is particularly important in EBA, where achievement of long-term
outcomes, such as enhancing the regulatory services of ecosystems, occurs
over long time periods and is not expected to be achieved in full within
individual project lifetimes.
BOX 16: MONITORING PROGRESS
Questions to ask:
• Is the M&E data being effectively captured?
• Are there any barriers to monitoring progress? If so, how can they be addressed and does the monitoring
and evaluation framework need to be updated to capture any changes?
• Is all data readily stored and easily retrievable?
BOX 17: DATA INTERPRETATION
Questions to ask:
• Are the M&E data being effectively analysed and interpreted?
• Have there been any changes in the baseline conditions? Positive or negative change?
• Has the data collected negated any of the prior assumptions?
• What are the key messages coming from data collected?
Data interpretations should be summarised to communicate the outputs during the reflection and adaptation
45 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Figure 6: The role of monitoring and evaluation in guiding adaptive implementation.
46 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
BOX 18: REFLECT AND ADAPT
Consultative review sessions are held to discuss the outputs of the data interpretation activities. The ‘reflect and
adapt’ sessions may consider the effectiveness of adaptation actions in achieving project outcomes. For example,
the following question may be considered:
Is the data collection demonstrating progress towards objectives?
If not, is this an issue of data collection? Or a reflection of the performance on the action within the local
Have activities progressed on time and budget?
What barriers have been faced and how can these been addressed?
The reflect and adapt sessions offer opportunities for open dialogue between all stakeholders to consider what is
working and what isn’t. The outputs of the reflection sessions should inform update of project plans (if required)
and all outputs should be fed back to management. Questions to ask:
• Is that analysis being fed back to management?
• Are management taking evaluation outputs into account?
• Have plans been updated (if required) and are changes reflected in the monitoring plan?
• Are the outputs of the reflection sessions being communicated beyond the project?
It is important that both positive and negative outcomes are communicated. In many cases, people can learn more
from what didn't work, than what did work. Open communication is a strong priority in EBA initiatives.
BOX 19: DEVELOP EVIDENCE FOR PURSUASION
Questions to ask:
• What lessons can be drawn from the adaptive approach to project implementation?
• Is evidence available that indicates the effectiveness of the EBA activities in your context?
• How will the evidence be communicated and to whom?
• Are the mechanisms for long-term monitoring of the EBA activities, as established during the project
planning phase (Component ‘C’), likely to be sustained post project completion?
Component ‘D’ commenced with an EBA initiative and a monitoring and evaluation strategy to assess
performance. During Component ‘D’, the initiative was implemented, guided by adaptive management
principles and a list of key questions to assess performance. The focus was on ensuring the generation
of evidence on the effectiveness of EBA and responding to changes as required. The outcome is an
adaptive approach to initiative implementation, in the short and long term.
47 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Effective EBA is where ecosystem-based approaches replace or augment conventional adaptation
approaches to deliver superior outcomes for people and the community.
The focus of this guidance has been on implementing adaptation options through an ecosystem services
lens perspective based on a users specific decision-making context (Component ‘A’). The guidance will
help decision-makers and managers analyze the potential and applicability of EBA options in a given
context against other options (Component ‘B’).
At the heart of the guidance is the importance of a decision-making process that enables comparisons
between conventional adaptation options (i.e. typically delivering a smaller range of services that are
easier to quantify) with EBA options (i.e. deliver a greater range of options that are more difficult to
quantify). Component ‘B’ sets up a framework that enables this to happen.
A further aspect of the guidance provided is the framing of context-specific EBA indicators to assist in
building the case for EBA as a useful and appropriate addition to the adaptation toolbox (Component ‘C’).
Users are guided in project design and evaluation to facilitate long-term adaptive management and
deliver an evidence base with respect to the effectiveness of EBA. This is intended to set the foundation
for continued support for EBA initiatives whilst ensuring transparency and accountability in
The final Component of the guidance, Component ‘D’ provides users with support to be confident in
implementing change if and when it is required. The overall outcome is envisaged as an adaptive
approach to implementation of adaptation initiatives that have been formulated with the role of
ecosystems services at their heart.
Importantly, the user is reminded that this guidance is not intended as a standalone resource. Rather, it
provides an overview of a decision making process that aims to synthesise current thinking about good
practice adaptation and good practice ecosystem-based management. It is intended that the guidance be
used as a tool for training and capacity building and should be seen as a ‘living document’ that will be
updated and enhanced during field-testing.
Finally, the user should bear in mind that the guidance is not envisaged as an ‘off the shelf’ resource.
Rather users will be guided through hands-on training aimed to increase their decision-making capacity
with respect to EBA and allow them to subsequently use the guidance presented here in their own
decision-making contexts in-country.
48 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
PAGE LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK
49 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
AdaptiveFutures 2011. submission to the Australian Productivity Commission inquiry into Barriers to
Effective Climate Change Adaptation. http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/climate-change-
Argardy, T. Dave, J., Sherwood, K. and Vestergaard, O. 2011. Taking Steps Towards Marine and
Coastal Ecosystem Based Management: An introductory guide, United Nations Environment
AHTEG 2009. UNEP/CBD/AHTEG/BD-CC-2/2/6 Report of the Second Meeting of the Second Ad Hoc
Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change
Andrade, A., Cordoba, R., Radhika, D., Herrera-F. B., Munroe, R., Oglethorpe, J., Pramova, E., Watson,
J., and Vergara, W. (2011) Draft principles and guidelines for integrating ecosystem-based
approaches to adaptation in project and policy design: a discussion document, Turrialba CR,
Books, N. 2011. Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development (TAMD): A twin-track approach for
assessing adaptation success. IEED. Presentation delivered at the Development & Climate Days,
COP17, Durban, 3 December 2011.
Cambridge Conservation Initiative Collaborative Fund (CCI) (2011) Effectiveness of ecosystem-based
approaches to adaptation: A critical review of current evidence, Background document,
Wednesday July 20th, Judge Business School, Cambridge.
Colasimone, L. 2009. Implementing the Ecosystem Approach in the Mediterranean. Medwaves issue 58.
Devisscher and Watkiss, no date. AdaptCost Briefing Paper 5: Ecosystem Based Adaptation Costs –
Africa Review. United Nations Environment Program and Stockholm Environment Institute.
Available online from: www.unep.org.
Daryanto, S. and Eldridge, D.J. 2010. Shrub removal and grazing after the spatial distribution of
infiltrability in a shrub-encroached woodland (2010). In: Proceedings of the 16th Biennial
Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society, Bourke (Eds D.J. Eldridge and C. Waters)
(Australian Rangeland Society: Perth).
GEF-UNDP, 2011. Adapting to Climate Change. UNDP-GEF Initiatives Financed By The Least
Developed Countries Fund, Special Climate Change Fund and Strategic Priority on Adaptation,
United Nations Development Programme, One United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017, USA
GBRMPA/NCCARF 2011. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the National Climate Change
Adaptation Research Facility 2011. Climate change adaptation principles: Bringing adaptation to
life in the marine biodiversity and resources setting. Great Barrier Reef Park Authority, Townsville
Hale, L. Z.; Meliane, I.; Davidson, S.; Sandwith, T.; Beck, M.; Hoekstra, J.; Spalding, M.; Murawski, S.;
Cyr, N.; Osgood, K.; Hatziolos, M.; Eijk, P. van; Davidson, N.; Eichbaum, W.; Dreus, C.; Obura, D.;
Tamelander, J.; Herr, D.; McClennen, C.; Marshall, P. (2009) Ecosystem-based Adaptation in
Marine and Coastal Ecosystems, Renewable Resources Journal, Vol 25 (4) 21-28
Hills, T., and Pramova, E. 2011. Informing decisions on ecosystem-based approaches for the adaptation
of people in the Asia and Pacific region CIFOR Brief, October 2011.
Kay, R. C. and J. Alder 2005. Coastal Planning and Management. London; New York, Taylor & Francis.
Kay, R.C., Haines, A., Rosenzweig, C., Steffen, W. and Thom, B. In Press. Perspectives on Adaptation
Effectiveness. In Palutokof, J., Parry, M. and Boulter, S. Climate Adaptation Futures.
Lamhauge, N., E. Lanzi and S. Agrawala 2011. “Monitoring and Evaluation for Adaptation: Lessons from
Development Co-operation Agencies”, OECD Environment Working Papers, No. 38, OECD
50 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Layke, C. 2009. Measuring Nature’s Benefits: A Preliminary Roadmap for Improving Eco- system Service
Indicators. WRI. Working Pa- per. Available at: http://www.wri.org/publication/ measuring-natures-
McGray, H., A. Hamill, R. Bradley, E.L. Schipper and J-O. Parry 2007. Weathering the storm. Options for
framing adaptation and development. World Resources Institute, Washington DC Natural
Resource Management Council (2010)
McGray, H. (2011) Making Adaptation Count: how can we monitor and evaluate adaptation to climate
change. World Resources Institute. Presentation delivered at Development and Climate Days,
McKenzie Hedger, M., Mitchell, T., Leavy, J., Greeley, M. and Downie, A. 2008. Desk Review: Evaluation
of Adaptation to Climate Change from a Development Perspective, Institute of Development
Studies. Available from: http://www.ids.ac.uk/go/browse-by-subject/climate-change
Medinkski, T.V., Mills, A.J. and Fey, M.V. 2009. Infiltrability in soils from south-western Africa: effects of
texture, electrical conductivity and exchangeable sodium percentage, South African Journal of
Plant and Soil, 23 (3), pg 157-163
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Island Press,
Mills, A.J. and Fey, M.V. 2004a. Frequent fires intensify soil crusting: physicochemical feedback in the
pedoderm of long-term burn experiments in South Africa, Geoderma, 121, pg 45-64
Mills, A.J. and Fey, M.V. 2004b. A simple laboratory infiltration method for measuring the tendency of
soils to crust, Soil Use and Management, 20, pg 8-12
Mills, A., Fey, M., Kgope, B., Donaldson J. and J de W Bosenberg, 2011. Detecting the onset of
rangeland degradation using soil respiration and boundary lines: preliminary findings from the
Nama Karoo, African Journal of Range and Forage Science, 28:2, 87-92
National Resource Management Ministerial Council 2010, The National Climate Change Action Plan for
Fisheries and Aquaculture [online].
Olsen, S., Page, G., and G. Oochoa 2009. The Analysis of Governance Responses to Ecosystem
Change: A Handbook for Assembling a Baseline. LOICZ Reports & Studies No. 34. GKSS
Research Center, Geesthacht, 87 pages.
Pringle, P. 2011. AdaptME: Adaptation monitoring and evaluation. UKCIP, Oxford, UK.
Prutsch, a., Grothmann, I., Otto, S & McCallum, S. 2010. Guiding principles for adaptation to climate
change in Europe. The European Topic Centre on Air and Climate Change (ETC/ACC) Technical
Sparks, T.H., Butchart, S., Balmford, A., Bennun, L., Stanwell-Smith, D., Walpole, M., Bates, N.,
Bomhard, B. G.M. Buchanan, A.M. Chenery, B. Collen, J. Csirke, R.J. Diaz, N.K. Dulvy, C.
Fitzgerald, V. Kapos, P. Mayaux, M. Tierney, M. Waycott, L. Wood & R.E. Green 2012. Linked
indicator sets for addressing biodiversity loss, Oryx, 45 (3), 411-419
Spearman, M. and McGray, H. 2011. Making Adaptation Count: Concepts and Options for Monitoring
and Evaluation of Climate Change Adaptation, The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale
Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Eschborn, Germany.
TNC 2006. Marine Ecosystem-based Management: Learning from Case Studies to Advance Decision
Support, Workshop Proceedings, November 2006, The Nature Conservancy and the David Lucile
Packard Foundation. Available online from:
TNC 2011. Ecosystem-Based Adaptation: Bridging Science and Real-World Decision-making. Second
International Workshop on Biodiversity and climate Change in China. Anne Wallach Thomas,
Global Climate Change Adaptation Program
UNDP 2010. Toolkit for Designing Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives
51 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
UNEP EBA Flagship, 2010. Ecosystem-based Adaptation Programme, United Nations Environment
Programme, Paris, France.
UNEP 2011. Taking Steps Toward Marine and Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management – An Introductory
UNEP/GPA 2006. Ecosystem-based management: Markers for assessing progress, Report
commissioned by the Coordination Office of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of
the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) of the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP). The Hague, Netherlands.
UNEPWCMC 2009. Report from the workshop on Ecosystem Service Indicators: “Developing and
mainstreaming ecosystem service indicators for human wellbeing: Gaps, opportunities and next
steps”, 22nd – 23rd September 2009, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge
van Es, H. and Schindelbeck, R. n.d. Field Procedures and Data Analysis for the Cornell Sprinkle
Infiltrometer. Department of Crop and Soil Sciences Research Series R03-01, Department of Crop
and Soil Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
Villanueva, P. 2011. Learning to ADAPT: monitoring and evaluating approaches in climate change
adaptation and disaster risk reduction – challenges, gaps and ways forward. Strengthening
Climate Resilience (SCR). http://community.eldis.org/.59d5ba58/SCR-Discussion-paper9.pdf
World Bank. 2010. Climate Change – Note 8: Selection of Specific M&E Indicators for Adaptation.
Available at: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTTOOLKIT3/Resources/3646250-
52 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
PAGE LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK
53 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
54 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
PAGE LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK
55 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
ANNEX A1: TOOLS AND TOOLKITS FOR CLIMATE
CHANGE RISK SCREENING
The table below provides a summary of the key tools, toolkits and additional resources that
can be used in Component A of the Decision Support Framework to help users define their
problem through a climate risk screening approach. Resources relate to generic climate risk
screening tools, ecosystem specific screening tools and climate scenario development tools.
The aim of the table is to provide the user with a cross section of the available approaches to
provide a strong context for the application of EBA interventions.
climate change –
A Prototype Tool
Carries out risk analysis at the planning and design
stage, through a five level flag classification and
proposes options to minimise risks + guides project
designers to appropriate resources. The focus thus
far is on agriculture, irrigation and bio-diversity
5-step process to assess vulnerability to climate
change and identify options to address key climate
risks. Needs to take developing country context into
consideration in order to be of real use for
The approach constitutes of five main components:
Capacity assessment and strengthening, review of
knowledge data and tools, Rapid Risk Assessment,
mainstreaming, and monitoring and evaluation
The tool assists to prioritise which environmental
hazards may pose a risk to existing project locations
and supports the decisions to adapt projects or start
Climate risks screening software tool for rapid
assessment of projects/programmes risk potential
Not yet available
Structuring framework developed for the portfolio
screening of DFID activities in Kenya. Assesses
climate impacts at the sector level
The tool enables an analysis of policies, projects
and programmes and identifies risks and
opportunities posed by climate change, and helps to
identify measures to tackle these changes
56 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Screening tool –
User-friendly conceptual framework aimed at raising
awareness on climate change adaptation and
facilitate the identification and organisation of an
The methodology provides a framework for
analysing vulnerability and capacity to adapt to
climate change at the community level
The toolkit aims to provide support for developing
countries to move to low emission climate resilience
growth paths while mobilizing financial resources to
scale-up good practices with sufficient speed and
where most needed
SimCLIM is an “open-framework” modelling system
that can be customised, maintained and applied by
users for the purpose of examining impacts and
adaptations to climate variability and change,
including extreme climatic events
The Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk is a
participatory process for assessing a community’s
vulnerability to hazards―and for incorporating
relevant data and information about hazards and
climate into ongoing local planning and decision-
The toolkit (developed by TNC) provides guidance
on how to integrate and build the principles of
resilience to climate change into the design of MPAs
and daily management activities. The toolkit
includes guidance on management strategies such
as conserving fish spawning aggregations, MPA
network design, and developing coral reef
WEAP - Water
WEAP operates on the basic principle of a water
balance and can be applied to municipal and
agricultural systems, a single watershed or complex
transboundary river basin systems. Moreover,
WEAP can simulate a broad range of natural and
engineered components of these systems, including
rainfall runoff, baseflow, and groundwater recharge
from precipitation; sectoral demand analyses; water
conservation; water rights and allocation priorities,
reservoir operations; hydropower generation;
pollution tracking and water quality; vulnerability
assessments; and ecosystem requirements. A
financial analysis module also allows the user to
investigate cost-benefit comparisons for projects
57 | Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
IWRM as a Tool
for Adaptation to
Training material providing introduction to IWRM as
an instrument for adaptation to climate change.
Also provides links to national-level resource
centers that provide education, training, research
and consultancy services in the field of water.
Working Group I
The IPCC AR4 WG I provides climate change
projections for both global and regional scales
based on contributions written by over 150
coordinating lead authors from over 30 countries.
The reports were published in 2007 and will be
superseded by the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report in
The ClimateWizard is an online tool developed by
The Nature Conservancy designed to provide
instant national level projections for temperature
and precipitation for a range of SRES emission
The Pacific Climate Futures web tool is designed to
provide projections for 10 different climate variables
for 15 countries across the Pacific
Involves the construction of temporal or spatial
analogues using historic climate data. The data
used as temporal and spatial analogues is either
from the past or from another location.
PRECIS (Providing Regional Climates for Impacts
Studies) provides high-resolution regional climate
projections. A typical PRECIS experiment can take
several months hence the system is not designed to
provide instant climate scenarios. Workshops and
training are regularly conducted through institutions
around the globe in developing nations
MAGICC/SCENGEN is a coupled software package
that allows users to investigate future climate
change and its uncertainties and the global-mean
and regional levels. MAGICC calculates energy
balances whereas SCENGEN effectively presents
the results of MAGICC to produce spatially detailed
information on future changes in key climate
SDSM is a software tool designed to implement
statistical downscaling methods to produce high-res
monthly climate information from GCM simulation
Further Information for Annex A1
Adaptation Assessment planning and practice
More publications on adaptation can be found at:
58 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
ANNEX A2: EXAMPLES OF APPLICATION OF CLIMATE RISK SCREENING TOOLS (ADAPTED
FROM TRAERUP AND OLHOFF, 2011)
This table provides links to a number of projects/applications of the climate risk screening tools (as presented in Annex A1).
Tool / Resource
Project / Application
Link / Reference
Climate Change Screening of Danish Development Cooperation with
Climate change adaptation
through integrated risk
Climate Proofing Sapwohn, a Coastal Community in Pohnpei,
Federated States of Micronesia
Climate Proofing the National Strategic Development Plans in the
Climate Proofing Avatiu-Ruatonga, a community inland from Avatiu
Harbour, Cook Islands
Climate Risk Impacts on
Sectors and Programmes
Kenya: Climate Screening and Information Exchange
C3D+ (Capacity Development for Adaptation to Climate Change and
GHG Mitigation and Non Annex I Countries)
Integrating climate risk management into the Karonga District
Development Planning System
Climate Change Vulnerable Communities and Adaptation – Central
Climate Proofing for
Climate Proofing in Sustainable Land Management Projects - Mali
Climate Change Vulnerable Communities and Adaptation - Tanzania
59 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Tool / Resource
Project / Application
Link / Reference
Climate Risks and Development Project - Haiti
Climate Vulnerability and
Capacity Analysis (CVCA)
Community Land Use Response to Climate Change (CLURCC)
Forest and Natural Resources
Climate change and development project - Zambia
Climate Proofing for
Protected Area Management and Nature Conservation, and
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment - Kenya
Screening for Climate Change Adaptation in China
Livelihoods and Climate Change – Sri Lank
Reef Resilience Toolkit
Protecting marine processes, ecosystems and biological and genetic
diversity in the Aldabra Atoll - Seychelles
Various other case studies
60 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
ANNEX A3: ECOSYSTEM SERVICES ‘CHECKLIST’
Sample Ecosystem Services Checklist
Services for your context?
Air quality regulation
Regulation of water
Maintenance of soil
Maintenance of genetic
Recreation and tourism
Inspiration for culture,
art and design
Source: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Synthesis Report
61 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
PAGE LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK
62 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
ANNEX A4: TOOLS AND RESOURCES FOR ESTABLISHING THE VALUE OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
The table below summarises the key resources for the valuation of ecosystem services. The table contains several different toolkits and databases as well as
individual tools used in the valuation of ecosystem services; the different tools have a range of different requirements in terms of capacity, data and desired
output. Further information can be found by exploring the individual websites linked in the table.
The EBM tools database is an online hub for tools and projects for spatial planning and
ecosystem-based management. The database contains several useful tools for the valuation of
ecosystem services, to find these tools, simply search ecosystem services valuation in the
database search box
UNEP Marine and
Page 66 of this UNEP guide provides an Appendix of tools and resources available for
Ecosystem Services Valuation. The guide can be downloaded from the link
UNEP Guidance Manual
for the Valuation of
This UNEP manual provides an analysis of the different methodologies available for valuing
regulating services in economic terms
UK National Ecosystem
The UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) is the first analysis of the UK;s natural
environment in terms of the benefits it provides to society and continuing economic prosperity.
The assessment showcases a range of approaches to assist in the valuation of ecosystem
Costing Nature (Co$ting
Co$ting Nature is a web based tool for analysing the ecosystem services provided by natural
environments, identifying the beneficiaries of these services and assessing the impacts of
BSR: Tools for
and Valuing Ecosystem
The report provides concise tables of information and links to various tools and methods being
currently used in the valuation of ecosystem services
ARIES is a web-based technology to assist rapid ecosystem service assessment and
valuation. Its purpose is to make environmental decision-making easier and more effective.
The tool is freely available to all non-profit users
63 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Valuation of Ecosystem
Services and Trade-offs)
InVEST is a tool to evaluate how human activities and climate change affect production and
value of terrestrial and marine ecosystem services
EcoMetrix is a site-level ecosystem services evaluation methodology. The tool supports
environmental decision-making and impact analyses through key steps including characterizing
ecosystem services and functions, assessing performance by measure key indicators,
developing baseline and future scenarios and analysing change from baseline to future, across
all services and functions.
Web tool designed for non-economists who need answers to questions about the benefits of
ecosystem conservation, preservation or restoration. It provides a clear, non-technical of
ecosystem valuation concepts, methods and applications
NAIS (Natural Assets
The Natural Assets Information System (NAIS) was developed by Spatial Informatics Group to
estimate Ecosystem Service Values (ESV) using value transfer methods and geo-spatial
services as productive
This paper explores two methods for valuing ecosystems by valuing the services that they yield
to various categories of user and that are not directly valued in the market, and illustrates the
usefulness of these methods with an application to the valuation of mangrove ecosystems in
64 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
ANNEX A5: SELECTED RESOURCES ON IDENTIFYING
IMPACTS TO ECOSYSTEMS
Office of Coastal and
Management and NOAA
Step-by-Step Guide for
Climate Change Effects on
Coastal and Estuarine
This draft step-by-step guide was developed to assist in
the consideration of how climate change may affect
proposed conservation projects. The guide is based on
the assumption that it is prudent to evaluate how the
targets of conservation projects might be affected by
changing climatic conditions. These evaluations may help
to determine how the resilience of a project may be
increased and/or how a project may contribute to the
wider system’s (e.g., watershed, coastal ecosystem)
Review for Impact
The Ecosystem Services Review for Impact Assessment
(ESR for IA) provides practical instructions on how to
incorporate ecosystem services throughout
environmental and social impact assessment.
An introductory guide to
This guide looks at how the framework for the valuation of
the natural environment could be improved by offering an
approach that ensures that ecosystems and the services
they provide are taken into account. It builds on traditional
valuation approaches. In particular, Chapter 3 provides
an overview of the steps to be taken in valuing the
impacts on ecosystem services which includes identifying
policy options and the current baseline; assessing the
impact of policy options on the provision of ecosystem
services, and valuing the changes in ecosystem services.
Biodiversity In Impact
Guidelines on Biodiversity-
Provides an overview of the minimum knowledge
required to address biodiversity in impact assessment
and presents guidelines for biodiversity inclusive impact
Biodiversity in Impact
Outlines principles to promote “biodiversity-inclusive”
impact assessment (IA), including Environmental Impact
Assessment (EIA) for projects, and strategic
environmental assessment (SEA) for policies, plans and
programs. Guiding principles and operating principles are
presented. The operating principles provide high level
guidance on how to incorporate biodiversity in impact
65 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
PAGE LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK
66 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
ANNEX B1: RESOURCES FOR ADAPTATION OPTIONS
Adapting to Climate
Variability and Change:
A Guidance Manual for
This adaptation guidance manual
designed to assist planners and
stakeholders in the identification and
analysis of adaptation options through
a stepwise approach drawing on
relevant case studies
Adaptation Tool Kit:
Sea-Level Rise and
Coastal Land Use
This adaptation tool kit provides a
concise overview of a range of
planning, regulatory and spending
tools to assist adaptation decision-
Climate Proofing for
This document presents a
methodology for climate proofing in
development planning. Of particular
relevance is Step 3 “Options for
Action” which provides a methodology
for evaluating and prioritising
Climate Impacts on
Chapter 4 Emerging
This chapter describes the different
considerations in delivering
adaptation actions in the energy
Adapting to Coastal
Climate Change: A
This guidebook provides a details
treatment of climate concerns in
coastal areas. The user is guided
through the stages of adaptation
planning, implementation and
Assessing the Costs
and Benefits of
An Overview of
This publication provides an
introduction to a range of different
assessment approaches and
methodologies to assessing the costs
and benefits of climate change
adaptation options and shares best
practices and lessons learned.
Economics of Coastal
Adaptation to Climate
This report provides a global level
overview of the costs of adaptation to
sea level rise required from 2010 until
67 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Note 6: Identification
and analysis of
This note provides guidance on the
choice of adaptation responses in the
management (NRM sector)
of Climate Change
Approaches for the
Agricultural Sector and
This report discusses the key
challenges and solutions for carrying
out project-level economic analysis of
adaptation to climate change. The
report draws upon various case
studies to illustrate the economic
analysis of on-the-ground adaptation
Dolan et al
Adaptation to Climate
Change in Agriculture:
Evaluation of Options
This report provides a framework to
consistently and systematically
evaluate adaptation options in
agriculture to climate change.
68 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
APPENDIX B2: OVERVIEW OF ADAPTATION TECHNOLOGIES ALIGNED TO IMPACT AREAS AND
Beach nourishment is
primarily used in
response to shoreline
erosion, although flood
reduction benefits may
also occur. The
approach involves the
artificial addition of
sediment of suitable
quality to a beach area
that has a sediment
deficit to maintain
beach width and
Not a permanent
refers to the restoration
of natural or artificial
dunes from a more
impaired, to a less
impaired state of
overall function, in
order to gain the
habitats for many
69 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
construction and dune
rehabilitation are aimed
at reducing both
coastal erosion and
flooding in adjacent
elements of the
A beach drainage
system is designed to
encourage accretion by
artificially lowering the
through drainage and
pumping of water from
under the beach
Does not buffer
from large storm
Seawalls are hard
designed to prevent
further erosion of a
shoreline. Sea walls
vary significantly in
form and materials
depending on the
generally have a
behind the sea
Breakwaters are used
as shore and coastal
Can disturb the
70 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
Breakwaters can either
be offshore (detached)
or located in the surf
formation of salient
which contributes to
and boating etc.
down drift of the
A Groyne is a hard
perpendicular to the
shoreline. The structure
widening by trapping
occurs on the
downdraft side of the
as a result of
erosion of the
down drift beach
Groynes do not
/ Rip Rap
Rock Armour and Rip
Rap are stone laid on
an embankment of
shoreline designed to
absorb erosion forces
and protect the
Simply to design,
Not suitable for
Gabions are wire,
armour filled cages or
mattresses used to
constructed in a
the baskets can
71 | Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Moving from Principles to Practice
retain and protect slops
from coastal and
Provide a high
A brush mattress is a
layer of branches
placed on a
stream bank designed
to protect against small