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PlanNet News, 16-29 Feb 2012: Ecosystem-based Adaptation 

SD Toolbox: Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EBA)
New website: Green Growth Knowledge Platform
SD Book: Ecosystem-based Adaptation
Competition: Dear Mr. UN Secretary-General...’ Essay Competition
e-Learning: Join and watch live debate online on "GPD - How can we measure progress?"
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planNet News
-SDplanNet-AP e-newsletter-

15 February 2012
Hello,

Our planNet News has reached the 9th issue already since we reactivated it. We'd love to hear your comments on our e-news so we can bring the best contents to you, feel free to drop us your feedbacks at sdplannet-ap@iges.or.jp

With kindest regards,
SDplanNet-AP Coordinator


SD Quote of the Issue
  If it had been the purpose of human activity to bring the planet to the edge of ruin, no more efficient mechanism could have been invented than the market economy. 
-- Jeremy Seabrook 

SD Toolbox
Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA)
What is Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA)?
“Ecosystem-based adaptation is the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.” - Convention on Biological Diversity’s Second Ad-hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change
 
EbA offers a valuable yet under-utilized approach for climate change adaptation, complementing traditional actions such as climate proofing infrastructure development. The EbA approach uses sustainable management, conservation, and restoration of ecosystems as part of an overall adaptation strategy to increase natural resilience and reduces the vulnerability of people, their livelihoods and nature in the face of climate change.
 
Why “ecosystem-based” adaptation? 
Global climate change is already adversely impacting the world’s ecosystems and the people that depend on them. Impacts are escalating as temperature and precipitation patterns change and extreme weather events and related conditions increase in frequency and intensity. Climate change directly threatens the services that ecosystems provide including food, clean water, coastal protection, fuel-wood, soil stability, and pollination. People who depend directly on natural resources are affected most severely. 
 
While global efforts to mitigate the causes of climate change are currently under way, adaptation is about “managing the unavoidable” – addressing the impacts that are already being experienced by people and ecosystems while mitigation measures take effect, and building resilience to future impacts. Ecosystem-based adaptation provides a cost-effective mean of adaptation; is especially effective at local levels with community involvement; is readily available to the rural poor; builds on the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities; can generate social, economic and cultural co-benefits; and contributes to the conservation of biodiversity. In addition, healthy, well managed ecosystems have climate change mitigation potential, for example, through the sequestration and storage of carbon in healthy forests, wetlands, and coastal ecosystems.
 
What is involved in EbA?
Ecosystem-based adaptation involves collective action among governments, communities, conservation and development organizations, and other stakeholders to plan and empower local action that will increase environmental and community resilience to the changing climate.  Ecosystem-based adaptation and community-based adaptation are therefore mutually supportive. Examples of ecosystem-based adaptation that provide multiple benefits to local communities include:
 
- Maintaining and restoring “natural infrastructure” such as mangroves, coral reefs and watershed vegetation as a cost-effective means for reducing vulnerability to storm surge, rising sea levels and changing precipitation patterns. Mangroves and wetlands can form physical barriers against extreme weather and help to regulate floods. These natural buffers are often less expensive to maintain and in certain cases, can be as effective as built structures such as dykes or concrete walls. 
- Managing agricultural land using local knowledge of crop varieties and maintaining diverse landscapes. This can help ensure food supplies in uncertain conditions. 

SD News
Green Growth Knowledge Platform
Governments looking to design and implement green growth policies and move towards a green economy now have a new source of information and assistance. Four leading global organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the Green Growth Knowledge Platform, a cutting-edge global initiative that will identify and address major knowledge gaps in green growth theory and practice. The agreement was signed by the Global Green Growth Institute, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the World Bank.
 
The Green Growth Knowledge Platform will improve local, national, and global economic policy-making around the world by providing rigorous and relevant analysis of the various synergies and tradeoffs between the economy and the environment. For example, developing countries can factor “green” into their new investments in infrastructure and can further develop agriculture and other natural resources to improve livelihoods, create jobs, and reduce poverty. It will complement other efforts by emphasizing policy instruments that yield local environmental co-benefits while stimulating growth, providing a compelling set of incentives for governments. 
 
The Platform will organize new research programs around a handful of priority themes, as well as cultivate a dynamic global community of green growth researchers and practitioners.
 
›› Go to Green Growth Knowledge Platform
 

SD Knowledge Bank
UNEP Report: Keeping Track of our Changing EnvironmentBuilding Resilience to Climate Change:
ecosystem-based adaptation and lessons from the field


With climate change now a certainty, the question is now how much change there will be and what can be done about it. One of the answers is through adaptation. Many of the lessons that are being learned in adaptation are from success stories from the field. This publication contains eleven case studies covering different ecosystems and regions around the world. Its aim is to summarize some current applications of the Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) concept and its tools used around the world, and also draw lessons from experiences in conservation adaptation.
 

SD Calendar
21 - 22 February 2012
Basel, Switzerland
e-mail: Global Energy Basel
The annual Global Energy Basel conference brings together global leaders in industry, government and business to create a dialogue on the future of low-carbon sustainable infrastructure and help design the investment landscape of three innovative, high-growth markets that account for over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions: building and urban development, including concepts, planning, residential and commercial development and recreation, encompassing new developments and retrofits; transportation, both mobility and city logistics; and sustainable energy supply, including renewable energy, demand side management and energy efficiency.
22 - 23 February 2012
Astana, Kazakhstan
e-mail: Assem Sadykova
This Roundtable will seek to identify the priority projects of the "Green Bridge" Partnership Programme and prepare a contribution to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) on the process of transition to a green economy. The Green Bridge Partnership Programme is an initiative of the Republic of Kazakhstan and other international partners. The main objective of the programme is to support mutual and voluntary cooperation among countries in Europe, Asia and the Pacific in the transition to a green economy, environmental conservation and poverty eradication.
21 - 23 February 2012
Beirut, Lebanon
e-mail: CBD Secretariat
This workshop is organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) through its Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA), and the UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA), in close coordination with the UNEP TEEB Office, the League of Arab States, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and in cooperation with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). The workshop seeks to: provide decision-makers in the region with economic arguments for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; promote synergies and enhanced cooperation among relevant policy areas and sectors by mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services; and support the revision and review or update of national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) in light of the new Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
28 February -  2 March 2012
Recife, Brazil
e-mail: CBD Secretariat
This workshop is organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Caribbean Environment Programme. It will review relevant scientific data compiled through the CBD repository system of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) and other credible, quality-controlled sources; describe EBSAs through application of scientific criteria for EBSAs (Decision IX/20) and other relevant criteria; and identify gaps and needs for further elaboration in describing EBSAs.
22 - 23 February 2012
Rome, Italy
The International Fund for Agricultural Development will hold its two-day Governing Council meeting as a forum for member States, partners and the public to discuss and debate what needs to be done to enable smallholder farmers to contribute to raising food availability by 70% by 2050. High level speakers will include Bill Gates, and Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, the CEO of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, who will present on "What promise will Rio herald for agriculture." The IFAD concept note for the meeting also highlights climate change challenges to sustainable agriculture and intervention options.
27 February  - 2 March 2012
Beijing, China
e-mail: Secretariat
This meeting of the MBTOC (Soils, Quarantine and Pre-shipment) will address issues related to the use of methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol and make recommendations to the Meeting of the Parties.


SD Contest
Dear Mr. UN Secretary-General ...’ Essay Competition
As part of the lead-up to the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil in June 2012, the Living Rainforest is organising an international essay competition for primary and secondary schoolchildren, Dear Mr. UN Secretary-General ... 
 
We want to hear what children think governments and world leaders should be doing to build a more sustainable future on planet Earth.
 
First Prize is a once-in-a-lifetime trip to attend the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil, with other winners receiving trophies and certificates. We think it's an important opportunity to engage children in this crucial global debate.
 
Interested teachers, schools & parents can register here. The deadline is 30 March 2012 for registration and essay submissions.


SD e-Learning Event
Beyond GDP – how can we measure progress?
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a universal but crude measure of a country’s economic activity and output. But it takes no account of the appreciation or deprecation of a country’s building infrastructure, or of the condition of its natural capital (land, soils, the diversity of plants, animals and life) and the ecosystem services provided by the environment (such as crop pollination). 
 
Furthermore, GDP is no measure of the health, wealth, or wellbeing of a country’s population, or how these are distributed across society. 
 
While GDP remains the most important measure for international financing, alternative measures are needed for sustainable development. What alternatives account for the wellbeing of the environment and local people, providing indicators for investing in a green economy?

Your questions and comments will form an important part of the debate.