Can Payments for Ecosystem Services Contribute to Adaptation to Climate Change? Insights from a Watershed in Kenya

Climate change presents new challenges for the management of social-ecological systems and the ecosystem services they provide. Although the instrument of payments for ecosystem services (PES) has emerged as a promising tool to safeguard or enhance the provision of ecosystem services (ES), little attention has been paid to the potential role of PES in climate change adaptation. As an external stressor climate change has an impact on the social-ecological system in which PES takes place, including the various actors taking part in the PES scheme. Following a short description of the conceptual link between PES and adaptation to climate change, we provide practical insights into the relationship between PES and adaptation to climate change by presenting results from a case study of a rural watershed in Kenya. Drawing upon the results of a participatory vulnerability assessment among potential ecosystem service providers in Sasumua watershed north of Nairobi, we show that PES can play a role in enhancing adaptation to climate change by influencing certain elements of adaptive capacity and incentivizing adaptation measures. In addition, trade-offs and synergies between proposed measures under PES and adaptation to climate change are identified. Results show that although it may not be possible to establish PES schemes based on water utilities as the sole source of financing, embedding PES in a wider adaptation framework creates an opportunity for the development of watershed PES schemes in Africa and ensures their sustainability. We conclude that there is a need to embed PES in a wider institutional framework and that extra financial resources are needed to foster greater integration between PES and adaptation to climate change. This can be achieved through scaling up PES by bringing in other buyers and additional ecosystem services. PES can achieve important coadaptation benefits, but for more effective adaptation outcomes it needs to be combined with vulnerability assessments and climate scenarios to ensure that these are realized and potential trade-offs between PES measures and adaptation measures minimized.

Climate-induced community relocations: using integrated social-ecological assessments to foster adaptation and resilience

Extreme weather events coupled with sea level rise and erosion will cause coastal and riverine areas where people live and maintain livelihoods to disappear permanently. Adaptation to these environmental changes, including the permanent relocation of millions of people, requires new governance tools. In the USA, local governments, often with state-level and national-level support, will be primarily responsible for protecting residents from climate-change impacts and implementing policies needed to protect their welfare. Government agencies have a variety of tools to facilitate protection in place and managed coastal retreat but have very limited tools to facilitate community relocation. In addition, no institutional mechanism currently exists to determine whether and when preventive relocation needs to occur to protect people from climate change impacts. Based on research involving four Alaska Native communities threatened by climate-induced environmental impacts, I propose the design and implementation of an adaptive governance framework to respond to the need to relocate populations. In this context, adaptive governance means the ability of institutions to dynamically respond to climate change impacts. A component of this adaptive governance framework is a social-ecological monitoring and assessment tool that can facilitate collaborative knowledge production by community residents and governance institutions to guide sustainable adaptation strategies and determine whether and when relocation needs to occur. The framework, including the monitoring and assessment tool, has not been systematically tested. However, the potential use of this tool is discussed by drawing on empirical examples of Alaskan communities faced with accelerating rates of erosion.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Water Resources Management: Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean

The intent of this report is to provide a brief overview of key climate change impacts and a review of the prevalent work occurring on climate change adaptation in the Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean, especially focusing on activities as they relate to water resources. The Southeastern United States includes Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, and Florida. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) comprise the U.S. Caribbean region. This report presents the results of EcoAdapt’s efforts to survey, inventory, and, where possible, assess climate-informed water resources action in the region.

The synthesis includes:

  • A summary of key regional climate change impacts and discussion on how the aforementioned issues combine to influence water supply, demand and use, quality, and delivery;
  • The results of a survey sent to federal, tribal, state, and other practitioners to identify challenges, needs, and opportunities for climate-informed water resources management;
  • Examples of adaptation initiatives from the region, focusing on activities in the natural and built environments as they relate to water resources;
  • Eighteen full-length case studies, detailing how adaptation is taking shape; and
  • A guide to the current suite of tools available to support adaptation action in water resources management, planning, and conservation.

Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Resources of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

This report summarizes the results of a two-day adaptation planning workshop for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests as part of their forest plan revision process. The workshop focused on identifying adaptation options for eight key resource areas, including forested vegetation, non-forested vegetation, wildlife, hydrology, fisheries, recreation, cultural/heritage values, and ecosystem services. The report includes a general overview of the workshop methodology and provides a suite of possible adaptation strategies and actions for each key resource area. Adaptation actions were linked with the climate-related vulnerabilities they help to ameliorate as well as the direct/indirect effects they may have on other resource areas.

 

Mission Statement

The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ mission is to enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.

History of BIA

A Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Resources of Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

This report summarizes the results of a vulnerability assessment for 28 focal resources, including 8 ecosystems and 20 species, identified as important by Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests as part of their forest plan revision process. The report includes a general summary of past and projected climate trends for the region; downscaled climate data and trends; vulnerability assessment methods; and vulnerability assessment findings for 28 ecosystems and species.

Southern California Climate Adaptation Project

Location

CA
United States
34° 21' 19.0908" N, 116° 54' 41.9544" W
California US
Summary: 

The Southern California Climate Adaptation Project was initiated to improve understanding about the vulnerability of important southern California habitats to climate change and to develop adaptation strategies designed to reduce vulnerabilities and/or increase resilience of habitats. This project used a collaborative, stakeholder-driven process that involved soliciting input from land and resource managers, conservation practitioners, scientists, and others from federal and state agencies, universities, and nongovernmental organizations.

The Beaver Restoration Guidebook: Working with Beaver to Restore Streams, Wetlands, and Floodplains Version 2.0

Version 2.0 of the BRG has been updated to include a new chapter on Urban Beavers authored by Greg Lewallen. 

The Urban Beaver Management Chapter discusses strategies and techniques applicable to managing beaver in a broad range of urban settings. It attempts to balance the urban habitat needs of beaver while protecting the property and infrastructure of private and public lands. Two urban beaver case studies and two urban beaver management reports are included in Version 2.0 to provide lessons learned and examples of different techniques applied to urban beaver projects. We hope the information contained in this chapter can be used to facilitate the non-lethal management of urban beaver, help restore degraded urban aquatic habitats using beaver, and to continue the discussion of using beaver-based restoration techniques across varied settings in North America.

Quantifying the Success of Buyout Programs: A Staten Island Case Study

Location

Staten Island 10306 Staten Island , NY
United States
40° 34' 22.5624" N, 74° 7' 47.5248" W
New York US
Organization: 
Duke University
Summary: 

An increasingly common post-disaster mitigation approach, home buyout programs are generally intended to reduce vulnerability to future disasters. However, to date, there has been virtually no quantitative evaluation of whether or not coastal buyout programs are successful in reducing vulnerability. Through a change in vulnerability analysis, this study quantifies the success of the Staten Island buyout program in reducing the nationwide vulnerability of people and property to coastal flood hazards.

Integrating Climate Risks into Local Planning in Alameda County, California

Location

Alameda County, California CA
United States
37° 45' 53.9892" N, 122° 13' 20.9532" W
California US
Organization: 
Four Twenty Seven
Organization: 
Summary: 

Cities across the United States face the challenge of integrating climate change considerations into their planning. Climate data is complex and fragmented, and often presented in a format and scale that are not aligned with planners’ needs. To support the integration of climate change adaptation into relevant plans such as local hazard mitigation plans, Four Twenty Seven, a California-based climate risk consulting firm, worked with the Alameda County waste authority to develop: