Ecosystem-based Adaptation: Stakeholder Dialogue Report

United Nations Environment Programme
Posted on: 4/26/2023 - Updated on: 4/26/2023

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Ecosystem-based adaptation is an approach that uses biodiversity and ecosystem services to help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. For example, protecting coastal habitats like mangroves provides natural flood defences; reforestation can hold back desertification and recharge groundwater supplies in times of drought; and water bodies like rivers and lakes provide natural drainage to reduce flooding. These nature-based approaches have a significant potential to boost increase humanity’s climate resilience while simultaneously protecting the natural world.

The United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Adaptation Network conducted a stakeholder dialogue process to assess the most crucial barriers to ecosystem-based adaptation and how they can be overcome. This report aims to provide an overview of the main findings and conclusions of this process across three different regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

It is divided into four main sections, with one focusing on the global level, and three region-specific sections with information tailored to different regional contexts. It is intended for EbA practitioners and experts, policymakers, investors, and other interested actors that wish to learn more about EbA and the ways in which EbA can be more effectively implemented and scaled up.

This report provides detailed information on the barriers to EbA. The three main categories of barriers reported in this report, have been identified by the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA). They can be summarized as follows:

  1. Lack of awareness of the critical role of natural assets in underpinning resilience, and limited availability of knowledge and evidence to help make the case for working with nature.
  2. Policy and regulatory environments and governance challenges that influence the attractiveness and feasibility of using these approaches.
  3. Limited access to finance for applying and scaling up nature-based approaches.

This report is an output of the Global EbA Fund, which is implemented jointly by UNEP and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The publication was made possible through the generous contribution of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) under the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV).

Furthermore, the report contributed to a comprehensive study on barriers to ecosystem-based adaptation, titled Harnessing Nature to Build Climate Resilience: Scaling Up the Use of Ecosystem-based Adaptation, which you can find here.


United Nations Environment Programme (2023). Ecosystem-based Adaptation Stakeholder Dialogue Report. Nairobi.

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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

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