Harnessing Nature to Build Climate Resilience: Scaling Up the Use of Ecosystem-based Adaptation

Celia A. Harvey
Posted on: 8/22/2022 -

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Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) has the potential to significantly enhance the resilience of society to climate change and could be a key part of national and global adaptation efforts. However, despite growing interest among policymakers, donors, scientists and practitioners, the current pace and scale of EbA implementation falls far short of its potential. The aim of this report is to highlight the opportunities for scaling up the use of EbA to help put the world on a more climate-resilient and nature-positive pathway.

The report assesses:

  • The role of EbA in helping society adapt to climate change, while also contributing to biodiversity conservation, climate mitigation and sustainable development
  • Current state and trends in EbA implementation.
  • Barriers that are currently slowing the widespread application of EbA in policy and practice.

It also provides a set of recommendations on how to enhance the scale and pace of EbA implementation to more fully harness the potential of ecosystems to deliver adaptation benefits. Based on in-depth analysis and discussions with EbA experts from around the world, the report suggests five broad categories of action that could help overcome many of the current barriers to EbA and ramp up the pace and scale of EbA implementation globally.

These recommendations are summarized in the Executive Summary of the report, also available in French and Spanish.



United Nations Environment Programme (2022). Harnessing Nature to Build Climate Resilience: Scaling Up the Use of Ecosystem-based Adaptation. https://wedocs.unep.org/20.500.11822/40313.


UNEP, established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment. To accomplish this, UNEP works with a wide range of partners, including United Nations entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society.