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Building climate resilience in urban areas through Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbA)

7 speakers

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This session will discuss how communities, national and local governments, and partners, can deliver climate change adaptation results by planning, designing and implementing nature-based solutions (NBS) in urban areas. This focus on NBS and how to plan, design and implement interventions is aligned with the conference’s topical themes “built and blue/green infrastructure” and “urban planning and design”, the Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Science (GRAA) and GCoM’s City Research Agenda (under research priority “urban planning and design”).
The role of NBS, and more particularly, the role that ecosystems can play in building climate change adaptation in cities will be discussed during the session. Defined as ‘the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall strategy to help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change’ (CBD, 2009), EbA has an important role to play in supporting local communities build their adaptive capacity, as well as in the delivery of international objectives, such as the SDGs. The session will highlight how the conservation, sustainable management of ecosystems and their restoration can directly contribute to international agendas (e.g., SDGs, NUA, etc.).The session will introduce a toolkit currently being developed by UNEP, UN-Habitat, and partners that aims to provide guidance on building urban climate resilience through EbA and will share lessons learned on the application of the tools. The toolkit provides guidance on methodologies and techniques for the development of Vulnerability and Risk Assessments, the identification, prioritization, and assessment of EbA options, and the implementation. Recognizing that cities are composed of complex interdependent and interacting systems, emphasis is made on the importance of applying systemic approaches and the use of participatory methodologies for equity focused interventions, which are essential to ensure that no one is left behind.