Forests and trees for social adaptation to climate variability and change

Forests and trees for social adaptation to climate variability and change

Ecosystems provide important services that can help people adapt to climate variability
and change. Recognizing this role of ecosystems, several international and
nongovernmental organizations have promoted an ecosystem-based approach
to adaptation. We review the scientific literature related to ecosystem-based
adaptation (EBA) with forests and trees, and highlight five cases in which forests
and trees can support adaptation: (1) forests and trees providing goods to local
communities facing climatic threats; (2) trees in agricultural fields regulating
water, soil, andmicroclimate formore resilient production; (3) forested watersheds
regulating water and protecting soils for reduced climate impacts; (4) forests
protecting coastal areas from climate-related threats; and (5) urban forests and
trees regulating temperature and water for resilient cities. The literature provides
evidence that EBA with forests and trees can reduce social vulnerability to climate
hazards; however, uncertainties and knowledge gaps remain, particularly for regulating
services in watersheds and coastal areas. Few studies have been undertaken
on EBA specifically, but the abundant literature on ecosystem services can be used
to fill knowledge gaps.Many studies assess themultiple benefits of ecosystems for
human adaptation or well-being, but also recognize trade-offs between ecosystem
services. Better understanding is needed of the efficiency, costs, and benefits,
and trade-offs of EBA with forests and trees. Pilot projects under implementation
could serve as learning sites and existing information could be systematized and
revisited with a climate change adaptation lens

Authors: Pramova, E.; Locatelli, B.; Djoudi, H.; Somorin, O.A.

Topic: climatic change,adaptation,Non Timber Forest Products,ecosystem management,watersheds,coastal areas

Publication Year: 2012

ISSN: 1757-7799

Source: Wiley interdisciplinary reviews: climate change 3(6): 581–596

DOI: 10.1002/wcc.195


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