Much of what REDD+ does is concerned with mitigation – essentially, REDD+ focuses on the causes of climate change, such as increased volumes of greenhouse gases, and looks at ways that decrease the intensity of those causes to reduce the effects of climate change. Climate change adaptation, in contrast, looks at the effects of climate change and focuses on ways to reduce the vulnerability of ecosystems to those effects. For instance, if we are to view forests as carbon sinks, mitigation projects would be geared towards increasing forest lands in order to allow for higher absorption of greenhouse gases, while adaptation projects would focus on making those forests more resilient to climate change impacts so they can continue to act as carbon sinks.
Our research analyses national and international policies on climate change adaptation and forests, and the roles and interests of various national stakeholders who shape such policies. Research projects will focus on assessing the current and future vulnerability of communities in selected sites, with an emphasis on the links between forests and the reduction of social vulnerability. Also, this Module will shed light on ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation used in sub-national sites across at least six countries and analyse the mitigation impact of such approaches.
The aim is to provide research that can help stakeholders design effective, efficient and equitable ecosystem-based projects, while helping stakeholders gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities that can be derived from synergizing mitigation and adaptation approaches.