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Co-producing ecosystem services for adapting to climate change

Co-producing ecosystem services for adapting to climate change

Ecosystems can sustain social adaptation to environmental change by protecting people from climate change effects and providing options for sustaining material and non-material benefits as ecological structure and functions transform. Along adaptation pathways, people navigate the trade-offs between different ecosystem contributions to adaptation, or adaptation services (AS), and can enhance their synergies and co-benefits as environmental change unfolds. Understanding trade-offs and co-benefits of AS is therefore essential to support social adaptation and requires analysing how people co-produce AS. We analysed co-production along the three steps of the ecosystem cascade: (i) ecosystem management; (ii) mobilization; and (iii) appropriation, social access and appreciation. Using five exemplary case studies across socio-ecosystems and continents, we show how five broad mechanisms already active for current ecosystem services can enhance co-benefits and minimize trade-offs between AS: (1) traditional and multi-functional land/sea management targeting ecological resilience; (2) pro-active management for ecosystem transformation; (3) co-production of novel services in landscapes without compromising other services; (4) collective governance of all co-production steps; and (5) feedbacks from appropriation, appreciation of and social access to main AS. We conclude that knowledge and recognition of co-production mechanisms will enable pro-active management and governance for collective adaptation to ecosystem transformation.

Authors: Lavorel, S.; Locatelli, B.; Colloff, M.J.; Bruley, E.

Topic: climate change, ecosystem services

Publication Year: 2020

ISSN: 0962-8436

Source: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B. 375(1794): 201990119

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0119

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