COP18 (28/11/12) – Robert Munroe, Climate Change Officer at Bird Life International talks about the importance of ecosystem based approaches to adaptation and using biodiversity and the services nature provides to help humans adapt to climate change.
He says that they work on the basis that livelihoods are fundamentally attached to natural resources and explains his organisation’s project working in East Africa to help communities use their resources more sustainably.
He talks about some of the vital services that nature offers, including forests’ role regulating water run off, particularly as the intensity of extreme rainfall events increase, wetlands’ ability to absorb flood waters and mangroves’ role as a buffer against storm surges.
He says as countries work out the finance and support to be given to countries for adaptation and as countries set out their National Adaptation Plans, it is important ecosystem based approaches are considered.
He also highlights how some adaptation methods, for example dams and sea walls, can be harmful for the environment, something else he hopes is recognised within any guidelines set out.