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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

Articles from Science for Environment Policy

Science for Environment Policy: Ecosystem-based Adaptation...

Salt marshes protect shorelines by reducing waves and erosion
Conserving salt marshes helps protect our coasts, according to research which shows that they stabilise shorelines and protect them from damage by incoming waves. Their benefits are particularly significant in light of the destruction caused by storms and flooding, which are likely to increase under climate change.
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Coastal wetlands can protect against rising sea levels and increasing storms
Coastal wetlands can substantially reduce erosion, property damage and human deaths in the face of rising sea levels and severe storms, recent research concludes. Understanding whether wetlands can provide effective coastal protection is essential to developing effective climate change adaptation strategies.
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'Building with Nature' increases resilience to climate change
New ecosystem-based solutions which provide flexible resilience to coastal flooding, rather than rigid defences, are needed in the face of global environmental change. A recent study examines a new coastal protection scheme in the Netherlands which reduces ecosystem damage whilst offering resilient defence against flooding. Using this case study, the researchers present a framework for evaluating climate change adaptation measures called 'Building with Nature'.
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New guidelines to help implement ecosystem-based adaptation on islands
Climate change is a particular threat to island nations and effective adaptation is vital. A new analysis examines current adaptation measures in tropical Oceania and identifies guidelines for implementing resilient, ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA). Among its recommendations, local communities should be fully involved in planning adaptation measures.
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Ecosystem-based adaptation in the Caribbean: strengths and weaknesses
Protecting ecosystems and the services they provide is increasingly thought to be a sustainable and effective approach to help society adapt to climate change. Islands states, at risk from a variety of different threats, including sea level rise, changes in rainfall patterns and ocean acidification, have been among the first to trial this approach. A new study examines measures taken in the Caribbean and highlights the importance of integrating local and external knowledge.
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Even small urban green spaces can help tackle the heat island effect
Green spaces in cities can have a cooling influence which helps reduce the 'urban heat island effect'. New research from Portugal has demonstrated that even a small community garden can provide a significant cooling impact that can help efforts to adapt to climate change.
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A straight forward approach to assessing urban ecosystem services
Ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change relies on the services provided by nature; new research has now demonstrated the wide potential of urban ecosystem services to aid local adaptation efforts. This study developed and trialled a streamlined method for assessing ecosystem services, such as temperature reduction and carbon sequestration, in four European cities, providing a valuable tool to help city planners enhance ecosystem services.
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Land use can affect fresh water supplies
New research has shown that supplies of fresh water provided by rivers depend not only on rainfall, but also on the land use within the river catchment. In the Spanish Basque Country, grasslands were found to supply the greatest amount of river water, followed by native woodlands, with exotic woodland plantations providing the least. The researchers also call for more comprehensive analyses of ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration and biodiversity, to inform land use policy.
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Forest management for climate change adaptation must fit the context
Forest management could help adaptation to climate change through its effects on water supply. A long-term US-based study has analysed the impact of forested land use changes on water flow into streams and rivers. It indicated that converting forests from deciduous to pine trees could help water storage in extreme wet conditions, but may be unsuitable in droughts. As such, it recommends tailoring management decisions to the context.
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Ecosystem-based adaptation provides promising approach
The advantages of soft ecosystem-based climate change adaptation over hard infrastructure-based approaches are becoming increasingly recognised. A new analysis highlights these advantages and calls for more effort to improve our understanding of ecosystem-based adaptation's (EbA) effectiveness.
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Call for integration of ecosystem-based adaptation into policy
A new review of ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation has described the multi-functional benefits of integrating such measures into policy. It concludes that there is good evidence for the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), and that its adoption by policymakers and stakeholders should be encouraged.
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