Operationalizing Ecosystem Based Adaptation in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region

The Greater Mekong Sub-region’s (GMS) rich endowment of natural capital and ecosystem services plays a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity and supporting economic growth. However, climate change is putting increasing pressure on both ecosystems and human communities in the region, calling for a response that builds resilience in both systems to decrease vulnerability to climate change.
Ecosystem based adaptation (EbA) presents such an opportunity. The primary objective of EbA is to ensure that the stabilizing and regenerative qualities of ecosystems are maintained or enhanced to ensure optimal outcomes for biodiversity and human communities. Ecosystem based adaptation can be a critical part of overall climate change adaptation strategies. However, capacity and knowledge on how to select and implement EbA measures remain poorly developed; especially in terms of guidance on how EbA fits with regional, national and sub-national climate change and development strategies.

To respond to this gap, the World Bank, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and in the context of the broader World Bank Netherland Partnership Program (BNPP), supported the development of a generic operational framework for considering and assessing EbA responses. This framework was piloted in two countries (Lao PDR and Vietnam), and produced several valuable pieces of work that are aimed at supporting the development of EbA responses and mainstreaming of EbA in policy and planning.

The development of the generic framework and associated products comes at an opportune time when international policy negotiators and national decision makers are taking steps to integrate and mainstream EbA in their policy and on-the-ground work. Interest in EbA is rapidly increasing and the approach is now considered an important aspect of “climate-smart” development.

Framework to Implement and Mainstream Ecosystem based Adaptation

Framework to Implement EbA in the GMS to offer step-wise guidance on how to consider, develop, and implement EbA responses as well as how countries can mainstream EbA in their planning processes. Customized frameworks for Implementation of EbA in Vietnam and Lao PDR to provide context-appropriate steps and guidance to provincial-level planners and communities in Vietnam and Lao PDR. Policy Briefs to provide guidance and recommendations on policy integration and further uptake of the framework in Lao PDR and Vietnam. Brochure promoting further uptake and application of the framework in the GMS and elsewhere.

Supporting Documents

Literature Review that consolidates existing knowledge on EbA and its associated adaptation and policy issues and serves as a rigorous background for the frameworks. Case studies from field testing in Vietnam and Lao PDR. The case studies detail the processes carried out in Vietnam and Lao PDR to customize the generic framework, including how barriers were overcome and what lessons were learned from the experience.
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