Demonstrating evidence of Ecosystem-based Adaptation: Cases in Latin America and the Caribbean

This regional contest aims to identify successful cases of innovative and replicable EbA measures that contribute to the resilience and adaptation of communities to climate change. The Community of Practice EbA in collaboration with UN - Environment REGATTA, has the pleasure to share the ten best EbA experiences selected.


Adaptation in coastal wetlands of the Gulf of Mexico to the impacts of climate change in Mexico

Organization: National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change
Authors: Dra. Margarita Caso, Karina Santos del Prado Gasca
Country: México

The project Adaptation in coastal wetlands of the Gulf of Mexico to the impacts of climate change, implemented through international cooperation, was coordinated by the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, with the participation of different government agencies. It was funded with GEF financing, operated by the World Bank and Nacional Financiera.

The project was implemented from 2011 to 2016 in three coastal wetlands of the Gulf of Mexico, which are highly vulnerable to climate change: Laguna de Alvarado, Veracruz; Lagunar System Carmen-Pajonal-Machona, Tabasco; And wetland of Punta Allen, RB Sian Ka'an, Quintana Roo. Its objective was to design and implement pilot adaptation measures to reduce vulnerability to climate change of human communities in coastal wetlands and increase ecosystem resilience. It was developed under the EbA approach, with a strong social and gender component. Valuable lessons learned have been generated for adaptation to climate change, as well as knowledge of mangrove reforestation techniques, restoration of water flows, and repopulation of coral reefs. Sustainable mangrove management was promoted through the promotion of Management Unit for the Conservation of Wildlifes, land management models with a focus on climate change, the development of eco-technics and capacity building in communities. With this project Mexico advances in the fulfillment of the national and international goals of adaptation and mitigation to the climatic change.



Building Capacity for Coastal Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Small Island Developing States: The case of Grenada

Organization: Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and the Environment, Government of Grenada 
Authors: Kerricia Hobson, Leyana Romain, Aria R. St.Louis
Country: Grenada

The Project Building Capacity for Coastal Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Small Island Developing States in Grenada demonstrates the feasibility of active coral reef restoration as a viable potential climate change adaptation strategy for Small Islands. It focuses on building institutional and community capacity to implement this strategy, and in particular has designed a community-based coral reef restoration programme that aims to restore degraded reefs at two sites in Grenada. The goal is to reduce the vulnerability of local communities to the impacts of climate change, and to increase resilience.

The Project emphasizes the value provided by tropical coastal ecosystems like coral reefs to coastal protection, and further the added co-benefits they provide that support tourism and fisheries, which are two important economic sectors in tropical Small Islands.The main component of the Project is active replanting of Acropora coral fragments - Staghorn and Elkhorn - onto existing reefs as an ecosystem-based approach to mitigating climate change effects. Supporting features include designing effective management structures and proper planning tools, and implementing a monitoring system that allows for the tracking and assessing of the outputs over a period of time. Long term goals for the Project involve expansion of the Programme across the state and the assistance to other countries to replicate the work.

For more information: Grenada Coastal EBA Project: Reef Restoration Programme



Robust adaptation measures based on Ecosystems in Canchayllo and Miraflores in the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve in Peru

Organization: Mountain Institute/ International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN) 
Authors: Karen Podvin, Florencia Zapata
Country: Peru

The case describes the context, implementation, results and learning from the EbA robust measures - as part of the collaborative program EbA Montaña* - in two communities by the IM and the IUCN, in collaboration with the Head Office of the RPNYC.

The work was based on an assessment based on perceptions, knowledge and needs of both communities. In addition, with the integration of scientific knowledge, a joint design of robust measures for the expansion and conservation of wetlands and the community management of native grasslands that contemplated the restoration of ancestral and contemporary technologies for the management of water in the puna was carried out. These measures included three components:

I. Strengthening of institutional and community organization.
II. Strengthening local skills and knowledge.
III. Green-gray infrastructure.

These measures contribute to strengthening resilience of communities and the ecosystem in a scenario of climate uncertainty. By conserving and improving pasture management - as a result of regulating the hydrological system and strengthening community organization and capacities - it will better prepare people to cope with uncertain climatic scenarios.

* UNDP, UNEP, IUCN and IM; financed by BMUB, implemented in Peru on behalf of MINAM and with the support of SERNANP.


For more information:
- Sistematización del Proyecto en Perú



Adaptation to climate change with restoration and conservation of coastal ecosystems in the South Atlantic, Uruguay

Organization: Climate Change Division and the Department of Coastal and Marine Management of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay (MVOTMA). 
Authors: Inti Carro, Leonardo Seijo, Ximena Lagos, Ofelia Gutiérrez, Gustavo J. Nagy, Carolina Segura
Country: Uruguay

The project demonstrates the implementation of measures to adapt to climate change, based on the perspective of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA). The experience focuses on the selection, implementation and ownership by the community and local government of a set of measures aimed at strengthening coastal ecosystem and landscape services as a means of reducing the system's vulnerability to erosion processes caused by climate variability. Recovery and strengthening of the coastal ecosystems of the Kiyú resort, located on the coast of the Río de la Plata estuary (department of San José, Uruguay), was developed through dune regeneration, revegetation with native species, sustainable drainage systems and other management measures for the conservation and protection of the coastal zone, reducing pressures related to use. The project increased the resilience of socio-ecological systems, consolidated a set of measures as an inherent part of local coastal management, strengthened the socio-institutional capacity for coastal management and allowed the development of concrete actions to adapt to climate change applicable to the rest of the coastal zone of Uruguay.

For more information:
- Ministerio de Ambiente, Ministerio de Desarrollo Social y Gobierno Local
- Documental Acción Costera



A Strategy for Capacity Building in Ecosystem-based Adaptation in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil

Organization: Biodiversity and Climate Change in the Atlantic Forest Project, coordinated by the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment 
Authors: Jennifer Viezzer, Patrícia Betti
Country: Brazil

The strategy was developed by the Biodiversity and Climate Change in the Atlantic Forest Project, coordinated by the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, in the context of the Brazilian-German Sustainable Development Cooperation, under the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection, Construction and Nuclear Safety.

The project aimed at the formation of EbA trainers so they could internalize the approach in their institutions, engage other actors, and insert EbA in public policies and land use planning instruments. Courses were designed and offered, didactic materials were provided and coaching was offered to the participants to develop their activities. A total of 65 trainers and 265 actors were reached by the strategy. Thereby, it influenced the preparation of the Brazilian National Adaptation Plan to Climate Change and the use of EbA on territorial planning instruments. It also increased the adaptive capacity through the formation of technical personnel in the EbA methods, raising awareness about vulnerabilities and impacts of climate change on the Atlantic Forest, the importance of maintaining environmental services and the effectiveness of EbA measures. Besides, trainers and engaged actors are now able to spread their knowledge and insert the approach into their work.

For more information: Biodiversity and climate change in the Mata Atlântica.



Diversification as an adaptation strategy in Mexican northwest farms. Case study: El Mogor, Guadalupe Valley, Mexico.

Organization: Autonomous University of Baja Carlifornia, Mexico
Authors: Pedro Daniel Alcázar Ortega
Country: Mexico

Productive diversification is a strategy employed by family farms to support their subsistence. The documentation of the benefits of this type of management in Latin America is not well studied. The case study presented is located in the Guadalupe Valley, northwest of Mexico, where agricultural production and rural areas are now threatened by a severe drought and political and private interests that favor mass tourism. In 60 years, the owner of the El Mogor farm allowed to document a process of productive diversification that has intuitively been based on the management of ecosystems. Currently, the farm includes socially and environmentally responsible vineyards and wineries, organic vegetables and fruit trees, holistic livestock and soil recovery, restaurant with local ingredients and direct purchase, natural landscape conservation, weather station and carbon and water harvest. The strategy based on the management of ecological constraints is exemplary and in the future it is possible that they will experience less climate-related disasters than conventional, non-diversified farms. This case study demonstrates the adaptability to climatic and socioeconomic changes to the surrounding environment.



Biochar for Sustainable Soils (B4SS) in Peru

Organization: Starfish Initiatives
Authors: Dr Ruy K. Anaya de la Rosa, Dr Brenton Ladd
Country: Peru

Funded by the GEF and UNEP, the Biochar for Sustainable Soils (B4SS) project in Peru develops an economically viable strategy for biochar, organic waste converted into charcoal for use as soil amendment that can improve productivity and resilience of Peruvian agriculture. Biochar technologies are modelled on the land management practices of Terra Preta that the Amazonians created before Columbus’ arrival. In our efforts to revive this ancient land management practice, Starfish Initiatives has worked with local partner, APRODES, and Dr Brenton Ladd to evaluate various technologies for producing biochar and test numerous formulations or recipes across a wide range of soil types in Peru. We have collaborated with small scale coffee producers in San Ramon, Chanchamayo, where farmers perceive that the most significant problems are lack of nutrients in the soil and the “coffee rust” fungus called roya. One key finding is that the low cost Kontiki reactor is an appropriate technology for producing biochar in Peru. Our results show that it is important to blend nutrient-rich waste streams, such as animal manure, with woody biomass to consistently produce high-quality biochar formulations. Biochar technologies can play an important role in sustainable land management in Peru.

For more information: Biochar International .



Proposals for Ecosystems Based Adaptation to Climate Change for the Bribri Indigenous Territory of Costa Rica

Organization: Polytechnic University Madrid, Spain / National Institute of Development, Costa Rica / Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID) 
Authors: Mónica García-Aguilar, Carlos Diez-Galindo, Jose Alfonso Domínguez-Nuñez
Country: Costa Rica

The anthropogenic action associated with Climate Change, the loss of ancestral management and the incursion of banana monoculture, along with "El Niño - Southern Oscillation" phenomenon, are causing an increase in temperatures and changes in the frequency and intensity of rainfall in the Bribri indigenous territory of Costa Rica. This is affecting the ecosystems of the territory and the food security of families, making them increasingly vulnerable. The general objective of the work was to facilitate the adaptation of this community to Climate Change, increasing the resilience of its productive systems through Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EbA) measures. To this end, all indigenous productive spaces were recognized and the general effects of Climate Change were identified on representative farms of the territory. The identification of measures of adaptation was based on diversification, on the rescue of the ancestral knowledge (Community-based Adaptation), which implied to understand the indigenous farm as an integral farm, that is to say, an agroecosystem (EbA). Taking into account the importance of the forest elements in the indigenous ecosystems, a specific action on training and construction of family forest nurseries was implemented to integrate the Agroforestry Systems into productive systems.



Silvopastoral systems: A technology for the development of sustainable livestock adapted to climate change in Central America

Organization: Livestock and Environmental Management Program (GAMMA). Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE).
Author: Claudia J. Sepúlveda L.
Region: Central America

A large area in the Mesoamerican region is used for extensive cattle ranching and is also one of the regions with the greatest climate vulnerability. Therefore, CATIE GAMMA has jointly identified with its strategic partners (producers, researchers, policy makers) various Silvopastoral practices, mainly in Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, and has proven its economic, environmental and social benefits. The objective is to improve the production indexes of the herd, improve the quality of life of the families, reduce the impact to the environment and improve the adaptation and mitigation of livestock to climate change.

For more information:



The promotion of adaptation to climate change in the Ciénaga de Majaguillar wetland and the coastal area of the Martí municipality in Matanzas province in Cuba.

Organization: Map Matanzas Green Branch, Environment Unit (UMA) and Meteorological Center (CMP), Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Environment in Matanzas Province. Cuba
Authors: Froilán Dueñas Pérez, Dr. C. Ángel Alberto Alfonso Martínez, Niliam Fernández Rosado
Country: Cuba

Experience is developed in Matanzas, Cuba, at the wetland Ciénaga de Majaguillar that provides useful ecosystem services to the address climate change as: flood regulator, carbon sink, protector against the salinity of aquifers, etc. The project highlights risks, ecosystem / landscape resilience and use of their services, EbA technologies and practices to address vulnerabilities, as it contributes to strengthening capacities to face the impacts identified for productive sectors. The experience contributes to the National Program of Climate Change in Cuba, which prioritizes the "best practices" of the country, Scientific and technological development on the environment, climate change and the conservation of biodiversity ". Lessons learned are related to planning, investment, implementation, monitoring, environmental management, environmental perception, group workshops and advocacy, which demonstrate behavioral changes in the population and decision-makers at community and municipal level, as well as at the grassroots level.

For more information: