In many developing regions of the world, economies and local communities depend largely on the services provided by ecosystems for their sustenance. Recent evidence has shown that the degradation and possible loss of these vital ecosystem services results in imbalance of both societies and ecosystems resulting in vulnerabilities. Hence resilient ecosystems have been seen as an important foundation to human well-being and also necessary for better adaptive capacity for the communities that depend on them. It’s on this premise that the concept of Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) is particularly relevant. Evidence has shown that mountain ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to climate change and as such the ecosystem services that they provide for communities and species within and without the proximity of these areas are also threatened. This paper discusses the EbA approach that has been applied to mountain ecosystems of Nepal, Peru and Uganda. Vulnerability Impact Assessments (VIAs) were undertaken to understand community vulnerability, mapping the important ecosystems services provided and options offered for reducing this vulnerability for resilient ecosystems. The EbA implementation in all three countries also demonstrates a move from EbA conceptualization to realization on the ground and at the policy level. Finally this paper will also examine the policy implications of this approach nationally and ability for the work to be up-scaled to other mountain ecosystems and other ecosystems as well.
Chapter in: N. Salzmann et al. (eds.), Climate Change Adaptation Strategies – An Upstream-downstream Perspective