Using the Open Standards-Based Framework for Planning and Implementing Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Projects in the High Mountainous Regions of Central Asia
The ecosystems of the high mountain regions of Central Asia are rich in biodiversity and provide essential services, such as the regulation and provision of water for the population of the entire region. However, inappropriate land management of these fragile ecosystems combined with their vulnerability to climate change threats (e.g. melting glaciers, changes in water flow regime, droughts) decrease their resilience and thus, the ability to provide continued services to people. A BMUB (German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety) IKI (International Climate Initiative) funded and GIZ-led (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) consortium explores the use of an Ecosystem-based Adaptation approach to help people adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. It aims to strengthen the provision of ecosystem services and thereby enhance the livelihoods of the population depending on them. Although the application of potential ecosystem-based measures in Central Asia is not new, typically relevant climate risk information on people and ecosystems is not considered and thus, has a higher risk of introducing maladaptive interventions. This project used a modified form of the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation to systematically develop and test an integrated planning framework that used climate risk information to identify key vulnerabilities of people and ecosystem services under several plausible climate change scenarios and developed potential adaptation options. The framework’s guidance can contribute to a paradigm shift: moving away from business as usual approaches to climate informed adaptation processes. In addition, it constitutes a cornerstone for building a bridge between international climate finance mechanisms and climate-informed adaptation of local communities.
KeywordsClimate change Ecosystem-based Adaptation Open Standards High mountains Central Asia
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