Ecosystem-based adaptation for smallholder farmers: Definitions, opportunities and constraints
Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) or the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services has been gaining recognition as being a vital part of the overall strategy to help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. This study recognizes the importance of EbA in helping smallholder farmers adapt to climate change while providing co-benefits such as livelihood, continued provision of a variety of ecosystem services, and conservation of existing resources.
GOALS & METHODS
The objectives of the study are: (i) to provide a definition Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in the context of agricultural systems; (ii) to establish a framework for identifying which agricultural practices could be considered as EbA practices; (iii) to underscore some opportunities and challenges for using these practices to help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change.
CONCLUSIONS & TAKEAWAYS
The study applied the EbA framework and definition to coffee management practices in Central America. It argues that most EbA practices are already well known to smallholder farmers, such as agroforestry practices, soil and water conservation practices, etc. The study also provides three key dimensions and underlying criteria that agricultural practices need to satisfy to be considered Ecosystem-based Adaptation practices that are appropriate for smallholder farmers. These key dimensions are: (i) ecosystem-basedness; (ii) adaptation benefits; and (iii) livelihood security.
Ecosystem-based adaptation for smallholder farmers: Definitions, opportunities and constraints. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 2015;211:126–132. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2015.05.013.
- The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Turrialba, Costa Rica
- The Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans, Conservation International, Arlington, 22202 VA, USA
- CIRAD, UPR Bioagresseurs, F-34398 Montpellier, France
- IICA-PROMECAFE, AP. 55, 2200 Coronado, San José, Costa Rica
- CIRAD, UMR SYSTEM (CIRAD-INRA-SupAgro), Montpellier Cedex 1, France
- Institute for Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada