Exploring ecosystem-based adaptation in Durban, South Africa: “learning-by-doing” at the local government coal face
The lack of progress in establishing ambitious and legally binding global mitigation targets means that the need for locally based climate change adaptation will increase in vulnerable localities such as Africa. This paper examines the “ecosystem-based adaptation” (EBA) programme implemented in Durban to consider the opportunities associated with the approach, it also recognizes the limitations and realities faced in the world’s most rapidly urbanizing continents. There are growing calls for biodiversity and ecosystems to be considered critical elements in any climate change response strategy. This paper considers the shift to “ecosystem-based adaptation”. The approach is being promoted as a cost-effective and sustainable approach to improving adaptive capacity. Furthermore, the concept of “community ecosystem-based adaptation” (CEBA) is being developed to highlight the mutually beneficial and positively reinforcing relationship that exists between ecosystems and human communities.