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Rio Conventions Outline Actions on Adaptation

June 2012: On the sidelines to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) launched a joint brochure outlining how the three Rio Conventions address adaptation to climate change, and describing challenges and opportunities for synergistic action.

The information brochure, titled "The Rio Conventions: Action on Adaptation," outlines the three Conventions' mandates and action programmes on adaptation. The brochure highlights that the CBD recognizes the need to enhance the adaptive capacity of ecosystems and species, as well as the opportunities of ecosystem-based approaches (EBA) to adaptation. It also notes that the UNCCD recognizes the linkages among climate change adaptation and desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD). UNCCD also seeks to promote Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices and to enhance dryland populations' adaptive capacities to variable environmental conditions.

The brochure describes adaptation as a critical component of the UNFCCC, which is addressed in many of its programmes, including the Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF). It underscores that Parties to these Conventions have integrated adaptation into their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), Protected Area (PA) planning and management and National Adaptation Plans of Actions (NAPAs).

The brochure concludes by outlining remaining implementation challenges in the area of adaptation, including: closing information gaps between Conventions; mainstreaming SLM into adaptation priorities; and addressing financial, institutional and technical challenges. It notes opportunities for adaptation partnerships and highlights opportunities for increased stakeholder participation. [Publication: The Rio Conventions: Action on Adaptation]