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Rio Conventions Pavilion Focuses on Ecosystem-based Adaptation

15 June 20120: The Rio Conventions Pavilion at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) focused on the theme of Ecosystem-based Adaptation. Four panels addressed: ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation; economic valuation of land (EVL); the Bonn Challenges; and coastal climate change solutions.

The panel on ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation considered the value of ecosystem-based adaptation, implementation and decision support tools to move from principles to practice. Panelists also described pilot projects, including two projects in Fiji, one project in Seychelles and a database developed under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) with over 600 case studies to encourage sharing of best practices and innovative experiences.

The EVL panel considered the importance of valuing land. Panelists observed that deriving the full economic value of land is a prerequisite for sustainable land management and that many important ecosystem functions are not captured by the current returns on investment measures. On the way forward, panelists highlighted linking investors to producers, generating solid metrics to capture hidden values, and improving science-policy linkages.

The Bonn Challenge session highlighted the challenge of restoring 150 million hectares of degraded landscapes by 2020. Panelists discussed green economy transitions to address degraded lands and forest and landscape restoration approaches, including restoring functionality and ecosystems and restoring entire landscapes rather than individual sites. Panelists also highlighted the Mata Atlântica Restoration Pact, which aims to restore 15 million hectares of degraded lands in the Brazilian Atlantic forest by 2050.

The climate change solutions panel discussed operational challenges related to ecosystem-based adaptation, socioeconomic analysis to define protection potential, integrated approaches to enhance implementation of the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region (Cartagena Convention) and its Protocols, climate change mitigation through coastal ecosystem management, and developing country challenges.

The Pavilion is a collaborative outreach activity of the Secretariats of the Rio Conventions (namely the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and 25 other international, national and local partners. [IISD RS Coverage]