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When Nature-based Solutions are vulnerable to climate change

FOL is coordinating international vulnerability assessments in FutureMARES, a new project that just took off

02/10/2020 -

Nature-based solutions are actions that enhance and support ecosystems to provide adaptation and mitigation benefits to human well being and biodiversity (IUCN standards), for example restoring marine habitats like posidonia meadows or oyster beds, conserving habitats and species with marine protected areas, or sustainable harvesting of fish and mariculture. It is well known that these actions provide mitigation and adaptation benefits, for example sequestering greenhouse gases in marine habitats, or buffering the effects of extreme events on the coast. Despite these benefits, nature-based solutions (NbS) are not free themselves from the impacts of climate change, and the question of whether they are vulnerable and therefore effective to achieve their goals remains unknown in most cases. In the project FutureMARES (Climate Change and Future Marine Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity), a new Horizon 2020 European project, FOL will delve into the vulnerability of NbS.

Between September 22nd and 24th, Elena Ojea and Juan Bueno participated in the Kick-off meeting of  FutureMARES, which has the main goal of providing socially and economically viable actions, strategies and NbS for climate adaptation and mitigation to safeguard future biodiversity, and ecosystem functions, maximizing natural capital and its delivery of services. FOL members Juan Bueno and Elena Ojea will lead a work package about the development of vulnerability assessments in marine social-ecological systems (WP5).

We will coordinate and develop climate vulnerability assessments in storylines from Europe, Chile and the Caribbean, with the goal to identifying the most at-risk marine ecosystem services and dependent livelihoods in these regions. This work package will also be coordinated with Clement Garcia from CEFAS, who will be in charge of the ecological the vulnerability assessments, and with Ana Ruiz Frau from IMEDEA, who will lead the analysis on the flow of Ecosystem Services to the society and their sensitivity to climate change.

We will assist ten different storylines in order to ensure that the vulnerability assessments are carried out in a replicable and comparable way. Putting together the results from the different storylines, the work package lead by FOL will provide valuable information on the Ecosystem Services and NbS susceptible to suffer the consequences of Climate Change. FOL will also create a tool for the assessment of the vulnerability of ecosystem services, based on our experience with MPA-Engage, to help managers and decision makers of the areas under study to develop appropriate conservation policies.

We are looking forward to start working on this challenge!

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CATEGORIES: Elena Ojea, Future Oceans Lab, FutureMARES, Juan Bueno, Research