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Ecosystem-based adaptation in Lake Victoria Basin; synergies and trade-offs

Agol, D. et al. | Royal Society Open Science | 2021
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.201847

Abstract

Healthy ecosystems such as forests and wetlands have a great potential to support adaptation to climate change and are the foundation of sustainable livelihoods. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) can help to protect and maintain healthy ecosystems providing resilience against the impacts of climate change. This paper explores the role of EbA in reconciling socio-economic development with the conservation and restoration of nature in Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya, East Africa. Using selected ecosystems in the Lake region, the paper identifies key EbA approaches and explores trade-offs and synergies at spatial and temporal scales and between different stakeholders. The research methods used for this study include site visits, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, participatory workshops and literature reviews. An analytical framework is applied to advance the understanding of EbA approaches and how they lead to synergies and trade-offs between ecosystem services provision at spatial and temporal scales and multiple stakeholders. Our results show that EbA approaches such as ecosystem restoration have the potential to generate multiple adaptation benefits as well as synergies and trade-offs occurring at different temporal and spatial scales and affecting various stakeholder groups. Our paper underscores the need to identify EbA trade-offs and synergies and to explore the ways in which they are distributed in space and time and between different stakeholders to design better environmental and development programmes.