Ecosystem and Adaptation

Urban ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change

Full project title
The full project title is ‘Ecosystem services as a tool for climate change adaptations in coastal municipalities’ which is Working Package 2 (WP2) of a broader project titled ‘Implementing the Ecosystem Services Approach at the municipal level’ (ECOSIMP).

Main funding organisation
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Project timeline
December 2013 – March 2017

Project leader (of WP2)
Christine Wamsler, Associate Professor at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), in cooperation with Thomas Palo, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). Working packages WP1 and WP2 are coordinated by Professor Ingemar Jönsson, Kristianstad University.

Project partners
The project partners are the municipalities of Kristianstad, Malmö, Lomma, Helsingborg, Trelleborg, Simrishamn and Båstad, Scania’s Association of Local Authorities, the Universities of Kristianstad, Malmö, Lund and SLU.

Project summary
The overall objective of the research project (WP1 and WP2) is to analyse past decisions, current planning and future challenges for municipal planning and management from the perspective of ecosystem services, with the aim of increasing our understanding of the ecosystem concept as a tool for sustainable development. In this context, WP2 focuses on ecosystem-based adaptation and, more specifically, on the analysis of how ecosystem services are, and/or can be incorporated into urban planning for climate change adaptation.

Ecosystem-based adaptation is receiving increasing interest worldwide. Whilst its importance is increasingly recognised there is a lack of related research and a need for systematic reviews and collation of concrete examples (as, for instance, highlighted in a 2013 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change report on ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation to climate change).

Against this background, this research examines how the ecosystem services approach relates to current adaptation planning, and evaluates the conditions for using ecosystem services as a tool for designing municipal adaptation strategies. More specifically, the following aspects will be assessed: (a) current municipal adaptation measures and their relation to ecosystem services; (b) obstacles to the implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation; (c) individual ecosystem-based adaptation measures and their performance under different decision conditions (historically, at present and in the future).
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Research outcomes
The expected outcome is to generate operational knowledge on what, where, how and when an ecosystem service approach is suitable for adaptation planning.

Keywords
Adaptation, adaptive capacity, climate change, disaster, disaster risk, disaster management, cities, city authorities, climatic extremes, climate variability, ecosystem services, ecosystem-based adaptation, extreme temperatures, floods, risk governance, risk reduction, sea-level rise, sustainable transformation, people-oriented planning, urban planning, urban resilience, urban risk, urban transformation, vulnerability, windstorms.

Project-related news

New project-related publications

Wamsler, C., Niven, L, Beery, T., Bramryd, T., Ekelund, N., Jönsson, I., Osmani, A., Palo, T., Stålhammar, S. (2016) ‘Operationalizing Ecosystem-Based Adaptation: Harnessing Ecosystem Services to Buffer Communities against Climate Change’. Ecology and Society 21(1):31. Available at: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol21/iss1/art31/

Brink, E., Aalders, T., Adam, D., Feller, R., Henselek, Y., Hoffmann, A., Ibe, K., Matthey-Doret, A., Meyer, M., Negrut, L., Rau, A-L., Riewerts, B., Törnros, S., von Schuckmann, L., Von Wehrden, H., Abson D.J., Wamsler, C. (2016) ‘Cascades of Green: A Review of Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Urban Areas’. Global Environmental Change (GEC) 36:111–123. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378015300674

Beery, T., Stålhammar, S. Jönsson, K.I.Wamsler, C., Bramryd, T., Brink, E., Ekelund, N., Johansson, M., Palo, T., Schubert, P. (2016). Perceptions of the Ecosystem Services Concept: Opportunities and Challenges in the Swedish Municipal Context’. Ecosystem Services 17: 123–130. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041615300656

Luederitz, C., Brink, E., Gralla, F., Hermelingmeier, V., Meyer, M., Niven, L., Panzer, L., Partelow, S., Rau, A-L., Sasaki, R., Abson, D.J., Lang, D.J., Wamsler, C., von Wehrden, H. (2015). ‘A Review of Urban Ecosystem Services: Six Key Challenges for Future Research’. Ecosystem Services 14:98–112. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041615300024

Wamsler, C., Lüderitz, C. and Brink, E. (2014). ‘Local Levers for Change: Mainstreaming Ecosystem-based Adaptation into Municipal Planning to Foster Sustainability Transitions’. Global Environmental Change (GEC) 29 (2014) 189-201.

New tool for mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation

In the context of the project, a tool for integrating ecosystem-based adaptation into municipal governance and planning was developed together with Swedish and German cities. Leitfaden. Guide.

Ecosystem-based adaptation – joint education research project between LUCSUS and Leuphana University, Germany

This research project, carried out in 2014 and 2015, assessed research on ecosystem-based adaptation. Students enrolled either in the Lund University International Masters Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science (LUMES) or the Sustainability Science Master Program conducted a systematic review of the role of ecosystem services for sustainable adaptation planning. The project was supervised by Christine Wamsler (LUCSUS), David Abson and Henrik von Wehrden (Leuphana University).

Urban ecosystem services – joint education research project between LUCSUS and Leuphana University, Germany

This research project, carried out in 2013 and 2014, provided some initial inputs into research on ecosystem-based adaptation. Students enrolled either in the Lund University International Masters Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science (LUMES) or the Sustainability Science Master Program will conduct a systematic review of the role of ecosystem services for sustainable urban development. The project was supervised by Christine Wamsler (LUCSUS), Christopher Luederitz (LUMES), Daniel Lang, David Abson and Henrik von Wehrden (Leuphana University).

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