The 21st Century has witnessed impacts of Climate Change in many sectors. Having healthy ecosystems play a significant role in providing services to adjust to climate change. Communities have always sought to protect themselves and their valued assets from natural pressures and reduce their vulnerabilities. Recently, increasing interest is being directed towards adaptation approaches that use ecosystem services to build socio-ecological resilience for extreme climatic events.
According to the First Joint Ministerial Meeting of the Helsinki and OSPAR Commissions (JMM) in Bremen in June 2003, an ecosystem-based approach to management refers to the comprehensive integrated management of human activities based on the best available scientific knowledge about the ecosystem and its dynamics, in order to identify and take action on influences which are critical to the health of marine ecosystems, thereby achieving sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services and maintenance of ecosystem integrity
Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Management (EBAM) uses various approaches for sustainable management, conservation, and restoration of ecosystems so as to provide services that empower people to adapt to the impacts of climate change. It provides a viable approach to environmental conservation and protection that integrates institutions and people across multiple sectors to collectively manage and protect biodiversity and natural resources.
EBAM has spearheaded initiatives that assess vulnerability, capacity building, and policy measures that have economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits that safeguard livelihood sustenance and food security, conservation of has biodiversity, sustainable water management, and disaster risk reduction, among other benefits.
EBAM has two basic principles:
- Integration of wise land use and watershed management practices with respect to natural resources management
- Application of a holistic, ecosystem-based approach to all human use and impacts relevant to natural resources and ecosystem management.
Ultimately, Ecosystem-based management (EBM) diﬀers from a single species or single sector approach to management by considering complex interactions between humans and the living and non-living environment over multiples scales in space and time.
The goal of EBM is to sustainably manage both target and non-target species by preserving or restoring habitat quality to maintain ecosystem services.
In particular, EBM:
- Emphasizes connectivity within and between systems, such as between land and sea
- focuses on the consequences of human actions within a specific ecosystem (or linked adjacent ecosystems)
- Emphasizes the protection and restoration of ecosystem structure, function and key processes, and
- Integrates biological, socioeconomic and governance perspectives.