1. Introduction & Objectives
Anthropogenic activities modify natural systems and lead to environmental pressures at a global level. Land use change, growing population and increasing energy consumption together with climate change are recognized among main drivers of a global change. These processes significantly increase risk of systems exposed to environmental hazards and at the same time influence the provision of ecosystem services. Ecosystems play important roles in terms of hazard mitigation and vulnerability reduction but they are rarely considered by planning authorities dealing with disaster risk reduction – generally, engineered structures are preferred and promoted. Although understanding of the provision of ecosystem services is far from being complete and uncertainties remain, existing information is already available for applications. With respect to increasing risks related to global change, the concept of ecosystem services has a capacity to contribute to safety of both, social and natural systems and vulnerability reduction.
Objective: This working group aims to integrate the concept of ecosystem services into disaster risk reduction approaches dealing with environmental hazards at diverse spatial scales. One of these approaches might be so called “Ecosystem-based Adaptation”, which builds on sustainably managing, conserving and restoring ecosystems so that they continue to provide the services that allow society to adapt to global changes. The group also provides a platform for guidelines and standards development for vulnerability and risk indicators, incorporating ecosystem services notions at the outset of analysis. Other key issues in the scope of the group are e.g. identification of regions prone to disasters, recognition of natural capital capacity to reduce environmental risks or suggestions for responses to improve environmental security. The working group also intends to foster collaborative activities between the scientific community, disaster risk reduction practitioners and representatives of civil society in order to increase the uptake of the role ecosystems and their services while planning disaster risk reduction activities.
2. Lead Team & Members
Fabrice Renaud (Chair), United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn, Germany
David Vačkář (co-Chair), CzechGlobe, Brno, Czech Republic
Julia Kloos, German Aerospace Center, Bonn, Germany
Zita Sebesvari, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn, Germany
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Lead team, please contact the current lead team members.
If you are interested in becoming a member of this Working group, please click here.
3. Activities and Outputs
- 5th ESP Conference Portland 2012: Session on “Ecosystem Services Come of Age: Linking Science, Policy, and Participation for Sustainable Human Well-Being”
- 6th ESP Conference Bali 2013: Session on “Making Ecosystem Services Count”
- 7th ESP Conference Costa Rica 2014: Session on “Ecosystem-based solutions for adaptation and disaster risk reduction when considering multiple risks”
- 8th ESP Conference South Africa 2015: Session on ” The role of Ecosystem Services in Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate change adaptation & sustainable development”
- European Ecosystem Services Conference 2016: “Helping nature to help us”, University of Belgium, Antwerp.
Joint paper on “The role of ecosystem based adaptations in alleviating socio-ecological systems’ vulnerability to floods” (working title).
4. Related Networks and Projects
- The Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR): pedrr.org/
- Science for Nature and People (SNAP) working group on coastal defenses: http://www.snap.is/groups/coastal-defenses/
The International Scientific Conference “Our Common Future under Climate Change”: Presentation on ecosystem-based adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Joint ESP session (Session 2220 – Landscape and Ecosystems Adaptation)
The European Ecosystem Services Conference 2016: Helping nature to help us in Antwerp, Belgium, 19-23 September 2016.
Session “G3” on Enhancing adaptive capacity of social-ecological systems by incorporation of ecosystem Services will take place on Thursday, 22 September 2016.
- 6th ESP Conference, Bali, 2013 – Minutes Workshop 11: ES and Disaster Risk Reduction
- 7th ESP Conference, Costa Rica, 2014 – Minutes of the session ‘Ecosystem based solutions for adaptation and DRR when considering multiple risks