Ecosystem-based adaptation projects: more than just adaptation: analysis of social benefits and costs in Colombia

Richerzhagen, Carmen / Jean Carlo Rodríguez de Francisco / Felix Weinsheimer / Alessandro Döhnert / Lukas Kleiner / Marjam Mayer / Julia Morawietz / Eric Philipp
Externe Publikationen (2019)

in: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16 (21), 4248


Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) projects are increasingly flourishing throughout the globe on the grounds that EbA constitutes a particularly community-friendly solution for adaptation to climate change as it brings about an array of co-benefits. However, the promotion of EbA projects, by development agencies and conservation NGOs, remains blurry as it has not yet been contrasted against evidence on its effectiveness in delivering these benefits. Employing a political ecology perspective, the applied conceptual framework allows for the assessment of the social benefits and costs that EbA projects generate or reinforce and factors that influence the distribution of these social benefits or costs. This research is done in regards to two EbA projects in Colombia: one in the Andes focusing on water provision services from páramos, and the other in a coastal mangrove focusing on regulation services of extreme coastal events. Based on data collected by a qualitative multi-method approach, we find evidence that the assessed EbA projects generate a wide range of perceived social benefits and costs for the local communities living in the vicinity of the project sites. Furthermore, we identify agent-level (i.e., capitals and preferences) as well as structural factors (communication, participation, local and institutional context) that influence the generation and distribution of those social benefits and costs. Finally, this paper illustrates some of the contradictions and tensions in which EbA projects are implemented and how they may end up affecting the adaptive capacity of the communities involved in EbA projects.

Über die Autor*innen

Richerzhagen, Carmen

Agrar- und Umweltökonomin


Rodríguez de Francisco, Jean Carlo

Ökologische Ökonomie

Rodríguez de Francisco

Weitere Expert*innen zu diesem Thema

Aleksandrova, Mariya

Climate risk governance 

Bauer, Steffen


Beck, Tanja


Brandi, Clara

Ökonomie und Politikwissenschaft 

Dippel, Beatrice


Dombrowsky, Ines


Ekoh, Susan S.


Hein, Jonas


Hernandez, Ariel


Houdret, Annabelle


Hägele, Ramona


Iacobuta, Gabriela

Climate and sustainable development policy 

Lehmann, Ina


Malerba, Daniele


Mathis, Okka Lou


Schraven, Benjamin


Schüpf, Dennis


Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy