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Weekly News Alert
Issue 312
June 10-14, 2019
Nature-based solutions at the forefront of
G7 Environment Ministers' Meeting outcomes

The G7 Environment Ministers’ Meeting convened from 5-6 May, in Metz, France, and focused on the theme, ‘Fighting Inequalities by Protecting Biodiversity and Climate.’ One of the four main priorities identified by the French G7 Presidency is to promote solutions for stemming biodiversity loss and reducing climate change impacts. Ministers encouraged the deployment of nature-based solutions, including ecosystem-based adaptation and ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction, to “contribute to multiple Sustainable Development Goals simultaneously and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes”. Read the story here with detailed information on the outcome documents: the meeting Communiqué and Metz Charter
A natural shield to protect pea crops from hurricanes in Haiti
Peas are a key subsistence crop in Haiti, but they are often threatened by recurring hurricanes. This article from Haiti Libre argues that plants like hedgerows, trees and tall grass can act as efficient natural shields for pea plantations from the impacts of hurricanes. Some farmers have matched this approach with agroforestry techniques to improve soil quality, reduce water loss and improve infiltration. The combination of these have allowed Haitian farmers to increase their production value considerably while reducing the economic impacts of hurricanes on crop production through natural solutions.
As hurricane season begins,
‘green’ flood control finds support in Texas
With the 2019 hurricane season fast approaching, Texas has taken a major step toward improving its flood defenses, by passing Senate Bill 7 in late May for resilience-aimed grants and loans. The Bill makes direct reference to the “construction and implementation of nonstructural projects, including projects that use nature-based features to protect, mitigate or reduce flood risk”. While law makers are still considering gray infrastructure as the principal flood-control solution, the Bill offers a window of opportunity for the scaling up of green infrastructure for flood hazard mitigation. Read the story here
Helping Nature Help People Adapt to Climate Change and Deliver SDGs

Natural capital stocks underpin all human activities towards accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) is critical for achieving the SDGs in the context of a changing climate, as many SDGs are dependent on the health of ecosystems. Two reports highlight how this can be undertaken in practice. A GEF-funded project, ‘Ecosystem-based Adaptation through South-South Cooperation,’ implemented interventions in Mauritania, Nepal and Seychelles. In Seychelles, the project was based on mangrove and wetland restoration to mitigate coastal hazards. An EbA South report identifies knowledge gaps, and highlights a range of tools for planning and implementation of EbA measures, such as ecosystem valuation and risk assessment tools. Read the story here

PEDRR Shout Out
Up-scaling community resilience through ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction inception workshop in New Delhi, India

Following the recent launch of the project "Upscaling Community resilience through Eco-DRR", led by UN Environment and Partners for Resilience with funding from the European Commission, a series of country launches are being undertaken. The first country inception workshop was organized by Wetlands International South Asia and partners on 6 - 7 June 2019 in New Delhi. The workshop aimed to explore opportunities, to draft plans and outline partners' roles in implementing Eco-DRR activities, especially with regards to integrated wetland management in rural and urban areas of Odisha, Bihar and Gujarat States of India. The workshop involved government agencies, the Global Network for Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Risk, NGOs and academia working on disaster management, natural resources management and land use planning. 

For more information, please contact
Dushyant Mohil, Wetlands International South Asia
Project Insights

The Nature Conservancy:
Nature-Based Solutions in Coastal Georgia

The state of Georgia, United States, is home to nearly 1/3 of the country's east coast's salt marshes, as well as several estuaries and forests. These coastal ecosystems are key natural defenses against hazards and the rising impacts of climate change across the region. In recognition of this, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is focusing on nature-based solutions, such as ecosystem restoration and protection, to help communities adapt to climate change. Read more about TNC activities in Georgia here 
Featured Publication
Risk-informed development: From crisis to resilience
This report produced by the United Nations Development Programme, with the Overseas Development Institute and the Government of Switzerland, highlights the need for development which takes into account complex and interrelated risks such as climate change, economic instability and geopolitical volatility, among others. The report calls for a multi-hazard risk analysis; systematic assessment of risks to ensure resilience; the identification of stakeholders and actors; the understanding and analysis of trade-offs; and the need of a strong evidence base for policy-making. The report includes environmental change and natural hazards as part of such risks (Section 3.7), framing ecosystem protection and wise natural resource use as one of the elements for sustainable and risk-informed development.

Scientific Corner

The risk reduction benefits of the Mesoamerican reef in Mexico
In Quintana Roo, Mexico, coral reefs constitute a natural barrier against flooding from hurricanes. This study spatially quantifies the risk reduction benefits of the Mesoamerican Reef in Quintana Roo. The annual risk reduction value of coral reefs is estimated to protect 4,600 people from flooding, to prevent US$42 million in building damage, and US$20.8 million for hotel infrastructure. The study also looks at the protection value of coral reefs as compared to sand dunes, and analyses the increase in coastal risk from sea-level rise.

Launch of the Convention on Biological Diversity "Voluntary Guidelines for the Design and Effective Implementation of Ecosystem-based Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction and Supplementary Information"

5:30 - 6:30pm - Wednesday, 19 June 2019
GIZ Office Mäanderbau, Meeting Room Donau
Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 36, Bonn, Germany
This event to be held at the GIZ Office in Bonn, Germany, will mark the launch of a joint publication prepared by UN Environment, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and GIZ. The publication establishes voluntary guidelines for ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. The guidelines include updated  information for policy-makers on integrating EbA and Eco-DRR into a number of sectors. The guidelines were prepared in response to a decision from the Conference of the Parties to the CBD and provide information on principles, safeguards, tools, and a flexible framework for planning and implementing EbA and Eco-DRR. 

Job Opportunities

Consultant - Platform for Rangeland assessment data management
Organization: Global Ecosystem Management Group

Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Closing date: 12 June 2019

Climate Change and Environment Specialist, Eastern Caribbean
Organization: UNICEF

Location: Bridgetown, Barbados
Closing date: 13 June 2019
Communications Intern
(2 positions available)

Organization: UNCCD

Location: Bonn, Germany
Closing date: 15 June 2019

Project Officer
Organization: Wetlands International

Location: Nyamisati, Tanzania
Closing date: 12 June 2019

For more information please see PEDRR's Linkedin.
Please send your news alert for us to feature:
News Writer: Lavinia Giulia Pomarico & Rita Cozma
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