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Setting Targets for Costing Ecosystem Adaptation

E. Ojea, R. K. Ghosh, B. B. Agrawal, P. K. Joshi, A. Markandya


Countries lack sound estimates of the costs they would need to incur to adapt to climate change. The problem is particularly serious for ecosystems adaptation, where current estimates are scarce and mainly based on the global financial flows needed for conservation. Methodological challenges remain unsolved and new approaches that operate not only on the protected area networks and at a level where policy action can take place are needed. We argue that setting desired targets for ecosystems based on climate impacts rather than designing the interventions based on monetary benefits and costs is a valid approach. Based on this, the aim of this paper is to put together existing efforts to cost ecosystem’s adaptation and identify the key points that future developments should take into consideration. The discussion is illustrated with a case study estimating the costs of adaptation in Indian forests. Shortcomings from previous approaches are identified and overcome by including a set of possible adaptation options, identifying areas that are more vulnerable to climate change, quantifying the magnitude of the required adaptation option and identifying both positive and negative impacts. Remaining challenges and policy implications are finally discussed.


adaptation costs, natural ecosystems, biodiversity, climate change,

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