Creating awareness and knowledge about EbA

Published: 08 January 2021
Last edited: 08 January 2021

Because Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) was a completely new concept to the stakeholders and communities, it was essential to build awareness about EbA and its potential benefits. Prior to this, the communities’ model of development was deforestation and overexploitation of plant species, which negatively impacted biodiversity. Training on EbA was first given to local partner organisations and then to community members, with a focus on how the EbA approach addresses climate change and helps communities address other issues such as income generation. After the trainings, a series of awareness-raising activities were conducted, including the publication of brochures, signboards, posters, and other materials. The objective was to demonstrate the different activities to be implemented, such as conservation of community water ponds, and their positive impacts. After creating awareness about the EbA concept and its practice, the community took a leadership role in implementing activities and was empowered to integrate their local knowledge and skills in water source and pond conservation. Technical experts supported the communities’ local knowledge with technical and scientific expertise.

Classifications

Category
Alliance and partnership development
Collection of baseline and monitoring data and knowledge
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Evaluation, effectiveness measures and learning
Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Local
Phase of solution
Implementation
Monitoring
Documentation and dissemination of results

Enabling factors

  • Active participation of governing bodies, implementing agencies, local communities and other stakeholders 
  • Communication tools such as interactive maps, posters, and videos
  • Integration of local knowledge and past experience in the construction of ponds (type of materials, suitable locations, etc.) 
  • Practical demonstration of activities 
  • Promotion of citizen scientists as bridges between the project and local communities 
  • Communities leading implementation

Lessons learned

  • Community engagement is crucial. In Panchase, the project targeted engaged community leaders, who in turn motivated other community members to participate.
  • Participation of diverse groups increases the potential for success and the equitable distribution of benefits. The project sought the participation of community forest user groups and other community groups, including mothers’ group, homestay groups, and agricultural groups.
  • The project team should have a clear understanding of the environmental, socio-economic, and political context of the area. Tourism in Panchase helped determine the intervention. Increasing the viability of homestays provided an entry point for additional measures.
  • Maintaining a good rapport with communities and stakeholders fosters trust. Both IUCN and the local NGO regularly visited the site and communities and developed a strong rapport through frequent positive interactions.
  • Local knowledge: the project used the communities’ local knowledge about pond restoration, water conservation, and water management to develop the intervention.