The Conservation Standards-based method for planning and implementing Ecosystem-based Adaptation strategies

GIZ - CAMP Tabiat
Published: 23 March 2017
Last edited: 02 July 2020
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Conservation Standards Applied to EbA is a product of collaboration between the Central Asian project team lead by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH working on EbA and the Climate Guidance Working Group of the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP). The method builds on the already widely used Conservation Measures Partnership’s Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation (Conservation Standards) to propose a way for designing, implementing and learning from EbA interventions. CMP and GIZ have worked together to develop this method based on an EbA project in Central Asia, but aimed at a global audience of EbA practitioners and the communities with which they work. 


North and Central Asia
Scale of implementation
Cold desert
Desert ecosystems
Forest ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems
Grassland ecosystems
Rangeland / Pasture
River, stream
Temperate deciduous forest
Tundra or montane grassland
Wetland (swamp, marsh, peatland)
Disaster risk reduction
Ecosystem services
Forest Management
Land management
Sustainable livelihoods
Water provision and management
Erratic rainfall
Glacial retreat
Increasing temperatures
Land and Forest degradation
Shift of seasons
Ecosystem loss
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Poor governance and participation
Unemployment / poverty
Sustainable development goals
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 10: Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 18: Traditional knowledge
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge


Bartang, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, Tajikistan | Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan


The policy approach to natural resource management in Central Asia still follows a top down approach, which is not able to provide localized and tailored solutions to the negative impacts of climate change. Local government structures are not equipped with sufficient financial resources and often lack capacities in order to create comprehensive management plans that incorporate climate information. The diverse ecosystems in the high mountainous regions of Central Asia provide essential goods and services, such as clean water, forest products, protection against natural disasters. However, inappropriate land management practices coupled with climate change impacts pose a severe threat to the sensitive ecosystems and have already led to increasing degradation. The EbA method outlined here helps to overcome these problems with an integrated approach that also takes Capacity Development into account. Climate information and nature based solutions help people to adapt to climate change.



Primary beneficiaries are communities in the pilot watersheds. The EbA method will also be enshrined in the strategic planning documents at national and regional level and in the planning of major international partners.

How do the building blocks interact?

The presented Building Blocks are steps within the developed EbA Method.  BB 1 represents Steps 2-4, whereas BB 2 focuses on Step 5. Through the application of the, in total, 13 Steps, you develop an understanding of how community livelihoods and well-being depend on ecosystem services. With this understanding, you document observed and likely climate change impacts on the ecosystems providing those essential services. Next, you examine the relationships between climate change and other, conventional threats, identify the socioeconomic factors contributing to the threats, and define adaptation interventions. You then define how you believe that these interventions will address the full range of climate and non-climate threats and contribute to conserving or restoring the ecosystems on which people depend (their “theory of change”). Further, you can use the CoSEbA method to determine how to monitor and evaluate progress toward your goals and objectives, to ensure adaptive management and ongoing learning. Through the adoption of EbA interventions, you can improve communities’ natural resource use practices and enhance the health of ecosystems and provision of ecosystem services, while reducing climate vulnerability.


Together with local communities, innovative processes of climate change adaptation planning have been launched. The participatory application of the method provided clarity to local stakeholders on the potential conventional and climate change related threats as well as adaptive capacities of local communities and ecosystems towards current and long-term climate change trends. It allowed to identify the most promising adaptation options robust to different climate scenarios, primarily focusing on improved pasture and forest management as well as water conservation measures. Additionally, households have been introduced to alternative income opportunities, such as tourism and fruit processing. The level of knowledge of local authorities, specialists of public sector institutions, and the local population about climate change issues and the need to adapt with nature-based solutions has been improved through communication and environmental education. The capacity of village institutions has been strengthened to flexibly plan the management of natural resources and make decisions on conservation and restoration of biodiversity. Local authorities and village institutions are now familiar with the features of decision-making under a changing climate (scenario planning). These joint measures will enable residents of high mountainous regions to better adapt to climate change.



Navruzmamad Bodurov is 46 years old, and almost all his life he lived in the village of Siponj of the Bartang Valley,Tajikistan. “I have been working as a teacher for 20 years in our rural school. I also started beekeeping, which brings a certain income to our family. I also work as a volunteer manager in our rural organization. I am doing this work, to contribute to the development of our community. I would like to give people hope for a better future and show them a successful example. Our village is rich in water, land and pastures. These resources are very important for us. The main sources of income for the local population, in addition to the remittances of our labor migrants, are agriculture and livestock. To improve the lives of fellow villagers, it is necessary to develop a more effective agriculture and livestock system, involving specialists in those fields. I really wish that our children will have a better life than us.”

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Paul Schumacher Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

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Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH