Identifying ecosystem-based measures for climate change adaptation in vulnerable communities in Salvador (Brazil)

Wolfram Lange
Published: 17 September 2019
Last edited: 10 December 2019
remove_red_eye 1766 Views


GIZ is supporting the Brazilian Federal Ministry of Environment in the implementation of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) in the project ProAdapta. The project cooperates with the city of Salvador on reducing climate change-related risks.

Through stakeholder meetings and interviews with experts, three different climate change impacts and hazards were selected: Increased risk of landslides and flooding due to more extreme precipitation as well as increasing heatwaves.

Two communities were selected based on criteria such as presence of entry points, several mapped risks and potential of already planned interventions. Next, vulnerability assessments were conducted by interviewing experts especially from academia and leaders of the two communities as well as through focus group discussions with community residents and document analysis.

Based on this, green and hybrid solutions for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction were identified and compared with grey solutions.


South America
Scale of implementation
Buildings and facilities
Forest ecosystems
Green roofs / Green walls
Green spaces (parks, gardens, urban forests)
Tropical evergreen forest
Urban ecosystem and build environment
Urban wetlands
Cities and infrastructure
Disaster risk reduction
Flood management
Health and human wellbeing
Urban planning
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
City management, governance and finance
Resilience and disaster risk management
Territorial and spatial development
Urban poverty and housing
Extreme heat
Increasing temperatures
Vector and water borne diseases
Pollution (incl. eutrophication and litter)
Ecosystem loss
Lack of technical capacity
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Lack of infrastructure
Poor governance and participation
Social conflict and civil unrest
Unemployment / poverty
Sustainable development goals
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 13 – Climate action
Aichi targets
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Sendai Framework
Target 1: Reduce global disaster mortality by 2030
Target 2: Reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030
Target 3: Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to GDP by 2030
Target 4: Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030
Target 6: Enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030


Salvador, Bahia, Brazil


Preliminary impacts and products are

1) Increased awareness of ecosystem-based measures for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction within key secretariats and institutions of the prefecture that focus on sustainability, resilience, infrastructure and urban projects. Such increased awareness holds the potential to not only positively affect the communities, but also governance and policies in Salvador, in general.

2) Consideration of climate change projections in the development of Structural Actions Plans of the Civil Defense.

3) A portfolio of green and hybrid solutions for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction such as: Slope stabilisation and permeabilisation with vetiver grass and trees for landslide reduction; bioswales and rain gardens against flooding. Such solutions could be used in future projects and policies by incorporating them in planning norms and the catalogue of applicable construction works.

4) Identification of research gaps, especially regarding vegetation types for specific disaster risk reduction measures and good practices of ecosystem management in communities.

5) The main challenge of implementing EbA measures in low-income communities is sensitising the population for effectiveness and participation.

Contributed by

Wolfram Lange

Other contributors

Directorate of Resilience and Civil Defense of the Municipal Secretariat of Sustainability, Innovat