Replication and upscaling of GCCA climate actions via Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA) at local level

At a glance

2018-12-01 to 2022-12-01
Active programmes
Total budget
5,59 M€
GCCA priority area(s)

The climate Paris Agreement builds upon the national climate pledges known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), including mitigation but also significant adaptation components for many LDCs and SIDS. The assistance to GCCA+ partners for a positive inclusion of NDCs priorities into national development and economic development planning will facilitate the implementation of the Paris Agreement while striving to achieve the SDGs. Moreover, in order to sustain poverty reduction efforts that deliver low-emission climate-resilient sustainable development, it will be essential to adequately support partner countries in the implementation of their National Adaptation Plans and Processes (NAPs) and other UNFCCC commitments, and provide reliable and user-friendly climate information for decision-makers.
This action will pursue to enhance contribution to climate change adaptation objectives, in selected GCCA priority countries, through an ecosystem-based approach and/or the deployment of nature-based solutions so further contributing to national efforts towards implementation of national and local adaptation plans.


This action promotes alliances of relevant stakeholders at the local level where these strengthen the delivery and global relevance of the initiatives. Protection, restoration or sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and possibly deployment of Nature-Based Solutions, is part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people and communities to increase their resilience and adapt to climate change. These are embedded in the concept of Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA). By targeting local communities and grass-root organisations, it will contribute towards increasing the awareness, social benefits and EbA processes at the local level for increased climate adaptation and resilience building, risk management. It will facilitate access to climate finance at the local level. This action supports the three priorities of the GCCA+ and targets up to 4 countries in the group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), where prior GCCA actions have been successfully implemented and ecosystem-based approaches and/or nature-based solutions can be replicated and/or up-scaled. It seeks enhanced cooperation with local actors (Civil Society Organisations and Local Actors) for transformational changes in terms of climate adaptive mechanisms, climate resilience, sustainable management of natural resources and livelihoods.

Local civil society, local actors and authorities hold responsibility in mobilising local societies' opinions and capacities since they are closer to citizens than other national public institutions. They can act as catalysts for change. This is essential for adaptation to climate change since the challenge is global but its solutions are mainly local.

This action will address two important resolutions for the GCCA+ flagship initiative, namely to follow-up on and implement: (A) recommendation of the global evaluation of the GCCA 2008-2014 phase suggesting 'stronger involvement of non-state actors (NSAs) and the private sector in GCCA-supported activities'; and (B) recommendation stemming from the GCCA+ Global Learning Event (GLE) 2016 on 'how to increase the social benefits of climate change policies and interventions' (e.g. number of beneficiaries, dissemination of best practices, replication and up-scaling of successful interventions, stronger mainstreaming/promotion of ecosystem-based adaptation, nature-based solutions and climate resilience building) at the local level. The action also contributes to the countries efforts to implement National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). It will use an innovative mechanism to replicate and upscale prior GCCA EbA best practices at local level via the CSO-LA financing mechanism for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). This will open a GCCA+ climate action window for such CSO-LA interventions, so strengthening their contribution towards adaptation to climate change. This is in line with the EU commitment to the fight against climate change by incorporating spending on climate action into its whole budget and achieving the EU 20% climate target. At the same time, this Action will enable fast-tracked & demand-driven local action for climate resilience and foster innovative partnerships with CSOs under the GCCA+.

GCCA's action programme
Geographical scope
Initial GCCA/GCCA+ contribution
5,594,000.00 €

Specific objective

The specific objective is to support local actors in carrying out climate adaptation and resilience building actions via Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), in GCCA+ targeted countries.


R1: A better understanding of the conditions, functions and benefits associated with EbA approaches and deployment of nature-based solutions will be achieved;;

R2: Vulnerable communities and local civil society are empowered actors of change (actively engaged and having ownership over locally designed plans and having access to the knowledge base and services);

R3: Social benefits of climate change policies and interventions (e.g. number of beneficiaries, dissemination of best practices, replication and up-scaling of successful GCCA interventions via EbA and deployment of nature-based solutions by CSOs, stronger mainstreaming/promotion of ecosystem-based adaptation and climate resilience building) achieved at the local level.


In relation to R1:

  • Building the case for EbA and nature-based solutions based on the analysis of evidence, notably by linking results and lessons learned from the supported local initiatives with other GCCA+ interventions.
  • Raising awareness of stakeholders and notably decision makers on benefits of participatory action towards climate change adaptation via sustained ecosystem services and their role in climate resilience as well as for the local economy.
  • Enabling local and regional networking, synergies and best-practice sharing approaches to strengthen stakeholder involvement in climate actions for building climate resilience, especially via EbA and nature-based solutions and contribute to upscale local climate action.

In relation to R2

  • Support efforts to build and strengthen the capacity of local actors to design and undertake climate actions for adaptation, possibly with mitigation co-benefits, especially via EbA initiatives and nature-based solutions, and ensure their sustainability, up-scalability and replicability.
  • Developing mechanisms to help communities maximise the potential gains from equitable access to natural resources (including: land, forests, water).
  • Promoting innovative financial mechanisms by enabling local associations and entrepreneurship to experiment invest and expand creative economic activities such as Payment for Ecosystem Services, markets for green products, business-biodiversity partnerships, ecotourism and new forms of charity.

In relation to R3:

  • Developing Public-Private-Partnerships or financially viable community-run management plans to ensure the long term stability of ecosystem services and their related green infrastructures, including support for ecosystem service maintenance.
  • Local EbA interventions and nature-based solutions implemented to address specific climate change impacts identified at local level, such as: mangrove protection and restoration, wetland rehabilitation, habitat and agro-biodiversity conservation, climate smart agriculture, forest management, agroforestry systems, land management, soil and water conservation practices. These should be linked with improved livelihoods or income generating activities such as nature-based tourism and sustainable agriculture and fisheries.

Achievements to date
  • Democratic Republic of Congo:

  • Samoa: i) Supporting the Launch of the Samoa Ocean Strategy (SOS) in close collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE); ii) Supporting the establishment of different technical working groups under the National Oceans Steering Committee with a special focus on the Marine Spacial Planning Working Group; iii) Leading the drafting of the first Special, unique marine areas (SUMA) report for Samoa (important input to decisions about, for example, permits, licences, EIAs and where to place different types of marine protected areas, locally managed marine areas, community conservation areas; iv) Preparing the first legal review affecting marine and maritime space; Preparation of the first Marine Ecosystem Services Valuation (MESV); v) Developping formal partnership with the the National CSOs umbrella organisation - Samoa Umbrella for Non Governmental Organisations (SUNGO) to set up a mechanism providing grants to local CSO for implementation of EbA actions; vi) Organisation of national workshops to ensure effective participation of CSO and national leadership in the establishement of the MSP.

Challenges and lessons learned
  • Democratic Republic of Congo:

  • Samoa: The project started in January 2019 and was affected by several unexpected negative events such has the mislease outbreak in 2019 and the COVID19 in 2020 that affected the travel in the region (IUCN - the implementing partners is based in Fiji) - and mouvements/activities within the Country. IUCN was a proactive partner proposing remote support to national administratons and large group of stakeholders nevertheless in thse emergy situations all activities related to the establishment of a MSP - as an EbA solution for climate change adaptation - were not a priority. A part from these external factors, no major challanges were experienced during the implementation as the action is well supported by the national ministry (MNRE)

  • Democratic Republic of Congo:

  • Samoa: The implementation will continue in allignment with the last workplan adapted to face the COVID19 pandemic. an extention of the action could be needed to compensate the delays caused by the external factors