Managing Climate Extremes and Disasters for Ecosystems: Lessons from the IPCC SREX report

"Good ecosystems management is critical for managing climate extremes and disasters. It plays three positive roles: delivery of ecosystem-based adaptation; delivery of co-benefits for livelihoods and biodiversity conservation; and support for climate mitigation. Healthy ecosystems, whether natural or modified, have a critical role to play through adaptation by reducing the risk of impacts from climate extremes and disasters on human society. Investment in sustainable ecosystem management has the potential to provide improved livelihoods and well-being. For example, conservation of water resources and wetlands that provide hydrological sustainability can further aid adaptation by reducing the pressures and impacts on human water supply. Forests have also been used in the Alps and elsewhere as effective risk reducing measures against avalanches, rock-falls and landslides since the 1900s, and mangrove replanting has been used as a buffer against cyclones and storm surges, with reports of 70 to 90% reduction in energy from wind-generated waves in coastal areas and reduction in the number of deaths from cyclones, depending on the health and extent of the mangroves."