Cousiño, A. & Penha-Lopes, G. (2021) Ecosystem based adaptation: concept and terminology in strategic adaptation planning (Municipal and Inter-Municipal) in Portugal.Sustainability, 13(11), 1-13. DOI:10.3390/su13116145 (IF2020 3,251; Q3 Environmental Studies)
Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) is a nature-based solution that has gained importance in the context of international climate policy, such as in the EU Adaptation Strategy (2013), which explicitly encourages its adoption and which should continue in The European Green Deal. This study aims to analyze how the EbA concept has been adopted in strategic adaptation planning at the municipal and intermunicipal levels in Portugal after the publication of the European adaptation strategy in 2013. Thus, a quantitative content analysis was carried out, based on EbA keywords, of municipal strategies and intermunicipal plans in Portugal. The term “ecosystem-based” has not been transposed as an explicit objective at the municipal and intermunicipal levels. All strategies and plans have included indirect references to the underlying elements of the EbA concept. This study highlights that although the EU Adaptation Strategy explicitly encourages EbA, this does not mean that it is adopted as a preferred adaptation approach at the local level in Portugal. The EbA seems to be more widely understood by the research community than by municipal technicians or private companies. It is necessary to explore how the EbA concept can be more widely accepted through the generation of co-benefits and by synergies between topics.