In close cooperation with and the benefit of three UNESCO Biosphere Reserves - Desnianskyi, Shatskyi, and Roztochya - the Michael Succow Foundation and the Centre for Econics and Ecosystem Management at Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development joined forces in this project.
The goal is to integrate an Ecosystem-based Adaptation approach to national and regional planning and action, leading to better-adapted land use and to incentivize sustainable development in times of accelerating climate change.
The International Climate Initiative of the German government is funding this project since August 2018. The duration of the project is three years. It is being implemented by the partners under the auspices of the Biosphere.Center.
Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) to climate change and sustainable development by empowerment of Ukrainian Biosphere Reserves
The expected outcome is to empower the three biosphere reserves in three different ecoregions for becoming role models that catalyze the introduction of a new type of participatory and adaptive ecosystem management in the wider landscape.
Beneficiaries and Target Groups
The project targets a wide range of stakeholders (e.g. inhabitants, land users, administration staff of the Biosphere Reserves, and downstream ecosystem service beneficiaries) as well as national and regional policymakers. Novel methods allowing for stakeholder participation will be introduced and adapted to safeguard long-term benefits for diverse actors.
The biosphere reserves are empowered to interact with the population and relevant actors using appropriate tools and concepts and not only to moderate the transfer of knowledge but also to act as a partner concerned with the interests of the population and the local economy. Of particular importance is the possibility of financing and testing mini-grant projects developed in the region – an EbA innovation fund to awaken local commitment.
The project was initialized with a series of stakeholder workshops involving diverse actors - from school children, foresters, researchers, and sectoral experts to the employees of the biosphere reserves. The participants exchanged knowledge and discussed views on the local ecosystems and their services.
In the first quarter of 2019, spatial analyses were carried out and the maps were discussed at expert workshops held in the cities of Sumy, Iwano-Frankove, and Svitiaz´ from May to June. Here, the results of the previous workshops were also included and further developed. The output is a comprehensive diagnostics of the area, including challenges to ecosystem functionality as imposed by climate change and land use as well as an inventory of potential ecosystem-based strategies for adaptation to climate change.
In 2020, an idea contest on EbA projects was conducted in the three biosphere reserves. An overall of nine winners (three per BR) was selected for project mini-grants by a jury based on fixed selection criteria and a two-step voting process. The project implementation phase has started in December 2020.
During the second half of 2020 an extensive, mostly web-based MARISCO strategy development process was conducted. Here, the biosphere reserves elaborated an EbA strategy catalog featuring corresponding measures and actions. Furthermore, five EbA strategies with detailed operational- and monitoring plans were developed together with and for each biosphere reserve. These plans are intended to inform the administrations´ upcoming activities and annual plans, provide material for regional and oblast administrations, as well as possibilities for (international) project proposals.