Strategy Development Process
EbA in Ukrainian Biosphere Reserves - Strategy Development Process
From July till September 2020, experts and staff of the three partner Biosphere Reserves developed an extensive Ecosystem-based Adaptation strategy portfolio, covering all the main ecological-social system clusters of their respective areas.
The process consisted of different working steps, covering the identification of strategies, measures, and actions (SMA) relevant for restoring, increasing, and protecting ecosystem functions indispensable and urgently needed to reduce climate-change-related threats like heat, drought, floodings, storms, forest- and wetland fires, etc. It furthermore provided an opportunity to assess and discuss the effectiveness and viability of strategies together with stakeholders to support the selection of key strategies for each of the BRs' upcoming work and monitoring plan development.
MARISCO and adaptive management expert Axel Schick guided through the process and, together with the whole team and partners, took on the challenge to moderate all sessions via web-based video-conferencing from Lima, Peru. We thank him for his enthusiasm and professionalism.
Thus, the project is working on a global level, in different time zones, making progress while facing difficulties due to Covid-19-related travel and meeting restrictions. Positive side-effects are lower Greenhouse gas emissions, reduced travel time, and material use. The flipside of the adapted method is the missing possibility to work on the conceptual model with the group, the valuable in-person discussions, and the informal gatherings which used to complete the long working sessions in past on-site meetings in both Ukraine and Germany.
An extensive portfolio of EbA strategies has been developed by the experts and staff of the Biosphere Reserves, which was discussed and reflected with the EbA team and other experts. Strategy evaluation and rating schemes were elaborated during offline work sessions by the BRs and partners informing the ongoing strategy prioritization and selection process.
Once again the process showed that EbA needs to address different levels of management:
- Direct protection and renaturation activities by the BR-staff
- Land-use changes with stakeholders
- Influence on regional and national strategies and policies
- Showing presence and highlighting the importance of the UNESCO MAB program nationally and internationally
Currently, the Biosphere Reserves are selecting key strategies for climate adaptation and develop detailed operational and monitoring plans to include them in their management activities. For the timely implementation of the EbA strategies, it is indispensable to concretize working steps and distribute responsibilities.
This process also provides room to talk about future activities beyond the project. Project ideas could also arise from a closer look at the strategic portfolio. Part of the task is also the identification of allies and where funds can be acquired.
At the core of success and effectiveness stands the co-creation of these approaches with the local, regional, and national stakeholders. A shared vision of the future Biosphere Reserves and a common understanding of how essential ecosystems are in supporting and sustaining the Ukrainian peoples´ well-being and livelihood is indispensable for taking adequate action.
If you are interested in working together and supporting the Biosphere Reserves staff in facing climate change via Ecosystem-based Adaptation efforts please contact Sergii Kubrakov (Desnianskyi BR), Galina Stryamets (Roztochya BR), and Oksana Havros (Shatskyi BR).