Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure and Communities


Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure and Communities

To help protect communities from disasters and tackle the adverse effects of climate change, the Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) project will investigates the role that healthy ecosystems play in reducing disaster risk and supporting community-based adaptation to climate change.

EPIC is a five year initiative funded by the Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety’s International Climate Initiative. The project is co-ordinated by IUCN working closely with the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), l’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (France), the Mangrove Action Project (Thailand) and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research. 

EPIC partners

EPIC partners

Photo: EPIC partners

Climate Change and Disasters: Working together to find a nature-based solution

During the past few decades the number of disasters and their impacts on communities worldwide has steadily increased. As a result of climate change, this trend is set to continue, albeit with an increase in the number of extreme weather events. Healthy ecosystems contribute to reducing risk and increasing resilience for people and the environment. Preserving ecosystems such as wetlands, forests and coastal areas – including mangroves and reefs – reduces vulnerability by supporting livelihoods, while acting as physical protection to reduce the impact of hazard events. Ecosystem restoration and sustainable management of natural resources can therefore play an essential role in people's ability to prevent, manage and recover from disasters and longer term impacts of climate change. These nature-based measures not only provide cost-effective and environmentally friendly infrastructures for risk mitigation, but also enable local communities to build and sustain a safe and productive environment in the long-term.

Specific objectives of the project are to:

  • demonstrate the effectiveness and economic value of environmental management for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, while bringing wider livelihood benefits to communities;
  • raise awareness of the potential of environmental management for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, both at policy and local levels;
  • gather empirical evidence on the value of ecosystem based approaches to risk and hazards in many different situations;
  • disseminate lessons learned and share eco-engineering knowledge to enable replication in other areas;
  • strengthen eco-engineering networks; and
  • build national and sub-national level capacity to promote implementation of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction.

  • BMUB


    Photo: BMUB