The 12 principles of the ecosystem approach can be summarised into three main themes:

  • It operates on large scales or “Landscapes”. Conservation should consider the structure, functions, and dynamism of the ecosystems. Ecosystem managers should set long-term objectives considering the effects on adjacent and other ecosystems.
  • It addresses the root causes of biodiversity loss. Ecosystem managers should address the economic drivers adversely affecting biodiversity, align incentives to promote an appropriate balance and the integration of conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity, as well as internalise costs and benefits.
  • It involves a wide range of relevant actors, the decentralization of management at the lowest level, and consideration of the different societal choices and knowledge.

Sustainably managing, conserving and restoring ecosystems so that they continue to provide the services that allow people to adapt to climate change is known as Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA). This approach builds on traditional knowledge, generates a range of social, economic and cultural benefits and helps to conserve biodiversity.

Conserving and managing nature can help people adapt to climatic changes, especially in such a delicate, rich, complex and threatened environment like the Mediterranean, where the human dimension has shaped the environment perhaps more profoundly than anywhere else on earth.

In order to achieve these specific objectives, the Ecosystem and Climate Change Programme endorses the principles of the Ecosystem Approach being involved in a number of activities, aimed at:

  • Enhancing the conservation and sustainable management of terrestrial Mediterranean ecosystems and resources.
  • Testing and supporting the application of the traditional uses and management practices to current economic, demographic and ecological conditions of Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Evaluating the multiple benefits provided by functioning ecosystems in a sustainable, participative and integrated management.
  • Reinforcing the knowledge and the sharing of information about climate change impacts on sensitive ecosystems, on a national, sub-regional and regional basis.

Please refer to the different sections of the menu for more details on the fields of action.