Harnessing nature to help people adapt to climate change

Journal name:
Nature Climate Change
Year published:
Published online


Adapting to climate change is among the biggest challenges humanity faces in the next century. An overwhelming focus of adaptation strategies to reduce climate change-related hazards has been on hard-engineering structures such as sea walls, irrigation infrastructure and dams. Closer attention to a broader spectrum of adaptation options is urgently needed. In particular, ecosystem-based adaptation approaches provide flexible, cost-effective and broadly applicable alternatives for buffering the impacts of climate change, while overcoming many drawbacks of hard infrastructure. As such, they are a critical tool at adaptation planners' disposal for tackling the threats that climate change poses to peoples' lives and livelihoods.


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  1. University of California, Santa Cruz, Environmental Studies Department, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA

    • Holly P. Jones &
    • Erika S. Zavaleta
  2. Science and Knowledge Division, Conservation International, 2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 500, Arlington, Virginia 22202, USA

    • David G. Hole

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