EBM Approach For Climate Change Adaptation Policies In Brazil

Leandra R Goncalves, Oceanographic Institute, São Paulo, Brazil, Luciana Y Xavier, Oceanographic Institute, Brazil, Maila Guilhon Sá, Oceanographic Institute - University of São Paulo, Marine Ecology, Conservation and Management, São Paulo, Brazil, Marina R Corrêa and Alexander Turra Sr, Oceanographic Institute - University of São Paulo, Brazil
Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is an instrument for natural resource management widely discussed by the academy, however, decision making and application of this concept still face significant obstacles. Until recently, few practical data is available to inform administrative authorities on how to select specific management measures to achieve EBM goals. Additionally, managers are mostly responding to emergent problems and lack the time to address specific EBM principles. When applied to coastal climate change adaptation strategies, EBM can foster integrated and sustainable coastal management. We explore here the Brazilian case, where climate change adaptation instruments for the coastal zone are inserted on the National Plan of Adaptation to Climate Change (PNA) - and embodied in the National Program for coastline conservation (PROCOSTA). These are the institutional arrangements that provide the means to EBM implementation, nevertheless, there is no analysis of whether the directives and actions proposed by them enable EBM implementation. In that sense, this study aims to evaluate if EBM is being fostered in Brazilian politics for climate change adaptation and to discuss the opportunities for its implementation. The findings from this analysis suggested that Brazil climate change adaptation plans at federal level has considered most EBM principles, and more than that, has established a general EBM definition as part of the policy. However, the principles were not always easily interpreted from the text, which may compromise its application. It is widely recognized that to deal with uncertainties and wicked problems such as climate change impacts in the coastal zone, an interdisciplinary approach to science, the acknowledgement of natural dynamic and variability in ecosystems and integrated management, such as provided by EBM are needed. Nevertheless, strategies to move forward and promote the adaptive management necessary to a practical EBM still demands improvement.