Assessing losses and damages to ecosystem services: current state and opportunities for the Warsaw International Mechanism under the UNFCCC

Janzen, Sally, Emerton, Lucy, van der Geest, Kees, Narvaez, Liliana and Sebesvari, Zita, (2021). Assessing losses and damages to ecosystem services: current state and opportunities for the Warsaw International Mechanism under the UNFCCC. Climate Policy, 1-16

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Janzen, Sally
    Emerton, Lucy
    van der Geest, Kees
    Narvaez, Liliana
    Sebesvari, Zita
    Title Assessing losses and damages to ecosystem services: current state and opportunities for the Warsaw International Mechanism under the UNFCCC
    Appearing in Climate Policy
    Publication Date 2021-07-19
    Place of Publication London
    Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
    Start page 1
    End page 16
    Language eng
    Abstract Ecosystems provide essential services that form the basis of human well-being. Climate change-induced losses and damages to ecosystem services (l&d-ES) thus have significant impacts on societies. Yet, little of the work on losses and damages (l&d) has focused on ecosystem services. Also in international climate negotiations, where the debate emerged with the establishment of the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM), there remains space for better understanding and addressing l&d-ES. Part of the explanation of this lies in the challenge of assessing such l&d. To address this gap, this paper reviews scientific literature and data obtained from Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNAs) to explore ways forward for more in depth assessments. The review confirms that little attention has been given to the topic, identifying 27 relevant scientific papers with only 6 providing a disaggregated monetary value for l&d-ES. Also amongst the 64 analysed PDNAs, only 12 report such disaggregated value; valuing just one ecosystem service per impacted ecosystem. The review finds that the majority of both the scientific literature and the PDNAs relies on extrapolating values from the literature. To enhance l&d-ES assessment and, with that, the opportunity for better understanding, recognition and uptake by e.g. the WIM, this paper makes three recommendations: 1. establishing a baseline of ecosystems recognized for their services of disaster risk reduction and/or climate change adaptation, while highlighting the need for an accessible and representative benefit transfer database; 2. enhancing collaboration between scientists and practitioners; and 3. quantitatively increasing data on l&d-ES.
    Copyright Holder Taylor & Francis Group
    Copyright Year 2021
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    DOI 10.1080/14693062.2021.1947177
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    Created: Sat, 31 Jul 2021, 03:29:50 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS