Building Climate Resilience through Ecosystem-based Adaptation Planning UN CC:e-Learn online course

Submitted by Ruth Butterfield | published 30th Aug 2022 | last updated 24th Feb 2023

Climate Adaptation Training Annotation

  • Level: Introductory
  • Time commitment: 3 hours
  • Learning product: online self paced course
  • Sector: natural resources, agriculture
  • Language: English
  • Certificate available: no

This course is hosted on UN CC:e-Learn funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation - see the SDC Climate Change and Environment Network on weADAPT for more information. Please find the Building Climate Resilience through Ecosystem-based Adaptation Planning online course, where you can download the syllabus and enrol for full access.

Farmer carrying grain sack

Farmer carrying sack of grain. Source: UNCC:e-Learn


Considering ecosystem approaches as part of national development planning has always been challenging for many countries around the world. The role ecosystems play in strengthening resilience and broadening livelihood opportunities and economies in the face of climate change has not  been sufficiently included in national development agendas.

 With the Paris Agreement, recognizing “the protection of the integrity of ecosystems and biodiversity for both climate change mitigation and adaptation actions” , nature-based solutions (NbS), including ecosystem-based adaptation, for adapting to current and future climate change has come to the fore and countries are eager to find solutions to climate risk that can deliver multiple benefits (social, economic and environmental). Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), which encompasses the wise use of ecosystem services to help people adapt to climate change, delivers a wide range of benefits that boost overall development and human wellbeing and may contribute to national strategies to respond to the triple crises of biodiversity loss, climate change and the global post-pandemic scenario.

Through its three modules, this course will highlight the key concepts, tools, examples and steps for integrating EbA in the NAP process. 

This self-paced course is a learning initiative of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and part of the National Adaptation Plan - Global Support  Programme (NAP-GSP) in partnership with Friends of the EbA (FEBA) of IUCN.  

*This article provides an overview of the course. The full course with all quizzes plus learning material can be accessed here through a free registration on the UNCC:e-Learn website

Institutional background and trainer

This self-paced course is a learning initiative of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and part of the National Adaptation Plan - Global Support  Programme (NAP-GSP) in partnership with Friends of the EbA (FEBA) of IUCN.  

The NAP-GSP is a joint programme, implemented by UNDP and UN Environment Programme, in collaboration with other UN Agencies to assist countries with their NAP processes.  The programme is funded through the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Who would find this useful?

The course will provide clear, concise and current information for anyone interested in understanding the process of integrating Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) into National Adaptation Plans. It should be of particular interest to the following audiences: 

  • Technical specialists, policymakers and government officials involved in the national adaptation planning process wanting to increase their understanding of the steps involved in integrating EbA into NAPs. 
  • Technical experts in climate-sensitive sectors with an interest in better understanding how EbA can be integrated into such sectors. 
  • Policymakers and technical specialists with an interest in understanding climate adaptation finance and EbA. 
  • Academic and wider public stakeholders with an interest in better understanding EbA and how it can be integrated into adaptation planning.


Training material

The course is structured around three modules all having introductory videos, interactive lessons and quizzes. Introductory videos are provided below. 

1) Ecosystem-based Adaptation for climate-resilient development 

2) Steps for integrating EbA in the NAP process

3) Challenges and advantages of mainstreaming EbA

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, participants will be able to: 

  1. Explain the importance of restoring/protecting nature and implementing nature-based solutions, such as EbA, for climate change adaptation and sustainable development. 
  2. Discuss how integrating EbA into NAPs enables countries to comply with their international environmental commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Sendai Framework, the UNFCCC, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
  3. Describe how EbA works, including the challenges, opportunities and additional benefits beyond adaptation of securing healthy ecosystems.
  4. Outline how to look for funding opportunities, and how to formulate, implement and mainstream EbA options. 
  5. Explain and integrate EbA in the formulation, implementation and review stages of the NAP process. 

Further resources