This course will highlight the key concepts, tools, examples and steps for integrating EbA in the NAP process. Hence, it has been formulated as a companion to the Guidelines, and we suggest it should be taken as such. 

  • Climate Change

Self-paced course

3 hours


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. Not until now. 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.

The Guidelines for Integrating EbA into National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) -or EbA guidelines – have been produced as a part of the National Adaptation Plan – Global Support Programme  (NAP-GSP), implemented jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment  Programme  (UNEP) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). In 2013, the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) invited international actors to draft supplementary sector guidelines to the NAP Technical Guidelines they formulated in 2012, and a number of supplementary guidelines have been published since, including the EbA Guidelines. 

Through its three modules, this course will highlight the key concepts, tools, examples and steps for integrating EbA in the NAP process. Hence, it has been formulated as a companion to the Guidelines, and we suggest it should be taken as such. 

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.  

What you will learn?

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.

Course at a Glance

The course is structured around three modules: 

  1. Ecosystem-based Adaptation for climate-resilient development
  2. Steps for integrating EbA in the NAP process
  3. Challenges and advantages of mainstreaming EbA

Who should take this course?

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 want 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.

Methodology and Certification

The course is self-paced and not moderated. It has been divided into three modules and includes an intent to use survey.  We recommend that participants take the intent to use survey before starting the course and follow the modules sequentially for the best learning experience. 

Each module contains interactive content and a non-summative assessment to check your understanding.  Each module takes around one hour to complete. The modules also contain a wealth of links to other resources on issues discussed, but these are meant for extra reading if of interest. This extra reading will not be part of the final quiz at the end of each module.  

Each module has a final quiz that aims to assess the achievement of the learning objectives. The assessment contains 10 multiple-choice questions. After passing each module’s final assessment with at least 70% within three attempts, the participant is automatically awarded a badge per module. After obtaining all three badges, the participant can download a UN Certificate of Completion from the ‘Certification’ tab.