Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA)—also known as nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation—is increasingly gaining policy support and being implemented by diverse actors around the world.

EbA is the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall strategy to help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change, thereby protecting vulnerable ecosystems, communities, and livelihoods. Despite growing policy momentum for EbA, there is a clear need for further training to ensure that EbA actions are rights based, gender responsive, and achieve better outcomes for biodiversity.

The EbA E-Learning course—developed by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)—builds on more than a decade of research, experience, and partnerships in implementing EbA.

Offered as a massive open online course (MOOC) for a global audience, the course will equip learners with transferable and replicable skills in designing and implementing EbA initiatives by offering targeted training on key principles, risk assessments, monitoring, and governance. The course will also work to increase EbA knowledge outside of the environmental conservation community and help participants integrate EbA into other sectors, including water, agriculture, and urban environments.

The course is currently offered in English and French, although additional languages may be available in the future.


Why take the course?
  • Understand the role of EbA within an overall climate change adaptation strategy

  • Be able to plan EbA activities in a logical order and apply EbA best practices

  • Learn how to integrate rights-based approaches and other aspects such as gender, livelihoods, and Traditional Knowledge into EbA projects

  • Discover how to mainstream EbA across sectors, including infrastructure, agriculture, and water resources management

Who is this course for?

The course targets decision-makers in public and private organizations; professionals who may not be familiar with EbA but who work in a related field (development, infrastructure, agriculture, integrated water resources management); civil society organizations; actors at community, national, and global scales; early-career EbA professionals, current students, and university faculty; and EbA practitioners from both the Global North and Global South. 

As the course provides a certain level of technical detail, interest in in-depth learning about planning and implementing EbA measures is a key requirement.

Course Syllabus

This self-paced e-learning course consists of nine units comprised of video lectures and case studies, quizzes, and handouts. The course will take approximately 10 hours to complete and can be completed at the convenience of the learner. Units 2–7 will each have a quiz to assess the achievement of the respective unit’s learning objectives. Handouts that summarize the unit’s content and contain additional resources on the topics discussed are also provided with each unit.

  • Module 1: Presentation of the training

    Brief introduction and rationale for the training course.

  • Module 2: What is EbA?

    Introduction to the concept of AbE and its basic components and an overview of terms commonly used in the field of AbE.

  • Module 3: EbA generalization framework

    Presentation of a framework for developing and generalizing an EbA project accompanied by a highlighting of five cross-cutting issues affecting EbA.

  • Module 4: Climate Risk Assessment

    Guidance on the process of preparing a climate risk assessment and its importance in identifying potential EbA measures.

  • Module 5: Assessing EbA

    Module focusing on the process of assessing EbA, including its costs, benefits and impacts. The ability of the assessment to prioritize AbE measures is also discussed.

  • Module 6: Implementing EbA

    Module that explains the principle of a stakeholder analysis, highlights international policies aligned with EbA and provides examples from different ecosystems and sectors.

  • Module 7: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

    Discussion of a four-step process for monitoring and evaluating EbA projects and its importance for EbA.

  • Module 8: Mandatory lighting modules

    Allows participants to progress through four illuminating modules offering additional information relating to the cross-cutting themes of governance, gender, traditional knowledge and indigenous and local knowledge, and biodiversity.

  • Module 9: Optional Light Modules

    Option to select additional area-specific lighting modules to create a custom combination of the following topics: EbA and agriculture, EbA and water, and EbA urban.

Our partners and sponsors

The EbA e-learning course is the result of a collaboration between GIZ, IUCN, and IISDIt builds on a decade of research, experience and strong partnerships focused on EbA implementationThis online training course has been developed with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), and Global Affairs Canada in the under the Nature Initiative for Climate Adaptation (NACI) funded by the Government of Canada.

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