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Opportunities to Improve Infrastructure Planning for Social-ecological Resilience

Global institutions central to infrastructure finance and development have begun to work toward a shift to low-carbon, climate resilient, “sustainable” investments to meet larger goals in Paris Agreement NDCs, CBD Aichi Targets, and the sustainable development goals (SDGs). So far however, this push toward sustainable infrastructure has largely been driven by decarbonization.

This focus on low-carbon options has left some critical gaps that risk compromising equally important needs to maintain and build resilience to the impacts of an already warming planet. More explicit considerations of natural capital, ecosystem services, and the numerous benefits they provide to local communities and regional economies, especially in conveying resilience, is needed. This is most essential at the “upstream” stages of strategic spatial or regional land use, well before infrastructure projects are proposed, designed, and financed.

This brief summary of a larger report to be launched in June, is funded by GIZ as part of the Support for Paris Agreement implementation project (SPA). It provides examples of additional opportunities for influential global institutions and country governments to improve upstream strategic planning to meet larger adaptation, mitigation, and biodiversity conservation goals in Paris Agreement NDCs, CBD Aichi Targets, and SDGs in priority low-income countries.