The global warming and the associated changes in climate variability would increase the risk on the mining industry in both magnitude and frequency. Consequently, extreme climate conditions would disturb the infrastructure, equipment and mine closure strategies in areas that has not consider this potential impact. To cope with these climate-associated risks is critical to understand the exposure and vulnerability with a local perspective. Have a clear knowledge of the current climate risks, vulnerability of species, ecosystems, and ecological processes in the watershed where the mining operations are is essential to inform how patterns of risks and potential benefits are shifting due climate change. In the effort to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG) the mining sector has improved energy efficiency and developed new technologies. These mitigation activities will support the reduction of the impact generated from the anthropogenic emissions. However, the design of mine closure strategies should also be informed by models of projected future climate scenarios, to be able to understand, prevent and plan risk management activities as adaptation strategies.

There are still uncertainties about the magnitude, frequency and spatial occurrence of climate change. Nonetheless, a changing climate will result in environmental impacts that are potentially quite large, and this may require the reassessment of the closure strategies at some mines and the management of associated ecosystem services in a local level. New practices require to be applied beyond the mitigation actions and reduction of greenhouse gases. The nature can help in providing adaptive and cost-efficient climate-related risk management solutions. This paper examines, identifies and characterizes the potential application of Ecosystem-based Adaptation strategies to support the land restoration plans to adapt to the adverse effects of the climate change, with a focus on mines located in mountainous watersheds. This assessment will support to understand the factors that would increase the hazards in these areas, so the risk will be reduced and increment the opportunities to manage the natural resources in a sustainable and holistic perspective.

Please contact Dr. Gabriel Castillo for more information.