Ecosystem-based adaptation (EBA) has generally been defined as the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of the overall adaptation strategy to help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change (SCBD, 2009). In the context of agricultural systems and natural resource protection, EBA is the employment of sustainable agricultural management practices that can make use of or take advantage of biological diversities, ecosystem services or ecological processes to help increase the ability of crops or livestock to adapt to climate variability and change (Jackson et al., 2010). EbA is increasingly being incorporated into national climate policies and the international climate debate as a viable yet to date largely under-utilized strategy for adapting to climate change. EbA is centred on biological approaches to soil erosion prevention, restoration and conservation aimed at maintaining ground cover to protect the soil service living bushes and grasses to build up terraces. It involves farmers, local communities in the design, implementation and maintenance of conservation schemes and provide economic benefits to them through higher crop yields.
There has been increasing severity of arid and semiarid conditions in some parts of Tharaka Nithi County over the past decade (Nderitu et al, 2016). This may be attributed to the adverse effects of climate change combined with unsustainable livelihood practices and ecosystem degradation. It has resulted to the diminishing of ecosystem based livelihood support systems and reduced resilience to Climate Change shocks. The indication is that the sustainable supply of ecosystem goods and services is no longer assured because the ecological integrity of the ecosystem has been negatively affected by Climate Change impacts and poor land and resource management practices. Therefore, there is an urgent need to adopt a “best fit” approach to sustainably protect the livelihood of people and the ecosystems on which their livelihood is dependent.