Nature-based solutions

IUCN and Nature-based Solutions

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) is still considered to be a relatively ‘young’ concept. The definition and framing of NbS is still in development. In 2016, IUCN prepared a publication aiming to deepen the understanding of the concept and confirm the principles upon which NbS are based, all in order to move towards an operational framework. According to this publication, NbS are “actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits”.

To develop and define the NbS concept even further, IUCN is working on the Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions.

European Commission and Nature-based Solutions

According to the European Commission, NbS are “solutions that are inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience. Such solutions bring more, and more diverse, nature and natural features and processes into cities, landscapes and seascapes, through locally adapted, resource-efficient and systemic interventions." Therefore, the EU Research and Innovation (R&I) agenda for Nature-Based Solutions and Re-Naturing Cities was implemented through Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The main focus of this work was on re-naturing cities and territorial resilience.

Nature-based Solutions are at the very core of the new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

Eurosite’s Wetlands and Climate Change Working Group (WCC WG) and Natural Climate Buffers (NCB), a NbS for climate change adaptation

Natural Climate Buffers (NCB) aim to adapt both water management and land uses to the impacts of climate change, by prioritising climate change adaptation as the main function of selected areas (urban as well as rural), while strengthening their key ecological processes. Doing so will not only buffer the impacts of climate change, but it will also increase biodiversity and therefore increase the resilience of ecosystems to climate change, combined with the provision of other ecosystem services. More detailed information about the definition, types and core principles of the NCB, but also related terminology and the connection to the NbS concept and the concept of Natural Water Retention Measures is available in the NCB Factsheet prepared by the WCC WG.

Report of the 1st Natural Climate Buffers Study tour to the Netherlands.