Nature-based solutions (NbS) play an important part in addressing climate change by working with nature to address societal challenges, providing benefits for both human well-being and biodiversity. They involve the protection, restoration or management of natural and semi-natural ecosystems; the sustainable management of aquatic systems and working lands such as croplands or timberlands or the creation of novel ecosystems in and around cities. They are actions that are underpinned biodiversity and are designed and implemented with the full engagement and consent of local communities and indigenous people.
While nature-based solutions play an important role in helping to mitigate climate change, they cannot be considered a substitute for the rapid phase out of fossil fuels and delay urgent action to decarbonise economies. They are designed, implemented, managed and monitored by or in partnership with indigenous people and local communities through a process that fully respects and champions local rights and knowledge, and generates local benefits. They support or enhance biodiversity, that is, the diversity of life from the level of the gene to the level of the ecosystem. Nature-based solutions must be ambitious, inclusive, just, abundant, relevant, practical, informed, transparent and address various societal challenges in rural, urban, and marine areas.
The two complementary platforms here demonstrate the variety of NbS implemented in urban and rural areas around the world and showcase their potential to address different sustainability challenges, including climate change.
“The series of roundtables organised by the British Academy over the summer of 2021 brought together scholars, practitioners, policymakers and businesses and civil society organisations to help map nature-based solutions worldwide. These discussions, along with the sharing of case studies and experiences, have provided valuable sources for these platforms, developed by NbSI and CEU, highlighting the diversity of NbS.”
Professor László Pintér, Central European University and International Institute for Sustainable Development, said:
“Nature-based solutions have the potential to transform cities and make them more livable and resilient to the impacts of climate change. The new cases added to the Urban Nature Atlas from cities around the world, including many examples identified by participants attending the British Academy roundtables, illustrates that this potential is real and present in a wide range of contexts, and should serve as an inspiration for the research, policy and practitioner community.”
Professor Nathalie Seddon, Nature-based Solutions Initiative, said:
"This new platform of global best-practice Nature-based Solutions showcase the different ways of working with nature to address societal challenges. The rural case studies encompass a wide range of actions, such as the protection and management of natural ecosystems and the application of nature-based principles to agricultural systems. The studies also highlight what can be achieved with high quality NbS that are underpinned by biodiversity, and designed and implemented with the full engagement and consent of local communities and Indigenous Peoples”