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Featured NbS Science

Here we feature peer-reviewed papers about, or highly relevant to, Nature-based Solutions. Each month we will be highlighting key studies, but please check out our online NbS evidence platform and bibliography for a comprehensive list.

Impacts of forests and forestation on hydrological services in the Andes: A systematic review

Bonnesoeur et al (2019) Forest Ecology and Management

This paper is a synthesis of 155 studies on the effects of afforestation (tree-planting on naturally non-forested land) in the Andes on hydrology, erosion and landslide reduction. In contrast to public perception in the Andes, the review found that, overall, non-native tree plantations, and to a lesser extent [...] Read more

January 13, 2020

Nature-based innovation systems

van der Jagt et al (2019) Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions

To build a sustainable world, transformation across many sectors is required and technology is thought to play a major enabling role. This has prompted the development of the Technological Innovation System framework, which focuses on the relationship between the social and technological systems. In this [...] Read more

January 13, 2020

Oyster breakwater reefs promote adjacent mudflat stability and salt marsh growth in a monsoon dominated subtropical coast

Chowdhury et al (2019) Scientific Reports

Three self-sustaining breakwater oyster reefs were established on an eroding mudflat on Kutubdia Island, Bangladesh. Over four seasons, it was found that the 0.6m-high reefs attenuated wave energy by 95-100% when water levels were up to around 0.5m, whilst wave energy was partially dissipated with water levels of 0.5-1.0m depending [...] Read more

January 11, 2020

Core principles for successfully implementing and upscaling Nature-based Solutions

Cohen-Shacham et al (2019) Environmental Science and Policy

As NbS gain traction in environment and climate policy it is vital that the term is used and applied consistently. With the goal of improving the operational framework for NbS, this paper compares IUCN’s preliminary “NbS Principles” to those of five other ecosystembased concepts (the Ecosystem Approach, Forest [...] Read more

November 18, 2019

Impacts of Land-Based Greenhouse Gas Removal Options on Ecosystem Services and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Smith et al (2019) Ann Revs Ecol System This study compares the impacts of five different options for land-based Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) on ecosystem services and their contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It suggests universally positive effects of soil carbon sequestration and wetland restoration, whereas options such as bioenergy with carbon capture [...] Read more

November 18, 2019

Mangroves shelter coastal economic activity from cyclones

Hochard et al (2019) Proc Natl Acad Sciences USA

This study is the first to provide global evidence on the capacity of mangroves to buffer the economic activity of coastal communities during tropical storms. Drawing on data on nighttime luminosity across 2,000 tropical and sub-tropical communities from 23 countries, the study found that areas with average-sized [...] Read more

November 18, 2019

Seven lessons for planning nature-based solutions in cities

Frantzeskaki (2019) Environmental Science and Policy

Recent research on urban NbS tends to highlight the benefits of NbS, but not investigate implications for policy planning and governance. To address this gap, this paper analyses 15 urban experiments across 11 European cities that have implemented NbS projects and identifies lessons on how NbS may be chosen, designed, [...] Read more

May 25, 2019

Addressing societal challenges through Nature-Based Solutions: How can landscape planning and governance research contribute?

Alberts et al. (2019) Landscape and Urban Planning

This paper explores how river landscape planning and governance research enhance understanding of the ways NbS can alleviate societal challenges. It also presents a conceptual framework for how planning and governance can help assess NbS effectiveness. NbS sometimes take more space and time than tech alternatives, require intensive [...] Read more

May 25, 2019

Maintaining tropical beaches with seagrass and algae: a promising alternative to engineering solutions

James et al. (2019) Bioscience

Erosion of tropical beaches, exacerbated by climate change and coastal development, is resulting in coastal flooding, loss of income from tourism, and loss of habitat for wildlife across the globe. In this study, the authors determined the long term effectiveness of natural vegetation in stabilizing the foreshore and attenuating wave velocity, [...] Read more

May 25, 2019