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Top stories

  • On the misuse of nature-based carbon ‘offsets’

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    Nature-based solutions (NbS*) are being misused for greenwashing. Promoting NbS as carbon 'offsets' while continuing business as usual in fossil fuel use is not a solution to climate change. In fact, it can encourage continued or even increased fossil fuel consumption leading to more emissions o [...] read more
  • What Can Nature offer COP26, and vice versa?

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    ‘Nature is our life support system' says Professor Nathalie Seddon in a new video from the University of Oxford, 'and to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, it is critical that we work with nature'. Professor Seddon is one of around 30 official ‘friends’ of COP26, is a member of the U [...] read more
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Framing “nature-based” solutions to climate change

Osaka et al. 2021 This paper explores the framing, definitions, and context of  “nature-based” or “natural” solutions in the protection, conservation, restoration, management, enhancement, or imitation of natural ecosystems, and in both mitigating and adapting to climate change. The framing of particular solutions as “natural” or “unnatural” has far-reaching implications for climate policy, but has thus [...] Read more
July 27, 2021
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Biodiversity–productivity relationships are key to nature-based climate solutions

Mori et al. 2021 In this study the potential of positive feedbacks by nature-based solutions in improved tree diversity under future climate change scenarios. This is in contrast to the concern about undesirable feedbacks where climate change drives biodiversity loss. The study found triple wins for climate change, tree diversity and society around the world through [...] Read more
June 20, 2021
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Coral Reef Restorations Can Be Optimized to Reduce Coastal Flooding Hazards

 Roelvink et al. 2021 A new study published in Frontiers in Marine Science evaluates of how coral restoration can reduce coastal flooding for various types of reefs. Coral reefs are effective natural coastal flood barriers that protect adjacent communities. Coral degradation compromises the coastal protection value of reefs while also reducing their other ecosystem services, making [...] Read more
June 15, 2021
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Investing in nature for development: do nature-based interventions deliver local development outcomes?

Does investing in nature actually deliver development at the local level? In a recent report undertaken in collaboration with IIED we provide insights into the types of direct, site-based interventions that can help or hinder the achievement of development outcomes for local people and, ultimately, the delivery of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and Sustainable [...] Read more
June 15, 2021
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Nature-based Solutions can help cool the planet – if we act now

This publication in Nature clarifies the role of NbS in climate change mitigation by presenting the projected effect of worldwide implementation of NbS on global temperatures. This approach differs from previous calculations of the climate change mitigation potential of NbS, which have focused solely on the amount of carbon that NbS could remove from the [...] Read more
May 12, 2021
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Seagrass ecosystem contributions to people’s quality of life in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories

McKenzie et al. 2021 Seagrass meadows are receiving growing attention, especially in relation to their potential for carbon sequestration. However, a broader appreciation of the contributions of seagrass meadows to people’s quality of life will inform better interventions that enhance seagrass ecosystem health whilst also benefiting local people. This paper reviews how seagrass in the Pacific Islands [...] Read more
May 6, 2021
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Assessing People’s Values of Nature: Where Is the Link to Sustainability Transformations?

Stålhammar 2021 In the context of ecosystem service research, there has been an increasing focus on measuring social and cultural values, beyond biophysical assessments. To that end, there has been growing interest in applying non-monetary methods to capture non-material social and cultural aspects of benefits in ecosystems. However, as Sanna Stålhammar’s perspective article highlights, there is [...] Read more
May 5, 2021
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Biodiversity and the challenge of pluralism

Pascual et al. 2021 Biodiversity is often defined in the scientific community as the diversity of life at the level of genes, species, functions and ecosystems. However, Pascual et al. explain that the way biodiversity is understood by scientists is not value-neutral. There are in fact many different ways of understanding living nature; this means it [...] Read more
May 5, 2021
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The economic consequences of conserving or restoring sites for nature

Bradbury et al. 2021  This paper compared the economic costs and benefits of conserving or restoring habitats, with those of alternative land uses. The economic consequences of conservation or restoration was assessed in terms of  value of ecosystem services across 62 sites. The benefits from conservation/restoration were divided into private benefits (i.e. excludable benefits: private goods, [...] Read more
May 5, 2021
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The value of US coral reefs for flood risk reduction

Reguero et al. 2021 This study assessed the value of coral reefs in the US for reducing flooding by modelling the effects of losing the top one metre of coral reefs across 3100 km of coastline. This level of vertical reef loss is possible over coming decades if threats to the reefs are not mitigated [...] Read more
May 5, 2021
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Why efforts to address climate change through nature-based solutions must support both biodiversity and people

In an essay published by the Royal Society, NbSI Director Nathalie Seddon describes the potential of working with nature to address the causes and consequences of climate change and discusses why NbS must be designed, implemented and adaptively managed by or in partnership with local communities to provide measurable benefits for biodiversity and ecosystem health.  [...] Read more
March 1, 2021
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Evaluating nature-based solutions for climate mitigation and conservation requires comprehensive carbon accounting

Keith et al. 2021 Whilst the science is clear that nature-based solutions have high potential for contributing to climate change mitigation, there remains uncertainty and confusion as to how to estimate this potential for a given project. This paper highlights that carbon accounting has often missed important aspects of the carbon cycle, and has predominantly focused [...] Read more
February 12, 2021

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