The role of nature-based solutions in enabling climate-resilient development pathways

The role of nature-based solutions in enabling climate-resilient development pathways
In a recent article published in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Kinol et al. delve into the potential of nature-based solutions (NbS) to contribute to climate-resilient development (CRD) by integrating mitigation, adaptation, and sustainable development. 

According to a new study, nature-based solutions (NbS) can offer integrated avenues for addressing climate change challenges while advancing sustainable development goals. They possess the ability to simultaneously address the root causes of climate change, bolster resilience against its impacts, and foster adaptability across social, environmental, and economic domains. This alignment supports the objectives of climate-resilient development (CRD). However, the article emphasises that climate justice considerations are vital, particularly in navigating the political complexities of choosing between various NbS options.

Despite the convergence between NbS and CRD objectives, realising their potential requires a thoughtful approach. The study therefore employs the CRD pathway framework to unpack the intricate relationship between CRD and NbS. This framework treats NbS as pivotal decision points along the CRD trajectory, their effectiveness hinging on framing, design, and implementation choices. This entails balancing local and global climate goals within NbS initiatives and critically assessing whether their framing inadvertently perpetuates inequalities or unsustainable practices.

Realising CRD objectives hinges on the application of climate justice principles:
1. Distributional justice ensures equitable outcomes, necessitating NbS designs that address social and economic disparities.
2. Procedural justice underscores inclusive decision-making processes, involving affected communities in NbS planning and execution.
3. Recognitional justice values diverse knowledge systems and perspectives.
4. Restorative justice rectifies past injustices and contextualizes NbS interventions historically.

The authors contend that this comprehensive approach, intertwined with climate justice considerations, furnishes a robust framework to evaluate NbS’s potential to advance CRD in specific contexts. By viewing NbS as pivotal nodes along the CRD journey and deftly navigating trade-offs amid diverse values and priorities, the full potential of NbS to foster sustainable and climate-resilient development can be harnessed.

Read the article here.