U.S. Government releases Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap at COP27

Cover page of Opportunities to Accelerate Nature-Based Solutions: A Roadmap for Climate Progress, Thriving Nature, Equity & Prosperity
The Roadmap for Climate Progress, Thriving Nature, Equity & Prosperity includes new actions and recommendations to accelerate NbS

The US Biden-Harris Administration has released a Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap; an outline of strategic recommendations for utilising nature-based solutions (NbS) to address climate change, nature loss, and inequity in America. Released on November 8th at COP27, this roadmap marks the first instance of U.S. strategy to scale up NbS.

The Roadmap, submitted to the National Climate Task Force of 25 Cabinet-level leaders from across government agencies, calls on expanding the use of NbS, and outlines five strategic areas of focus for the federal government:

  1. Updating policies, making it easier to consider and adopt nature-based solutions.
  2. Unlocking funding for domestic and international projects, and encouraging Federal agencies to do more to prioritize nature-based solutions in funding decisions.
  3. Leading with federal facilities and assets; providing direct climate and conservation benefits and sending a strong signal to others.
  4. Training the nature-based solutions workforce across sectors, including engineering, law, finance, ecology, accounting, economics, community planning and maintenance for nature-based solutions.
  5. Prioritizing research, innovation, knowledge, and adaptive learning that will advance NbS and build the multi-disciplinary evidence base on the effectiveness of nature-based solutions for climate mitigation, adaptation and other benefits.

The Roadmap highlights that “Nature-based solutions are known to be highly effective and create multiple benefits, including improving human, economic, and ecosystem health. Yet, they are not adopted at the scale and pace that are both possible and urgently needed”. As companion to the Roadmap, a companion NbS Resource Guide provides examples of NbS implemented at a federal level, alongside guidance, tools and technical assistance.

In a White House Fact Sheet announcing the roadmap, the Administration sent a strong message to the world on the need to upscale NbS:

“We invite partners, communities, and other nations to join the Biden-Harris Administration in taking aggressive action to advance nature-based solutions as powerful tools that the world needs now.”

The US government has also committed to $25 billion in infrastructure and climate funding that can support nature-based solutions, and is developing a guide on nature-based solutions for military installation natural resources management planning. A new technical working group has also been set up to better account for NbS options in benefit cost analyses that inform federal decisions.

The Roadmap builds on the momentum from Executive Order 14072, previously announced by President Biden on Earth Day 2022, which acknowledged forests and other NbS as key to tackling the climate crisis and strengthening communities and local economies. The Order directed US Offices and agencies to identify key opportunities for greater deployment of nature-based solutions across the Federal government. Further announcements are also expected from the US Administration at the upcoming Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 in December.

NbSI welcomes the Roadmap and the signal of commitment from the US Government in achieving climate goals and combatting nature loss, especially for communities that are disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental injustices.

“New actions and recommendations announced at COP27 will make nature-based solutions a go-to option for fighting climate change and boost progress towards U.S. climate goals.”

Read ‘Opportunities to Accelerate Nature-Based Solutions: A Roadmap for Climate Progress, Thriving Nature, Equity & Prosperity’, and find a summary in a White House Fact Sheet.