Youth4Nature online dialogue on nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation
Youth4Nature hosted an online dialogue on nature-based solutions (NbS) for climate change adaptation on 21st Jan 2021. The event started with a Land Acknowledgement – a formal statement to recognise and respect Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of land. This is an important reminder to as all that local and Indigenous People are natural land stewards, and that for NbS to bring benefits to nature and people in the long-term, people must be at the heart of any project.
Key messages from the senior panel, which featured Alexandre Chausson from NbSI:
- Local and Indigenous people must be included in every stage of NbS planning and implementation. What an effective ‘solution’ comprises should be directed by the needs and perspectives of local people, not by outside actors such as governments, NGOs and corporations. This is an ethical imperative, but it will also increase the success of an NbS in the long term, for several reasons including that local and Indigenous people hold unique knowledge about their environment.
- NbS allow multiple issues to be addressed simultaneously, e.g. climate change adaptation, mitigation, biodiversity conservation & economic recovery. This makes them efficient and attractive to policymakers.
- However, the simplicity and broad scope of the term NbS can also be problematic, because it allows politicians and corporations to use NbS as a ‘bandaid’ to systemic problems in society without addressing the root causes. It is critical that NbS are implemented alongside ambitious action to address the causes of problems. For example, NbS can help communities adapt to the effects of climate change such as flooding, but governments must address the causes of flooding by driving down greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, the effectiveness of NbS for climate change mitigation, adaptation, biodiversity and human wellbeing will decrease as climate change progresses.