Nature-based solutions implementation: barriers and enablers

NataĊĦa et al. | NOVATECH 2023 | 2023 | Perspective |


In water sector, nature-based solutions (NBS) are increasingly recognized as solutions to address societal challenges, while simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits. NBS contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation, to increase flooding resilience of cities, reduce pollution, support biodiversity restoration, and enable ecosystems services provision. However, the implementation of nature-based water management solutions remains slow for several reasons. First, NBS are still novel concept, relatively unknown for many water-related stakeholders, necessitating more insight efforts to generalize their adoption. Moreover, concerns exist over their reliability, cost-effectiveness, and their long-term performance. Alongside those concerns, financial and governance barriers to implementing NBS exist, exhibiting additional needs for further research. Least but not last, technical barriers can also represent impediments in NBS implementation. In this communication, we consolidate the NBS definition comparatively to related infrastructures, such as natural, green or hybrid systems and synthesize the knowledge related to research and operational outcomes from fullscale implementation of nature-based water management solutions with the aim to identify delivered benefits but also potential drawbacks and requirements for a successful implementation. At the end, the ways to overcome the identified barriers and research recommendations are presented with the aim to foster the NBS implementation within water governance and urban planning sectors.