Opportunities for nature-based solutions to contribute to climate-resilient development pathways

Alaina D Kinol, Johan Arango-Quiroga, Laura Kuhl | Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability Volume 62, June 2023, 101297 | 2023 | Peer Reviewed | Original research | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2023.101297


There is potential for nature-based solutions (NbS) to contribute to climate-resilient development (CRD) due to their integrated approach to mitigation, adaptation, and sustainable development. However, despite alignment between NbS and CRD’s objectives, realization of this potential is not guaranteed. A CRD pathways (CRDP) approach helps to analyze the complexities of the relationship between CRD and NbS, and a climate justice lens enables the identification of the multiple ways that NbS can support or undermine CRD by foregrounding the politics inherent in deciding between NbS trade-offs. We use stylized vignettes of potential NbS to examine how the dimensions of climate justice reveal the potential of NbS to contribute to CRDP. We consider tensions in NbS projects between local and global climate objectives, and the potential for NbS framing to reinforce inequalities or unsustainable practices. Ultimately, we present a framework that combines climate justice and CRDP in an analytical tool for understanding the potential for a NbS to support CRD in specific places.