What are Nature-based Solutions?

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Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are actions that work with and enhance nature to help address societal challenges. The concept is grounded in the knowledge that healthy natural and managed ecosystems produce a diverse range of services on which human wellbeing depends.

NbS is an ‘umbrella concept’ for other established nature-based approaches such as ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and mitigation (EbM), eco-disaster risk reduction (eco-DRR), Green Infrastructure (GI) and natural climate solutions (NCS).

Want to learn more?

If you would like to learn more about the role of NbS in climate change adaptation and mitigation, please read our recent publications, “Understanding the Value and Limits of Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change and Other Global Challenges” and “Mapping the effectiveness of nature‐based solutions for climate change adaptation“.

Meanwhile, some evidence-based guiding principles around NbS and their implementation can be read here.

Examples of Nature-based Solutions

01 Restoring and protecting forests and wetlands in catchments

Protecting or restoring forests and wetlands (e.g. peatlands) in catchments can secure and regulate water supplies, support production of forest products, and protect communities and infrastructure from floods, soil erosion and landslides.

02 Bringing nature into cities

Creating green roofs and walls and planting trees in cities can moderate the impacts of heatwaves, capture storm water and abate pollution. Such measures also have positive outcomes for mental and physical health.

03 Coastal habitat restoration

Protecting or restoring coastal ecosystems (mangroves, reefs and salt marshes) protects communities and infrastructure from storm surges and erosion. Coastal habitats, especially mangroves, are particularly good at sequestering carbon, so restoration also contributes to climate change mitigation.

NbSI animation

An animation explaining the fundamental importance of restoring and protecting natural habitats to help us adapt to the impacts of climate change and slow further warming.

This is a creative product of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative.