Ecostack Innovations presents at the Chamber of Engineers Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals
Senior Environmental Scientist Martha Verónica Arámbula Coyote and Dr Brian Azzopardi delivered a presentation at the 𝟮𝟵𝘁𝗵 𝗔𝗻𝗻𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗘𝗻𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲, Sustainable Development Goals: An Engineering Conference, which was held at the Radisson hotel in Malta on the 14th October 2022.
During the presentation, the speakers discussed the barriers and enablers to promoting nature-based solutions uptake and their current deployment to address societal challenges and sustainable development goals while harvesting energy solutions. They explained that current bottlenecks include knowledge gaps regarding the scope, cost-effectiveness and benefits and limited practical experience with implementation.
Within this context, nature-based solutions were defined as solutions that harness nature and natural processes to alleviate well-defined societal challenges by delivering multifunctional solutions as part of governance and business. Nature-based solutions are increasingly promoted in regional and national policies because of their potential to contribute toward multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promote resilient responses to climate change. Similarly, nature-based solutions contribute, in most cases, to energy-resourceful solutions. In cities, nature-based solutions have been used to address climate resilience, natural hazards, urbanisation and environmental quality, inequalities in availability and access to green space, public health concerns, and biodiversity loss.
A study conducted by Dr Mario Balzan demonstrates that a green space shows a positive relationship between tree cover and the following regulating ecosystem services: air quality regulation (NO2 deposition), noise abatement, cooling capacity and carbon storage. For these ecosystem services, increasing tree cover was generally associated with increased capacity to provide benefits to communities. Nature-based solutions offer an opportunity to reduce the impacts on biodiversity and to engage a diverse array of public and private organisations into the management and conservation of nature.
Finally, the speakers provided an overview of recent projects that have explored the mainstreaming of nature and energy in decision-making through interdisciplinary approaches that foster collaboration between experts in various domains and are expected to lead to co-benefits to overall well-being.