Nature-based Solutions for a Green Recovery
As an environmental enterprise we believe it is important to share knowledge about the contributions of nature-based solutions to the well-being of communities and to biodiversity. At Ecostack Innovations, we believe that the correct implementation of nature-based solutions can play an important role in promoting a green recovery from the COVID19 pandemic.
But what exactly is a nature-based solution?
Nature-based Solutions are defined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as: “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits”.
Through its research and innovation agenda, the European Commission aims to position the EU as a leader in innovating with nature to achieve more sustainable and resilient societies. Not surprisingly, therefore, the European Commission also has its own definition of nature-based solutions, which are defined as “solutions that are inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience. Such solutions bring more, and more diverse, nature and natural features and processes into cities, landscapes and seascapes, through locally adapted, resource-efficient and systemic interventions.”
By definition, nature-based solutions lead to benefits to biodiversity but also humans, and their implementation by governments and businesses can be used to tackle key societal challenges impacting on the well-being of communities.
Tackling societal challenges using nature-based solutions
Key societal challenges that can be tackled through nature-based solutions (Source: IUCN)
As can be observed from the above figure, the IUCN groups global societal challenges into six categories that can be tackled by nature-based solutions.
There are various examples of the use of nature-based solutions to tackle some of these challenges. For example, the implementation of building scale interventions, such as green walls and green roofs, in urban areas may improve air quality and would be expected to contribute to an improvement of quality life of the residents. Similarly, the restoration of natural and semi-natural ecosystems can contribute to the rehabilitation of the area but also lead to the creation of green jobs and economic development in rural areas.
The implementation of nature-based solutions is expected to lead to positive impacts to biodiversity, for example by providing food and nesting sites for pollinators and birds. At present, in Europe, more than 31,000 or 27% of all species assessed under the IUCN Red List are threatened with extinction. Over half (58%) of Europe’s endemic trees are threatened with extinction. 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.
In our second article about nature-based solutions we present a few case-studies of implementation from across the globe.
Who pays for nature-based solutions? In our third article about nature-based solutions we discuss the financing of nature-based solutions and associated barriers.
Would you like to share some examples with us? Get in touch with us from here.