Nature-based solutions

Nature-based solutions first emerged as a term in the late 2000s introduced by the World Bank, and championed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), among others, to embed biodiversity considerations in climate change adaptation and mitigation. The concept has gained popularity among practitioners and policymakers since.

The concept was by no means the first example of nature-based solutions in practice, as many indigenous populations have acknowledged the role of nature in supporting human well-being for a long-time before any terms entered the scientific discourse. Nature-based solutions range from small scale interventions, such as green walls to large-scale such as creation of artificial urban ecosystems. What is common to all nature-based solutions is that they should create benefits both to the environment and people, and they are often co-created together with the end users and other  relevant stakeholders.

Nature-based solutions are defined by the European commission 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. Nature-based solutions must therefore benefit biodiversity and support the delivery of a range of ecosystem services.” Nature-based solutions support EU policies such as the European Green Deal, biodiversity strategy and the climate adaptation strategy. The EU is funding nature-based solutions through its Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe programmes, to bolster research, innovation and spread of nature-based solutions, with projects such as NetworkNature.

For more information see the NetworkNature factsheets and knowledge brief:

NetworkNature Factsheet - Nature-based solutions: are we restoring our relationship with nature in Europe?

This Factsheet provides an overview of some of our current societal challenges in different sectors and practical, on the ground examples of how Nature-based solutions are used to tackle them.

NetworkNature Factsheet: Seizing opportunities for ecosystem restoration to tackle societal challenges

This factsheet explores the potential of ecosystem restoration actions to halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems. Building on the outcomes of the last NetworkNature semester theme on Nature-based solutions for Ecosystem Restoration, the factsheet provides an analysis of several restoration projects carried out in diverse ecosystems, and addressing multiple challenges.

NetworkNature Knowledge Brief: Taking nature-based solutions up the policy ladder - from research to policy action

The brief provides an overview of the nature-based solutions (NBS) knowledge gaps resulting from an analysis by NetworkNature of a large number of research publications, an online consultation and strategic dialogues with key stakeholders. This can support policymakers in better understanding the research needs which can strengthen the implementation of NBS.

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