What are nature-based solutions?
The UN Environment Assembly has adopted the following definition of NbS: ‘actions to protect, conserve, restore, sustainably use and manage natural or modified terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems, which address social, economic and environmental challenges effectively and adaptively, while simultaneously providing human well-being, ecosystem services and resilience and biodiversity benefits.’
Although NbS are increasingly receiving global recognition as a tool to support climate-resilient development, few cities have taken full advantage of NbS tools and emerging knowledge to address climate change. Ecosystem restoration is one of the most significant ways to deliver NbS to address societal challenges related to biodiversity loss, food and water security, and health, among others. This can be done by allowing the natural regeneration of degraded ecosystems or by actively supporting their rehabilitation through targeted interventions and fostering species diversity (see Case Studies for more examples). NbS have proven cost-effective and inclusive when implemented together with stakeholders, and can improve both urban and rural ecosystems to safeguard and restore biodiversity.