• 12 July 2023

Nature-based solutions are vital for climate adaptation

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Nature-based solutions have emerged as a critical tool in the fight against climate change, providing effective and sustainable strategies for adaptation. As the world struggles with escalating climate challenges, the relevance of nature-based solutions in climate change adaptation has become increasingly evident. 

During the ECCA2023 conference, the scientific community, practitioners, policymakers, NGOs and a wide array of climate change actors talked about the power of nature to address climate impacts. The discussion encompassed a range of strategies such as reforestation, ecosystem restoration, green infrastructure and sustainable land management -to mention a few! 

By harnessing the inherent resilience of ecosystems, nature-based solutions can help mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events, reduce vulnerability, and protect communities and infrastructure. These nature-based approaches also provide cost-effective alternatives to traditional ‘grey’ infrastructure, promoting sustainability and long-term environmental stewardship. 

On Tuesday 20th June, the session on ‘Baltic Sea’, chaired by Geronimo Gussmann (Global Climate Forum), addressed the coastal adaptation challenge along the German Baltic Sea with a focus on nature-based solutions towards the advancement of coastal transdisciplinary research and climate adaptation. The session on ‘Traditional Knowledge’, chaired by Aline van der Werf (Belgian Science Policy Office), explored the role of traditional knowledge in developing nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and the socio-ecological effects. 

There were several sessions chaired by Rita Sousa-Silva (BiodivClim and University of Freiburg). The session on Urban Areas’ discussed mainly the transformative potential of nature-based solutions in urban contexts. It highlighted the importance of ensuring a just transition to sustainable cities; the challenges and barriers in implementing urban green infrastructure; policy implementation gaps and opportunities. The session on ‘Biodiversity’ brought together diverse projects focused on nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation, with a particular focus on the intricate relationship between biodiversity and climate change impacts across different ecosystems. The ‘Biodiversity’ session from Tuesday, 20th June is available on the ECCA YouTube channel.  

The ‘Coastal and Riverine Areas’ session focused on the challenges and opportunities in upscaling the implementation and mainstreaming of nature-based solutions to address climate risks and promote sustainable management of coastal and riverine areas.  

Another interesting session was on ‘Evaluation and Implementation’, which highlighted innovative approaches, research findings, and practical tools for evaluating, implementing and monitoring nature-based solutions.  

On Wednesday 21st June, the session on ‘Youth-led Adaptation’, also chaired by Rita Sousa-Silva, explained the pilot school outreach programmes initiated by GLOBE Ireland, aimed at empowering young people to observe, investigate, and proposing climate-resilient strategies and nature-based solutions in their schools. 

 Author: Monserrat Budding-Polo Ballinas

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