Nature-based solutions are approaches to social and environmental issues that incorporate methods inspired by the processes and functions of nature. Nature-based solutions aim to be locally adapted, sustainable, and enhance local biodiversity. Such approaches not only address the presenting challenges but at the same time develop resilience in affected communities and achieve regenerative avenues for future flourishment.
An example of a nature-based solution is the restoration and protection of coastal ecosystems, such as mangrove forests. Supporting mangroves aids the environment because mangroves moderate the impact of waves and wind on human, animal, and plant populations along coastlines. They also sequester CO2. In addition, they provide safe nurseries for marine life which can provide the basis for sustaining populations of fish that local populations may depend on and help control coastal erosion resulting from sea level rise.
Another example of a nature-based solution is the creation of green roofs and walls in cities. These moderate the impact of increasing climate temperatures, they capture storm water, they abate pollution, and they act as carbon sinks. They also improve food security and enhance biodiversity in urban areas.
According to the Nature-based Solutions Initiative at the University of Oxford: “Nature-based solutions is an ‘umbrella concept’ for other established nature-based approaches such as ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and mitigation (EbM), eco-distaster risk reduction (eco-DRR), Green Infrastructure (GI), and natural climate solutions (NCS).”
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