Nature-based solutions (NbS) refer to actions and strategies that address societal and environmental challenges by working with and emulating nature. These solutions leverage the inherent benefits and functions of ecosystems to provide sustainable and cost-effective ways to tackle various issues, including climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, natural disasters, and urbanisation.
Nature-based solutions recognise that natural ecosystems provide numerous valuable services, such as water purification, carbon sequestration, climate regulation, habitat provision, and flood control. By integrating these natural processes into human activities and infrastructure, NbS aim to achieve both environmental and societal benefits.
Ecosystem Restoration: Restoring degraded ecosystems like forests, wetlands, and coral reefs can enhance biodiversity, sequester carbon, and provide various ecosystem services.
Green Infrastructure: Implementing green infrastructure systems, such as urban green spaces, green roofs, and permeable pavements, to manage stormwater, improve air quality, reduce urban heat island effects, and enhance quality of life in cities.
Natural Flood Management: Using natural features like floodplains, wetlands, and vegetation to store and slow down floodwaters, reducing the risk and impact of flooding.
Agroforestry: Combining trees with agricultural crops to enhance soil fertility, conserve water, increase biodiversity, and provide sustainable livelihoods for farmers.
Coastal Protection: Creating or restoring coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrass beds to act as natural buffers against storm surges, erosion, and sea-level rise.
Sustainable Agriculture: Promoting practices that minimise the use of synthetic inputs, conserve soil health, and enhance biodiversity, such as organic farming, agroecology, and precision agriculture.
Nature-based solutions offer multiple benefits compared to conventional approaches. They are often more cost-effective, resilient, and sustainable in the long run, while also providing co-benefits such as improved human well-being, increased biodiversity, and enhanced climate adaptation and mitigation.