Nature-Based Solutions refer to a suite of actions or policies that harness the power of nature to address some of our most pressing societal challenges, such as threats to water security, rising risk of disasters, or climate change.
These solutions involve protecting, restoring, and sustainably managing ecosystems in ways that increase their resiliency and ability to address those societal challenges, while also safeguarding biodiversity and improving human wellbeing
Take mangroves, for example. Mangrove forests along coastlines are not only important for sustaining fisheries but also for providing protective natural barriers against erosion and strong storms. They filter water, provide valuable timber and food resources to coastal communities, and can store huge amounts of carbon. Conserving and restoring these ecosystems benefits people in coastal communities by reducing vulnerabilities and increasing their resilience to the effects of climate change.
What is the difference between conservation and nature-based solutions?
Conservation is the protection and preservation of the planet’s biological diversity and natural resources so that they exist into the future. It includes protecting plant and animal species, habitats, ecosystems, and important ecological services against threats. Conservation can involve setting aside parks and preserves, ensuring that species have the habitat they need to survive, or implementing laws to protect endangered plants and animals.
Nature-based solutions, on the other hand, encompass a wide range of approaches—from the restoration of habitats to water resource management, disaster risk reduction, and green infrastructure—to address societal problems. Nature-based solutions are based on the notion that when ecosystems are healthy and well-managed, they provide essential benefits and services to people, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, securing safe water resources, making air safer to breathe, or providing increased food security.