Resources


Knowledge Repository

A Hub for online resources on NbS state-of-the-art practise.

NbS Resources

URBANFLUXES: Heat produced in our cities is affecting human mortality Video

Cities are much warmer than their surroundings. Urban structures absorb and trap more solar and thermal radiation than soils or vegetation and that causes an increase in the urban temperature. Moreover, many human activities add heat to the urban climate. The heating and the cooling of buildings, the traffic, various industrial activities and our own human metabolism release energy in the form of heat, called anthropogenic heat. Because of these effects the rate of warming in cities is higher than the average global warming, a phenomenon known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI). Especially during heat waves, which are expected to occur more often, the UHI plus the heat wave can create an increase in energy consumption, a decrease in human comfort and significant human mortality.

URBANFLUXES investigates the cities' warming by breaking down the urban energy budget and targeting the anthropogenic heat flux. For this research we use imagery from Earth Observation satellites combined with conventional meteorological measurements at street level. The resulted satellite-based approach is expected to be easily transferable to any city. With this knowledge, measures to reduce urban heat can be monitored and tested.

Heat produced in our cities is affecting human mortality

Actions: Well-being in Urban Areas

Ecosystem Services: Urban

Goals: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Sustainable Urbanisation in cities

Impacts: Carbon sequestration, Climate change, Human well-being, Public health

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A guide to using nature-based solutions Video

Together with CEC's strategic input, IUCN's Eastern and Southern Africa's Regional Programme published this educational documentary to show how communities living around the Mt Elgon in Kenya and Uganda use natural solutions, which are always available, to help tackle environmental challenges efficiently.

Think Nature: A guide to using nature-based solutions

Actions: Enhancing Ecosystems' Insurance Value, Sustainable use of Matter & Energy, Watershed Management & Ecosystem Restoration

Goals: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Restoring Degraded Ecosystems Using NbS

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Webinar: The MI SAFE package Webinar

MI-SAFE is a package of services designed to help with meeting the requirements of managers and engineers who may be looking to implement nature based flood defence strategies in order to meet the challenge of reducing the cost of flood protection as well as assisting efforts towards a more wide-spread and successful restoration and conservation of coastal ecosystems. MI-SAFE includes a free viewer based on open source standards

Webinar: The MI SAFE package (delivered on 20th July 2017)

Actions: Coastal Resilience

Ecosystem Services: Coastal

Goals: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Risk Management and Resilience

Impacts: Climate change, Land management, Nature-based solutions, Resilience

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Operationalizing ecosystem-based adaptation: Harnessing ecosystem services to buffer communities against climate changeArticle

Ecosystem-based approaches for climate change adaptation are promoted at international, national, and local levels by both scholars and practitioners. However, local planning practices that support these approaches are scattered, and measures are neither systematically implemented nor comprehensively reviewed. Against this background, this paper advances the operationalization of ecosystem-based adaptation by improving our knowledge of how ecosystem-based approaches can be considered in local planning (operational governance level). We review current research on ecosystem services in urban areas and examine four Swedish coastal municipalities to identify the key characteristics of both implemented and planned measures that support ecosystem-based adaptation. The results show that many of the measures that have been implemented focus on biodiversity rather than climate change adaptation, which is an important factor in only around half of all measures. Furthermore, existing measures are limited in their focus regarding the ecological structures and the ecosystem services they support, and the hazards and risk factors they address. We conclude that a more comprehensive approach to sustainable ecosystem-based adaptation planning and its systematic mainstreaming is required. Our framework for the analysis of ecosystem-based adaptation measures proved to be useful in identifying how ecosystem-related matters are addressed in current practice and strategic planning, and in providing knowledge on how ecosystem-based adaptation can further be considered in urban planning practice. Such a systematic analysis framework can reveal the ecological structures, related ecosystem services, and risk-reducing approaches that are missing and why. This informs the discussion about why specific measures are not considered and provides pathways for alternate measures/designs, related operations, and policy processes at different scales that can foster sustainable adaptation and transformation in municipal governance and planning. © 2016 by the author(s).

Link: https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08266-210131

Actions: Carbon Sequestration, Coastal Resilience, Well-being in Urban Areas

Goals: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Risk Management and Resilience

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Ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change: concept, scalability and a role for conservation scienceArticle

Societal adaptation to climate change requires measures that simultaneously reduce poverty, protect or restore biodiversity and ecosystem services, and remove atmospheric greenhouse gases. Ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change is the type of adaptation that aims to combine these outcomes and is particularly relevant to developing nations that safeguard most of the planetary biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. Although conceptually new, ecosystem-based adaptation is fastly gaining traction both as a research arena and as an integrated policy instrument. This paper aims to revisit this concept and to discuss the science and policy challenges faced by it. It argues that ecosystem-based adaptation is a policy mix that promotes adaptive transition, which is a step towards sustainability transitions. It faces two major challenges in promoting transitions towards adaptation and sustainability. First, research on ecosystem-based adaptation mostly takes place within the socio-ecological systems framework, which is often carried out in isolation from socio-technical systems research. It is widely recognized that both types of research should be integrated, for the benefit of science and policy-making, and the paper discusses the potential of ecosystem-based adaptation in providing such bridge. Second, there is a divide between global and local research and policy, while at local level this divide is related to the setting (e.g., coastal, urban, rural). The resulting mosaic of information lacks integration, which hinders scalability of actions and policies. Finally, I examine the opportunity for ecological and conservation scientists to interact with social, economic and political scientists on ecosystem-based adaptation research, and discuss how timely this opportunity is for Brazil. © 2017 Associação Brasileira de Ciência Ecológica e Conservação

Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2017.05.003

Actions: Carbon Sequestration, Coastal Resilience, Well-being in Urban Areas

Goals: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Risk Management and Resilience

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The superior effect of nature based solutions in land management for enhancing ecosystem servicesArticle

The rehabilitation and restoration of land is a key strategy to recover services -goods and resources- ecosystems offer to the humankind. This paper reviews key examples to understand the superior effect of nature based solutions to enhance the sustainability of catchment systems by promoting desirable soil and landscape functions. The use of concepts such as connectivity and the theory of system thinking framework allowed to review coastal and river management as a guide to evaluate other strategies to achieve sustainability. In land management NBSs are not mainstream management. Through a set of case studies: organic farming in Spain; rewilding in Slovenia; land restoration in Iceland, sediment trapping in Ethiopia and wetland construction in Sweden, we show the potential of Nature based solutions (NBSs) as a cost-effective long term solution for hydrological risks and land degradation. NBSs can be divided into two main groups of strategies: soil solutions and landscape solutions. Soil solutions aim to enhance the soil health and soil functions through which local eco-system services will be maintained or restored. Landscape solutions mainly focus on the concept of connectivity. Making the landscape less connected, facilitating less rainfall to be transformed into runoff and therefore reducing flood risk, increasing soil moisture and reducing droughts and soil erosion we can achieve the sustainability. The enhanced eco-system services directly feed into the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.077

Actions: Carbon Sequestration, Coastal Resilience, Enhancing Ecosystems' Insurance Value, Watershed Management & Ecosystem Restoration

Goals: Restoring Degraded Ecosystems Using NbS, Risk Management and Resilience

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Scanning agroforestry-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation in EuropeArticle

Agroforestry, the integration of trees and shrubs with livestock and/or crops, can make a substantial contribution to mitigating and enabling adaptation to climate change. However, its full potential will only be achieved if the challenges to agroforestry implementation are identified and the most efficient and sustainable solutions are made widely known. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to explore these challenges and to determine the most suitable set of solutions for each challenge that combines local effectiveness with European scale relevance. We performed a two-step “solution scanning” exercise. First, the main challenges to sustainable agroforestry in Europe were identified through 42 participatory workshops with 665 local stakeholders. The solutions to each challenge were scanned and classified into either direct solutions (28) to address climate change or indirect solutions (32) that improve the sustainability of agroforestry. In a second step, the direct solutions were prioritized through expert consultation in terms of their potential benefits for mitigation and adaptation. The most commonly reported barriers were a lack of knowledge and reliable financial support to which the most widely suggested indirect solutions were agroforestry training programmes and the development of safe economic routes. The direct solutions considered as holding the greatest mitigation and adaptation potential were the adoption of practices capable to increase soil organic carbon pools and the implementation of multifunctional hedgerows and windbreaks respectively. Our solution scanning approach can inform the implementation of the European climate strategy in general and to the Common Agricultural Policy in particular by pointing to concrete climate beneficial actions. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2017.11.013

Actions: Carbon Sequestration, Enhancing Ecosystems' Insurance Value, Sustainable use of Matter & Energy, Watershed Management & Ecosystem Restoration

Goals: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Restoring Degraded Ecosystems Using NbS

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Nature-based solutions: New influence for environmental management and research in EuropeArticle

Greening roofs or walls to cool down city areas during summer, to capture storm water, to abate pollution, and to increase human well-being while enhancing biodiversity: nature-based solutions (NBS) refer to the sustainable management and use of nature for tackling societal challenges. Building on and complementing traditional biodiversity conservation and management strategies, NBS integrate science, policy, and practice and create biodiversity benefits in terms of diverse, well-managed ecosystems.

Link: https://doi.org/10.14512/gaia.24.4.9

Actions: Carbon Sequestration, Coastal Resilience, Enhancing Ecosystems' Insurance Value, Sustainable use of Matter & Energy, Urban Regeneration, Watershed Management & Ecosystem Restoration, Well-being in Urban Areas

Goals: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Restoring Degraded Ecosystems Using NbS, Risk Management and Resilience, Sustainable Urbanisation in cities

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Linking social, ecological, and physical science to advance natural and nature-based protection for coastal communitiesArticle

Interest in the role that ecosystems play in reducing the impacts of coastal hazards has grown dramatically. Yet the magnitude and nature of their effects are highly context dependent, making it difficult to know under what conditions coastal habitats, such as saltmarshes, reefs, and forests, are likely to be effective for saving lives and protecting property. We operationalize the concept of natural and nature-based solutions for coastal protection by adopting an ecosystem services framework that propagates the outcome of a management action through ecosystems to societal benefits. We review the literature on the basis of the steps in this framework, considering not only the supply of coastal protection provided by ecosystems but also the demand for protective services from beneficiaries. We recommend further attention to (1) biophysical processes beyond wave attenuation, (2) the combined effects of multiple habitat types (e.g., reefs, vegetation), (3) marginal values and expected damage functions, and, in particular, (4) community dependence on ecosystems for coastal protection and co-benefits. We apply our approach to two case studies to illustrate how estimates of multiple benefits and losses can inform restoration and development decisions. Finally, we discuss frontiers for linking social, ecological, and physical science to advance natural and nature-based solutions to coastal protection. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13322

Actions: Coastal Resilience, Enhancing Ecosystems' Insurance Value, Watershed Management & Ecosystem Restoration

Goals: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Restoring Degraded Ecosystems Using NbS, Risk Management and Resilience

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Healthy people with nature in mindArticle

Background: The global disease burden resulting from climate change is likely to be substantial and will put further strain on public health systems that are already struggling to cope with demand. An up- stream solution, that of preventing climate change and associated adverse health effects, is a promising approach, which would create win-win-situations where both the environment and human health benefit. One such solution would be to apply methods of behaviour change to prompt pro-environmentalism, which in turn benefits health and wellbeing. Discussion: Based on evidence from the behavioural sciences, we suggest that, like many social behaviours, pro- environmental behaviour can be automatically induced by internal or external stimuli. A potential trigger for such automatic pro-environmental behaviour would be natural environments themselves. Previous research has demonstrated that natural environments evoke specific psychological and physiological reactions, as demonstrated by self-reports, epidemiological studies, brain imaging techniques, and various biomarkers. This suggests that exposure to natural environments could have automatic behavioural effects, potentially in a pro-environmental direction, mediated by physiological reactions. Providing access and fostering exposure to natural environments could then serve as a public health tool, together with other measures, by mitigating climate change and achieving sustainable health in sustainable ecosystems. However, before such actions are implemented basic research is required to elucidate the mechanisms involved, and applied investigations are needed to explore real world impacts and effect magnitudes. As environmental research is still not sufficiently integrated within medical or public health studies there is an urgent need to promote interdisciplinary methods and investigations in this critical field. Summary: Health risks posed by anthropogenic climate change are large, unevenly distributed, and unpredictable. To ameliorate negative impacts, pro-environmental behaviours should be fostered. Potentially this could be achieved automatically through exposure to favourable natural environments, with an opportunity for cost-efficient nature-based solutions that provide benefits for both the environment and public health. © 2015 Annerstedt van den Bosch and Depledge.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-2574-8

Actions: Urban Regeneration, Well-being in Urban Areas

Goals: Sustainable Urbanisation in cities

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