Nature based solutions

Nature based solutions work with and enhance nature to restore and protect ecosystems and to help society adapt to the impacts of climate change. Adaptation calls for the increased use of nature based solutions with multiple benefits which at the same time provides for livelihoods, ecosystem life support and community resilience.

Nature based solutions come with a range of various benefits such as:

  • Buffer and protect from for floods and sea level rise
  • Storing water and mitigating drought
  • Livelihoods from ecosystem goods
  • Mitigating heat e.g. providing shade and cooler microclimates
  • Providing human health and well-being
  • Providing for socio-cultural values
  • Providing for biodiversity and ultimate life-support

Latest News and Events

Upcoming webinar: Nature Based Solutions: scaling and accelerating action, organised by the Community Of Practice on nature based solutions, with GCA’s NBS team and WWF, Government of Pakistan, Deltares, and Ecoshape. More information will follow.

Articles

Effective governance is the key for climate resilience
Article

Effective governance is the key for climate resilience

In this third roundtable, hosted by GCA andBeijing Municipal Institute of City Planning and Design in March 2022, experts from experts from Beijing, Milan and New York presented their city's governance in pursuit of becoming climate resilient. Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, senior advisor to the CEO, GCA chaired the meeting.

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Climate resilient building
Article

Complexities of eco-restoration involve multiple authorities

In this second roundtable, GCA brought together officials from Beijing and international experts to discuss the main objective of IWRM,  communication across sectors and methods of coordination, the responsibilty of the government for climate adaptation and disaster resilience through information and experience sharing between cities.

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Beijing is one of the worst-affected cities
Article

Working with Beijing on its water eco-restoration plan

In this first roundtable of the knowledge exchange, GCA brought together officials from Beijing and international experts to discuss how environmental pressures in Beijing could be mitigated through a water restoration strategy that covered the three principles of water-sensitive or sponge cities.

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Amphi Nest, India's first amphibious building prototype
Case Study

'Amphi Nest' in Kerala, India's first flood-resilient amphibious pavilion prototype

Amphi Nest is India's first working prototype of a flood-resilient amphibious building. As quoted by Forbes - ‘NestAbide is working on amphibious houses and other flood-resistant projects for people living in flood-prone areas. It rests on the ground like an ordinary house, but its buoyant foundation lifts it up and floats when floodwaters come. In 2021, NestAbide constructed its amphibious building prototype in Kerala, a region devastated by floods in 2018.'
 

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Urban areas are hotspots of risks
Article

A call to action to mainstream water adaptation

Mainstreaming of water adaptation is necessary to accelerate a system-wide coherence on water across multiple agendas. These three videos are a call to action to mainstream water climate adaptation - targeting policy processes at international events such COP27, the UN 2023 Water Conference and COP28. 

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Barrier in Indonesia
Case Study

Building with nature in Demak, Indonesia

This case study describes how the Indonesian government has responded by piloting the Building with Nature (BwN) approach in the Demak district of Central Java province.

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Image of the Easy Housing project in Beira Mozambique.
Article

Biera shows the way to low-carbon housing

Rapid urbanization and increased water related hazards call for more affordable and resilient housing. However, conventional construction account for 38% of the global CO2 emissions, 30% of all waste and 50% of all resource extraction. Carbon neutral and circular building is therefore important.

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Water square in Rotterdam
Article

Water adaptation in urban areas - case of Rotterdam

The changes in climate are experienced most acutely through the water cycle. A functional biosphere can regulate water. Urban centers are hotspots where water can trigger progress. In Rotterdam, several stakeholders have come together to develop several areas to leverage the adaptive capacity of water, as this video shows.

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Before and after only using livestock management
Article

Regenerating the land with cattle management

This in-depth documentary explains how Holistic Livestock Management can contribute to halt desertification  and reduce the need for burning grasslands. Increased growth of grass can capture rainfall effectively, capture CO2, and manure from the livestock, can provide nutritious food and livelihoods.

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Urban agroforestry in the Ouagadougou green belt
Case Study

The green belt of urban agriculture in Ouagadougou

The green belt in Ouagadougou, is being regenerated as part of a regreening strategy with support provided in 2021. It is an interesting case on the role of urban agriculture in regreening strategies, which is not always adopted. 
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Mangrove restoration in Bangladesh
Article

Inexpensive & open-source sensors could dramatically improve the success of mangrove plantation schemes.

Many mangrove restoration projects fail because the wrong mangrove trees are being planted in the wrong locations. Mini Buoys are small and cost-effective monitors that can be placed in the field. Their information can guide where best to plant mangrove trees, and improve the success rate of restoration.

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Green rice paddy field and limestone mountains with sunlight in Vang Vieng, Laos
Article

Conceiving the Mekong Delta as a living body; exploring different delta-making practices

This article summarises the three practices shaping the Mekong Delta: the delta exploitation practice, delta management practice, and the delta as a living body, gives life to nature, crops and people.

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Parana Delta
Case Study

Paraná Delta in Argentina - Climate adaptation practices - Lighthouse case study

The Paraná Delta, Argentina has long been neglected. However, agreements between national and provincial governments have led to the setting up of a network of bases in national parks to conserve wetlands and support sustainable socio-economic activities.

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The power of three: mangroves, seagrass and coral
Article

The power of three: the interconnected system of mangroves, seagrass and coral reefs

Interventions on nature-based solutions need to be systemic. Here we explore the system of mangroves-seagrass - coral reef, and the importance of addressing this as a system. The success of one ecosystem is linked to that of the others, and each performs different functions.

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Tropical mangroves
Article

Mangroves - a collection of resources

Mangroves are one of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth. Here we provide a list of resources on mangroves from different organisations, to support planners who want to use nature based solutions. 

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Sanlihe River Park /VCG Photo
Article

Listing restoration projects of water bodies that once were disappeared

In this article we have collected a list of restored water bodies from urban areas around the world. Restoring old water bodies is an important resilience measure, to adapt to climate change and to strive for sustainable development in urban areas.

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Integrated urban planning for water sensitive cities and flood prevention
Case Study

Integrated Design and Planning Strategy for Flood Resilient Housing in Nepal

This conceptual poster presents integrated approaches as framework for building design and planning for flood prone areas of Nepal. It concludes with design recommendations for resilience.

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South Limburg urban landscape
Article

Water for recovery of the climate - A knowledge exchange between Limburg, Slovakia and Norway

GCA facilitated a knowledge exchange between the Slovakian and Norwegian experts and the Water Authority in South Limburg in the Netherlands. This was initiated in order to support the Authority in its efforts to learn and innovate to address flood risks.

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Testing of rain bed
Article

Testing Rainbeds in Oslo - Correcting Technical Design Issues

Several rain beds and open storm water solutions have been implemented in Oslo, Norway. This video shows testing storm water retention in two urban rain-gardens in Oslo. It shows show this ensured that the design flaws could be detected and corrected. 

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Oslo Vahlsgade at the Botanical Garden Credits Berit Roald NTB Scanpix
Case Study

Policy on open stormwater in Oslo - a game changer

The Oslo municipality policy on stormwater has turned out to be a game changer for the city's green spaces and water management. 

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Floating city development
Article

Sustainable Floating City Development

To cope with the future challenges of the growing world population and land scarcity, new solutions to build cities and grow food should be developed. Building floating structures on water could be a solution to gain the space we need for urbanization and food production.

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OPOE Case Study - Collaborative Management: governance for the new normal, North Karelia, Finland
Case Study

Collaborative management: governance for the new normal

This is an interactive, web-based case study exploring the critical role of local-traditional knowledge in ecosystem restoration in North Karelia, Finland.

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Man working in a Mangrove
Mangroves are an important nature based solution for coastal areas to protect from storms and erosion, but also providing important habitats for fish and other animals. Photo:Tenedos (istock)

Landscapes

Cape Town was near day zero in 2018. The drought that threatened to turn off the taps in Cape Town was made three times more likely by global warming, according to a study. Credit picture perfect istock.
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Urban Resilience

Disasters, climate change, and rapid urbanization pose a serious risk to the provision of urban water services including safe drinking water, sanitation, and safe drainage.

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A desert plain with three trees and amountain
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Drylands

Drylands are defined by a scarcity of water, and cover more than 40% of the earth surface. Drylands are present in more than 100 countries and home to over 2 billion people.

 

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Cross Cutting

A river basin in a mountanous region.
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River Basins

Collaboration in a river basin is needed to share increasingly scarce resources, manage water related risks emerging from various land uses and prevent flooding by linking upstream and downstream activities. Upstream areas need to ensure spatial planning that is mitigating floods for downstream areas. 

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