A bio-aligned economy is possible

The following examples showcase how Nature-based Solutions can enhance, protect, or even replace existing infrastructure:

  • Living shorelines

    Using oyster shells and other “living shoreline” designs instead of a concrete seawall to provide a remedy for nutrient pollution, maintain essential fish habitat structure, and buffer shorelines from waves and storms.

  • Mangroves

    Restoring or planting mangroves in coastal zones to reduce flooding, store carbon, and improve local fisheries and tourism, retain sediment and improve habitat for aquatic species, including commercial fisheries.

  • Wetlands

    Restoring wetlands in a watershed to remove nitrogen and phosphorous from surface water, reduce suspended sediments, and improve drinking water quality—reducing the demand for expensive water quality treatment facilities.

  • Source water protection

    Protecting and creating drinking water sources through forest conservation, reforestation, and cover crops. Source water protection through water funds helped Ecuador manage water flows and reduce the need for new, expensive water purification plants. Nairobi, Kenya improved water yields in the Tana River and reduced sediment through a similar funding mechanism directed towards upstream land and farm conservation.

Wetlands - our natural allies

Wetlands are efficient at storing carbon. They hold between…

20-30%

of the earth’s soil carbon while only occupying 5-8% of the planet’s surface.

Wetlands also protect us from heavy weather events:

The presence of coastal wetlands helped avoid over USD 625 million in damages from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy in the Northeastern United States.

625,000,000

Avoided damages in USD

Nature-based solutions have the potential to provide more than a third of the necessary emission reductions needed by 2030 to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

NbS

Interested in learning more?

Nature-based solutions Initiative

By: University of Oxford

The Nature-based Solutions Initiative is an interdisciplinary programme of research, education and policy advice with the mission is to enhance understanding of the potential of Nature-based Solutions to address multiple global challenges.

Engineering with Nature

By: United States Army Corps of Engineers

The initiative aims to enable more sustainable delivery of economic, social, and environmental benefits associated with water resources infrastructure.

Naturally Resilient Communities - Website

By: The Nature Conservancy et al.

This knowledge portal provides an overview of potential Nature-Based Solutions  to tackle hazards such as flooding and erosion.

Integrating Green and Gray – Creating Next Generation Infrastructure

By: World Bank & WRI

This report proposes insights, solutions and examples for putting nature to work to address the world’s growing infrastructure crisis, driven by climate change and growing populations.

Relevant sustainability tools