An Elk in the Wilderness

What are Nature-Based Solutions?

The best decarbonization plan will span many sectors and invoke a variety of tools and technologies. One such set of tools are nature-based solutions which employ ecosystem services to reduce emissions and store carbon. They present cost-efficient, energy-passive, low-maintenance and resilience-building solutions that also bring co-benefits such as constructing carbon sinks, developing habitats and protecting biodiversity and ecological services, but most importantly, it opens opportunities for economic development.

Examples of NbS include:

  • Protecting, managing, and restoring forests
  • Adopting “regenerative” approaches to agriculture
  • Building artificial wetlands within cities to reduce flooding
  • Managing watersheds to provide clean water
  • Restoring mangroves to mitigate storm damage

These strategies provide a triple dividend of benefits:

  • The first dividend is avoided losses, that is, the ability of the investment to reduce future losses
  • The second is positive economic benefits through reducing risk, increasing productivity, and driving innovation through the need for adaptation
  • The third is social and environmental benefits

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