ALTER-Net team publishes paper on nature-based solutions
A 17-strong team of colleagues from 12 ALTER-Net partner organisations has written a paper on nature-based solutions. The paper, which is published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, considers the implications for science, policy and practice of the recently introduced concept of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), with a focus on the European context.
The team analysed NBS in relation to similar concepts, and, in the paper, they reflect on its relationship to sustainability as an overarching framework. From this, they derive a set of questions to be addressed and propose a general framework for how these might be addressed in NBS projects by funders, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners.
Among the team's conclusions, they assert that the strength of the NBS concept is its integrative, systemic approach which prevents it from becoming just another “green communication tool” that provides justification for a classical model of natural resource exploitation and management measures. They also argue that, to realise their full potential, NBS must be developed by including the experience of all relevant stakeholders such that ‘solutions’ contribute to achieving all dimensions of sustainability. Furthermore, as NBS are developed, we must also moderate the expectations placed on them, since the precedent provided by other initiatives whose aim was to manage nature sustainably demonstrates that we should not expect NBS to be cheap and easy, at least not in the short-term.
- Full reference: Carsten Nesshöver, Timo Assmuth, Katherine N. Irvine, Graciela M. Rusch, Kerry A. Waylen, Ben Delbaere, Dagmar Haase, Lawrence Jones-Walters, Hans Keune, Eszter Kovacs, Kinga Krauze, Mart Külvik, Freddy Rey, Jiska van Dijk, Odd Inge Vistad, Mark E. Wilkinson, Heidi Wittmer, The science, policy and practice of nature-based solutions: An interdisciplinary perspective, Science of The Total Environment, Available online 2 December 2016, ISSN 0048-9697
- The incentive for this paper was ALTER-Net's 2015 conference on nature-based solutions.