For most of the 20th century, decision-makers treated the conservation of nature as peripheral to national and global agendas. At best, it was considered a worthy interest, at worst an obstacle to development. However, growing scientific consensus indicate that such views were misplaced and that “nature is essential for human existence and good quality of life”6. Failure to recognise this fact not only results in a model of economic growth that significantly contributes to the loss of biodiversity, it also misses the opportunity to effectively deploy nature in helping resolve major societal challenges such as climate change, food security and disaster risk reduction.
The sustainable deployment of natural capital, that is the world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things, has an important role in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. For decades, IUCN has carried out innovative conservation initiatives that have simultaneously helped protect, manage and restore the environment while delivering tangible and sustainable benefits for people. This type of approach is now widely known as Nature-based Solutions (Figure 1). It is
well documented that Nature-based Solutions (NbS), such as watershed protection, can generate income for local communities as well as benefits for municipalities that depend on these resources for their health and well-being. From investing in the restoration of degraded lands and shorelines to optimising the performance of traditional infrastructure, such as dams and levees, there is now overwhelming evidence that shows nature plays a critical role to in meeting our societal needs.
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
You can also access this resource on our Portal
Thank you for recommending this resource.
Share your resources
Are you working to better understand and build community flood resilience? Others can benefit from your knowledge.