- On 16th September 2019
- In Ecology, General, Research and Development, Sediment Management, Water Management
- By David
Nature based solutions is a concept you might have come across, but in many cases, other than knowing they have something to do with nature, it can be difficult to imagine what they actually are.
Nature based solutions or NBS, can be implemented in almost any infrastructure project to make use of the various ecosystem services. Therefore making the result more environmentally friendly and sustainable. This is done by working with natural processes, rather than trying to enforce our human control on them.
“A policy that preserves, rehabilitates, protects and sustainably manages natural habitats, species, and ecosystems that have been damaged by human activity for environmental and societal benefits.” – European Commission Europa – Environment
What are the benefits to Nature Based Solutions?
NBS uses natural environments like salt marshes or sand dunes to protect from storms and waves. The main benefit of NBS, is that they are dynamic. Given the volatile nature of weather with climate change and also rising sea levels, NBS can adapt and change to continuously provide the protection needed.
This is in contrary to hard engineering, which would require to be rebuilt for the new, changed conditions. This means that NBS is in the long term a lot more sustainable and potentially cheaper. It also provides a plethora of ecosystem services and is generally well received by the public too.
So why are we not doing it more often..? Well, we and lots of other environmental organisations are working hard on the evidence base and business case to ensure NBS has as high uptake as possible.
In relation to our current work here at Exo Environmental, NBS is particularly relevant in coastal defences. This is why we are partners on the SARCC project, a European project focusing specifically on how we can adapt to climate change by using NBS in the coastal cities’ infrastructure. Visit http://sarcc.eu to see our progress 😊