Why we think they’re a kick-ass tool in the fight against climate change.
Looking after the planet is what gets us up out of our freshly laundered sheets every morning. It’s always been that way. And always will. That’s why we’re backing nature-based solutions to help people and the planet tackle the effects of climate change.
Traditionally, us human beings have built ‘grey’ or engineered solutions, like concrete flood barriers. But they’re not the only answer. Nature-based solutions are about working with nature to provide benefits to people and biodiversity. They include the protection, restoration or management of ecosystems on land and sea. And they’re growing in popularity because well-designed ones can have a broader impact than the one they’re designed for. Increased biodiversity, carbon storage and water quality can happen hand in hand with flood protection.
NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS IN ACTION :
Restoring or protecting forests and wetlands
These habitats can regulate the flow of water to help protect communities and land from flood, soil erosion and landslides. But they can also increase the biodiversity of plants and insects, and in turn the other species that rely on them. They’ll filter the water that runs off the land and draw down carbon through the plants. And if that’s not enough, they’ll provide awesome places to visit and walk.
Bringing nature into cities
Who doesn’t love a green roof? Making green spaces and planting trees can moderate the impact of heatwaves, capture storm water and decrease pollution. But they’re also good for our mental and physical health too. Which is one of the things we’ve all come to treasure during the pandemic.
Restoring coastal habitats
Coral reefs aren’t just a feast for the snorkelers’ eyes, they actively protect coastal communities from storm surges. Restoring or protecting these, along with mangroves and salt marshes, can help prevent land erosion and the effects of rising sea levels. But some of them are also particularly good at storing carbon. A big high five to the mangroves next time you see them.
“Nature is our greatest ally in the fight against the causes and consequences of climate change. And we can only develop sustainably by taking its full value into account. Nature needs to be central to decision making in business, and in government. For the benefit of people and planet”.Nathalie Seddon, Director of the Nature Based Solutions Initiative at Oxford University and Ecover FERTILISE THE FUTURE judge.
It’s a movement on the move
In February 2020 a group of organisations including the Nature-Based Solutions Initiative, RSPB, WWF, Wildlife Trusts and several universities wrote to Alok Sharma MP (leader for Glasgow Cop26) calling on him to place Nature-Based Solutions at the heart of the government’s response to Climate Change.
The Floodplain Meadow Partnership are restoring floodplain meadows and setting out to prove it’s a kick-ass tool in the fight against climate change.