Are nature-based solutions the answer to the climate emergency?

Are nature-based solutions the answer to the climate emergency?

Are nature-based solutions the answer to the climate emergency?

Theo PanayiGlobal Director for Climate Adaptation

The climate is changing. The unprecedented speed at which this is occurring and impacting events – like flooding, storms and extreme heat – most definitely is a cause for alarm. Just last year, human-induced climate change made European flooding 1.2 to 9 times more likely1 than it would have been 100 years ago. This acceleration makes it more difficult for societies and the natural world to adapt. But there are solutions. At the recent Marker Wadden conference, I met with experts and leaders from across the globe to discuss creative and resilient nature-based solutions that meet these goals.

Adaptive systems that consider both the needs of the community and the natural environment are the key to climate resilience. This is why solutions that account for ecosystem restoration and climate adaptation  together  are becoming increasingly important in the coming century.

The Marker Wadden, a manmade archipelago of islands in the Dutch Lake Marken, is one such example. Arcadis helped design and develop the archipelago of new islands which now function as a nature reserve, where vegetation can grow, fish can spawn, and birds and other wildlife can flourish.

Nature-based solutions that address climate change are often perceived as complex and expensive. This doesn’t need to be the case. During the three day Marker Wadden conference, we used this unique, landmark project to discuss some of the challenges and benefits – like making use of natural materials that are easily available. Here are five key takeaways.