NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS

  • Recently, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) Climate Centre for Cities (NIUA C-Cube), World Resources Institute India (WRI India) and their partners launched India’s first National Coalition platform for Urban nature-based solutions (NbS) at the 11th World Urban Forum in Poland.
  • NIUAfocuses on research, knowledge management, policy, advocacy, and capacity building on urban development and management to address and develop sustainable, inclusive, and productive urban ecosystems in the country.

World Urban Forum

  • The World Urban Forum (WUF) is the premier global conference on sustainable urbanization.
  • The WUF was established in 2001 by the United Nations to examine rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies.
  • WUF11 is co-organized by UN-Habitat, Poland’s Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy and the Municipal Office of Katowice, Poland. 

Highlights of National Coalition platform for NbS

  • The India Forum for Nature-based Solutions aims to create a collective of NbS entrepreneurs, government entities and like-minded organizations, to help scale urban nature-based solutions through:
  • Defining a shared language and communicating benefits that inform actions at the local level including scaling up of existing NbS interventions.
  • Driving investment and strengthening delivery mechanisms through multi-stakeholder coordination.
  • Mainstreaming urban ecosystem-based services and nature-based solutions in India through informing policy, plans and project interventions.

Significance of Nature Based Solutions

  • Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are defined by IUCNas “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.
  • Ecosystem-based services and Nature-Based Solutions are fast emerging as cost-effective and sustainable ways to address climate change induced challenges such as heat, urban flooding, air and water pollutionand storm surges.
  • Along with mitigating the impact of climate change, NbS also helps in providing multiple ecosystem benefits along with addressing various societal challenges including building resilience of the underserved and vulnerable urban communities who are most affected by climate change induced catastrophes.
  • To overcome or minimize the impacts of climate change, the idea of local-led adaptation has been widely discussed, which is directed to NbS.

Local-led Adaptation

  • Local-led adaptation refers to local communities, local governments acting strongly in taking effective decisions to tackle climate change.
  • Local-led adaptation is often characterised by indigenous solutions, which are often associated with nature.
  • Given that the most vulnerable populations are the ones that are more dependent on natural resources, it is, therefore, to be expected that coping solutions also often germinate from the same source.

Potentials:

  • Restoring wetlands to buffer local communities from flood waters, or conserving mangrove forests that provide nurseries for fish and protect nearby homes against storm damage.
  • From protecting salt marshes to restoring forest habitats, nature-based solutions are already in operation across the world.
  • Green roofs or walls are Nature-based solutions that can be implemented in cities to moderate the impact of high temperatures, capture stormwater, abate pollution, and act as carbon sinks, while simultaneously enhancing biodiversity.

India:

  • India launched its first National Coalition platform for Urban nature-based solutions (NbS) under the Cities4Forests initiative.
  • Cities4Forests: It works closely with cities around the world to connect with forests, emphasises the importance of wetlands and their multiple benefits to help combat climate change and protect biodiversity in cities. 

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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