Home Publications Journal Article Global recognition of the importance of nature-based solutions to the impacts of climate change

Global recognition of the importance of nature-based solutions to the impacts of climate change

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According to the World Economic Forum (2020) Global Risks Report, failure to mitigate and adapt to climate change presents the greatest risk to the global economy in terms of severity of impact. Meanwhile, extreme weather – which is exacerbated by climate change (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016) – is listed as the risk most likely to damage the economy. Identifying and implementing robust climate change adaptation approaches that are cost-effective and build resilience across a range of potential future climates is therefore critical. The prevailing approach across the world has involved a mix of direct, engineered (or ‘grey’) interventions such as sea walls, levees or irrigation infrastructure, and indirect (or ‘soft’) interventions such as early warning systems (Enríquez-de-Salamanca et al.Reference Enríquez-de-Salamanca, Díaz, Martín-Aranda and Santos2017). However, there is widespread recognition that nature-based (or ‘green’) solutions (NbS) can complement these approaches in both rural and urban contexts (Global Commission on Adaptation, 2019; Hobbie & Grimm, Reference Hobbie and Grimm2020; Royal Society, 2014).

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