FUTURE BRIEF: The solution is in nature | Land Portal

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March 2021
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Nature-based Solutions (NbS) work with nature to benefit both natural ecosystems and the people that depend on them. By putting nature at the centre, NbS address a range of societal challenges: protecting, sustainably managing or restoring natural or modified ecosystems and supporting their health, function and biodiversity.

The research collated in this brief confirms that NbS deliver simultaneously multiple benefits and shows the wide-ranging beneficial impacts of scaling up their implementation across Europe.

Time for action is urgent. Globally, ecosystems are being degraded and lost in an unprecedented manner, leading to the loss of the associated services they provide (resources and contributions that either directly or indirectly support human well-being and survival). Drivers include climate change and unsustainable urbanisation. By 2050, over 80% of the European population2 (and nearly 70% of the global population)3 is expected to reside in urban areas, increasing the need for sustainable food, housing, employment and care in cities – and increasing the amount of land needed for human activities.

Some examples of NbS include restoring forest landscapes for food and water security; integrating green infrastructure (such as green roofs and community spaces) into urban planning to improve human health and well-being and to address climate change mitigation (by cooling city areas during periods of hot weather); protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems to simultaneously safeguard human settlements from storm surges, wind or wave erosion risk and create safe nurseries for aquatic species; and sustainably managing agricultural soils to increase ecosystem resilience for climate adaptation.

For the Bonn Challenge Barometer protocol for forest land restoration (FLR), the central indicator “under restoration”, is a set of measures put in place that slow, and then reverse, the degradation status of key ecological, social and economic indicators. In addition to the central indicator, other indicators in this category are climate impacts, biodiversity impacts and socio-economic impacts. Data collection for these indicators overlaps with other reporting commitments, and explicit guidance is provided on this so data providers do not have to duplicate work, and can use this tool to aid with reporting under other international commitments and frameworks (e.g. climate change and UNFCCC reporting on mitigation outcomes from the land and forest sector, biodiversity impacts and the CBD Aichi Biodiversity Targets).

About Science for Environment Policy
Science for Environment Policy is a free news and information service published by the European Commission’s Directorate-General Environment, which provides the latest environmental policy relevant research findings.
Future Briefs are a feature of the service which provide expert forecasts of environmental policy issues on the horizon. In addition to Future Briefs, Science for Environment Policy also publishes a regular News Alert which is delivered by email to subscribers and provides accessible summaries of key scientific studies.

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The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.


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