Nature-based Solutions for Climate Adaptation

Key Findings from IPCC AR6 WGII 2022 Report and World Economic Forum Global Commission on BiodiverCities

How Nature-based Solutions (NbS) is framed in IPCC

Take Home Message

  • Cost effective
  • Scalable
  • Durable
  • Viable
  • Offer immediate climate solutions


  • Climatic risks to people, including from flood, drought, fire and over-heating, can be lowered by a range of EbA in urban and rural areas. However, EbA and other NbS are still not widely implemented.
  • Public parks, urban forests, street trees and green roofs as well as lakes, ponds and streams are widely documented for providing local cooling, grass and riparian buffers and forested watersheds can enhance flood and drought protection for cities and settlements, and mangrove stands and wetlands in coastal areas can reduce storm surges.
  • Analysis of the impacts of Hurricane Sandy showed that communities located behind wetlands experienced 20% less damage.
  • Coral reefs are providing $544M per year and mangroves $22USDB in property protection for coastal communities in the US and Mexico.
  • NbS are not only generally less expensive but strengthen over time, compared with built infrastructure which erodes with time
  • By 2030, flooding from changes in storms, sea level rise (based on RCP8.5) and increases in built infrastructure in the US Gulf Coast may result in net economic losses of up to US$176 billion, of which US$50 billion could be avoided through implementation of nature-based measures including wetland and oyster reef restoration and other green infrastructure (EPA, 2015b; Reguero et al., 2018).
  • EbA forms part of a wider range Nature-based Solutions (NbS) actions and some have mitigation co-benefits, including the protection and restoration of forests and other high-carbon ecosystems, as well as agroecological farming practices.
  • Development and climate mitigation co-benefits of NBS (including for public health) is an additional reason that NBS are being increasingly taken up by cities including for improving health and livelihoods, particularly for poor, marginalized groups
  • US protected land area is 12% but is 10% of global total protected area, underlining US opportunity for leadership, and global challenge to meet biodiversity conservation targets




Resilience Quarterly is a publication co-produced by the Urban Systems Lab at the New School, providing a unique forum to share strategies in design, data visualization, and interdisciplinary scholarship on urban ecology, environmental justice, and sustainable cities.

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