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The promises and pitfalls of nature-based solutions

To bring about change for our seas and coasts, there is need to integrate action on climate, biodiversity and development. Nature-based solutions are physical measures to protect, manage and restore ecosystems while addressing social challenges.

Brenda Ochola / Published on 5 December 2022

Video: Brenda Ochola / SEI / YouTube.

Social equity and justice need to be a core part of policies and projects for nature-based solutions, or risk reinforcing existing inequalities and injustices. The governance and implementation of nature-based solutions must also account gender norms, power dynamics, and the historical marginalization and discrimination of different groups.

Issues around scale must be considered in the design of nature-based solutions to deliver measurable benefits for nature and society.

Finance needs to take account of equity and scalar challenges. Critical approaches to finance are needed for more effective implementation of nature-based solutions that doesn’t compromise on social and economic goals.

Better data is vital for assessing whether financial support is being targeted and used effectively. This includes a more transparent explanation by funders of how projects that are tagged as targeting biodiversity deliver benefits for ecosystems, and what outcomes might measure success.

SEI has launched a set of four briefs to provoke a more nuanced discussion of the benefits, and the risks and trade-offs, of nature-based solutions. Learn more below.

Read the briefs

Listen to the podcast

Authors

Biljana Macura
Biljana Macura

Senior Research Fellow and Team Lead

SEI Headquarters

Elin Leander
Elin Leander

Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

Heidi Tuhkanen
Heidi Tuhkanen

Senior Expert (Green and Circular Economic Transformations Unit)

SEI Tallinn

Jonathan Green profile picture
Jonathan Green

Senior Researcher

SEI York

Karina Barquet
Karina Barquet

Team Leader: Water, Coasts and Ocean; Senior Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

Mónica Trujillo

Research Fellow

SEI Latin America

Philip Osano
Philip Osano

Centre Director

SEI Africa

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