Nature-based Solutions

© VBK Photography

Why now?

  • In the aftermath of COVID-19, it is more crucial than ever to adopt recovery strategies which truly “build back better” for both people and the planet.
  • As the UAE government moves to diversify the economy away from oil and gas, the private sector has a vital role to play. Generating financial flows to support global action towards NbS and natural capital conservation is fundamentally important for the future of our planet.
  • The UAE has the opportunity to take on a leadership role in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, spearheading regional and global efforts to redirect financial flows to nature conservation.

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are broadly recognized by international conventions and organizations, including the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as critical tools for climate change mitigation and adaptation which also deliver biodiversity and socio-economic benefits.

NbS are defined by the IUCN as “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”. They come in many different forms, and are viewed as an essential element in the international response to the climate and biodiversity crises.

In October 2021, the UAE adopted a goal to reach net zero by 2050, the first-ever net-zero target in the Middle East and North Africa region.

More and more countries are recognizing that nature can play a key role in global climate action strategies, and this is reflected in its inclusion in their international pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions (also known as “Nationally Determined Contributions”). Research shows that NbS could offer up to one third of the climate change mitigation needed between now and 2030 to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement.

NbS projects on coastal ecosystem resilience and climate change can offer ‘bankable’ investment opportunities that also meet all components of sustainability – economic, environmental and social. NbS are an essential component of a Sustainable Blue Economy model, bringing diverse sectors together to work towards a common goal under the climate-oceans-people nexus.

More about the project