NUWAO will produce a Nature-based solutions guide for Oceania.
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What are Nature-based Solutions (NbS)?
Nature-based solutions (NbS) are defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (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”. More simply, NbS are solutions to societal challenges that involve working with nature. They aim to enhance the resilience of ecosystems, their capacity for renewal and the provision of ecosystem services. NbS have gained popularity globally as an integrated approach for responding to climate change, biodiversity loss, and broad sustainable development challenges.
Nature-based solutions (NbS), linked with traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), provide a critical opportunity to generate innovative adaptation responses to climate change in Oceania. Multifaceted NbS work with, rather than against, nature and can lead to more effective and culturally rooted solutions to societal challenges, by concurrently resetting socio-cultural systems through the restoration of ecological systems across interconnected landscapes and ocean ecologies. Although considered to be innovative in terms of urban infrastructure design, the practice of working closely with nature in order to create and design effective and resilient human settlements, while maintaining healthy ecosystems, has always been a cornerstone of Te Ao Māori and traditional Pasifika societies. Indigenous knowledges have long held that human wellbeing is inextricably connected to ecosystem health, or in fact that there is no nature-culture dualism. Building on Indigenous framings of wellbeing and partnering TEK with NbS leads to placebased, local urban design responses that offer long-term benefit in diverse Oceania contexts.