Problem Addressed

This solution was sourced in response to UKGBC’s Innovation Challenge: “How can communities and local authorities implement, maintain, and assess the impact of nature-based solutions to enhance climate resilience?”

Designing and implementing nature-based solutions (NBS) on a scale that delivers economic, environmental and social co-benefits, builds resilience and benefits biodiversity is complex with many different issues to consider: What is the best solution for the area? Who will manage it? How will it be financed? Who needs to be involved in the design, implementation and maintenance? How to measure economic, environmental and social impact? Will it support innovation and generate jobs? How to manage change? Even identifying where to start can often be a challenge.

Solution Overview

To see how The Connecting Nature Framework works in under 7 minutes watch this video!

In response to the above uncertainty, Connecting Nature has developed a process tool to help organisations and individuals navigate the path towards the large-scale implementation of NBS. The Connecting Nature Framework places NBS at the core of an interactive process. The process runs through three distinct phases of development for a NBS: 1) Planning 2) Delivery 3) Stewardship.

Throughout each phase there are seven separate elements that need to be considered to shape individual NBS:

  1. Technical solutions
  2. Governance
  3. Financing and business models
  4. Nature-based enterprises
  5. Co-production
  6. Impact assessment
  7. Reflexive monitoring

The tool is free to use being made available as an open access resource following its development in the European Commission co-funded project Connecting Nature. In order to mainstream NBS processes, it is likely that significant governance and investment changes will be required. The Framework provides guidance in relation to how this can be developed and achieved.

Verification & Case Study

One of the elements comprises of ‘Reflexive Monitoring’, this enables users to evaluate the effectiveness of their actions and the progress made towards their aims. Reflexive Monitoring focuses on identifying critical turning points: key aspects of progress that correlated with significant changes in relation to NBS mainstreaming, and represent key learning outcomes, when viewed in hindsight, that can be fed back iteratively into experiential learning.

Case Study

The Framework is being used by a number of cities across Europe, and beyond, to mainstream their implementation of NBS. Case studies of these activities are being uploaded to Oppla. A specific example of this is the Stiemer Vallei exemplar in Genk, Belgium.

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