White Paper // Building with Nature: a future proof strategy for coping with a changing and uncertain world
By Amrit Cado van der Lelya, Erik van Eekelend,Dorien, Honinghb, Jakolien Leendersb, Sadie McEvoya, Ellis Penninga, Marjolein Sterkc, Ilse Voskampc, Andrew Warrena, Vincent van Zelsta. The objective of this whitepaper is to inform practitioners of Building with Nature about the concepts of uncertainty and how to use this as a strength in the dialogue to come to sustainable solutions for coping with future global change related uncertainties.
"Planners must be confident that the decisions made today will still serve the needs of tomorrow."
The influence of climate change on water related management challenges is felt worldwide. Backed by policies such as the European Green Deal, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, there is a growing focus on Nature-based Solutions (NBS) and Building with Nature (BwN) to tackle current global challenges. However, the choice to implement Building with Nature rather than a traditional ‘grey’ infrastructure solution is often hampered by greater perceived uncertainty in the performance and implementation of Building with Nature. At the same time, the co-benefits of Building with Nature are well documented, and an increasing body of evidence showcases the value and functioning of Building with Nature under both daily and extreme conditions.
The objective of this whitepaper is to inform practitioners of Building with Nature about the concepts of uncertainty and how to use this as a strength in the dialogue to come to sustainable solutions for coping with future global change related uncertainties. Sources of uncertainty related to the BwN solution are often more manageable than the sources of uncertainties related to predictions of the future state of the problem. For instance, uncertainties related to the question ‘how much sea-level rise can be expected’ needs to be addressed independent of the uncertainties related to the solution itself (e.g., how can a mangrove greenbelt adapt to sea-level rise of 50 cm).
Key considerations for working with uncertainties in Building with Nature solutions are:
- Identification of all dimensions of uncertainty both related to the problem and solution at hand.
- Adaptivity is key to work with deeply uncertain future challenges.
- A toolkit of six enablers aids in implementing Building with Nature.
- Adaptive design and targeted monitoring are essential in the management of Building with Nature solutions.
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- White Paper // Scaling Investment in Nature based Solutions along Coasts in Emerging Countries. How to finance and accelerate implementation of nature-based solutions
- Publication // Decision-making and integrated assessment models of the water-energy-food nexus
- Infrastructure // Natural Infrastructure in the Nexus
- Risk // The Critical Role of Risk in Setting Directions for Water, Food and Energy Policy and Research