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Words into Action: Nature-based solutions for disaster risk reduction
Some of the most important risks faced by humankind today are environment-related: extreme weather, biodiversity loss, natural hazards, and human-made environmental disasters. In large part, the rising risks are the result of environmental degradation occurring worldwide due to increased human activity. However, these risks can be reduced through working with nature rather than against it; a concept known as nature-based solutions.
This guide aims to give practical, how-to-do information on setting up and implementing nature-based solutions (NbS), especially for disaster risk reduction (DRR), but also for climate change adaptation (CCA). It is designed to help implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (hereafter referred to as the Sendai Framework). The Sendai Framework recognizes that environmental degradation can cause hazards and that disasters also have an impact on the environment. It recognizes that environmental management is a key component that can reduce disaster risk and increase resilience (United Nations, 2015; PEDRR, 2016):
- Poor land management, unsustainable use of natural resources and degrading ecosystems are highlighted as underlying drivers of disaster risk;
- Environmental impacts of disasters are recognized;
- Countries are explicitly encouraged to strengthen the sustainable use and management of ecosystems for building resilience to disasters.
Conversations with Mami Mizutori, Head of UNDRR
The guide is organized into three main chapters:
- Introduction to what nature-based solutions are, why they are important, and what the current state of play is in the world.
- More detail on how to implement NbS in the context of the Sendai Framework. Many tools and resources are given non-exhaustively.
- Mainstreaming and upscaling NbS to deal with disasters and climate risks. It covers policy coherence and how to engage communities, including women and youth, and the private sector.
This guide will help stakeholders of all kinds (policymakers, civil society organizations, the private sector, etc.) deliver on the environmental components of the Sendai Framework and upscale implementation of NbS to increase the resilience of populations. Ensuring a gender- and rights-based approach is also an important component in this equation.