21 May 2021, via Zoom – Asia Climate Change Consortium (ACCC) hosted a virtual round-table discussion on the role of nature-based solutions (NBS) on enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions and COVID-19 recovery in Asia.
Mr. Albert Magalang of the Philippines’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Atty. Sor Rattanamanee Polkla of Thailand’s Community Resources Center, and Ms. Maria Easterluna Canoy of the Kitanglad Integrated NGOs shared their respective insights on strengthening the implementation of NBS in the continent.
Afterwards, 40 participants from across Asia exchanged ideas and ways forward on the involvement of governments, businesses, civil society groups, and communities for promoting NBS. Among the main points highlighted include the need for a more inclusive decision-making for indigenous peoples and marginalized sectors, engaging with the private sector for modes of support, and green recovery programs from COVID-19 that also lead to sustainability co-benefits.
Given its role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, NBS is identified as one of the five focus themes for the UNFCCC COP26 on November in Scotland, where nations will tackle how to scale up these actions and establish guidelines for their planning, implementation, and monitoring.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Nature-based Solutions (NBS) are actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural and modified ecosystems in ways that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, to provide both human well-being and biodiversity benefits. They are underpinned by benefits that flow from healthy ecosystems and target major challenges like climate change, disaster risk reduction, food and water security, health and are critical to economic development.
It uses the tools that nature already provides to address issues resulting from poor land or resource use, climate change or societal challenges. Solutions often enhance existing natural or man-made infrastructure and spur long-term economic, social and environmental benefits.