COP15: Experts call for good nature-based solutions, practices in Asia

The Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development at Tsinghua University (ICCSD) and Asia Development Bank (ADB) jointly announced to call for good practices on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) across Asia at the 15th UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP15) in Montreal.

Defined at the United Nations Environment Assembly in this March, NbS refers to “Actions to protect, conserve, restore, sustainably use and manage natural or modified terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems, which address social, economic and environmental challenges effectively and adaptively, while simultaneously providing human well-being, ecosystem services and resilience and biodiversity benefits.”

“The pathway to carbon neutrality is a systematic revolution related to society as a whole, so carbon neutrality is beyond climate change and Nature-based Solutions (NbS) should go beyond carbon sink only”, said Dr. Wang Binbin, ICCSD’s C+NbS head and Executive Secretary General of Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC) .

Leading experts from around the world participated remotely or in person in the side event, themed Nature “Innovative Pathway towards the Carbon Neutral Future”, co-organized by ICCSD and ADB, to explore on the potential of nature, in particular the sustainable use of nature resources from the climate change perspective.

“As an expert on climate, my reflection is that all renewable energy come from nature resources, so if we agree that renewable energy is the solution towards the net-zero future, then they are Nature-based Solutions from this point of view.” Dr. Wang highlighted, “We should encourage synergic and integrated perspective.”

To tap into nature’s strength in addressing climate change, ICCSD has operated the C+NbS platform with more than 400 global partners and carried out a tracing study on global practices since 2019, right after the UN’s Climate Action Summit in New York, where China and New Zealand were invited to lead the NbS coalition. The research built a database consisting of 300 global cases and then formulated an evaluation criterion considering the guidance of ecological civilization, UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs), with reference to the IUCN Global Standard.

“We concluded 6 primary screening indicators and 3 deep evaluation dimensions to select out 28 good cases from the database as the recommended good cases to be released during the first phase of the CBD COP15 in Kunming,” Dr. Wang introduced. “As the following step, the research scope will be narrowed to the regional level, so as to more accurately find the most cutting-edge and exemplary practical cases.”