The world is facing a broad range of challenges related to climate change, unsustainable urbanisation and the loss of natural capital. There is an increase in natural disaster risks and a decrease in well-being. To combat this, the properties of natural ecosystems and the functions that they provide can be studied and used in several beneficial ways.
Nature-based solutions (NBS) offer ways to tackle societal challenges such as climate change, water security, food security, human health, and others through sustainable management and use of nature. For example green roofs or walls in urban areas can keep temperatures cooler during hot seasons, capture storm water, reduce air pollution, and increase human well-being while enhancing biodiversity.
Nature-based solutions can also help create new green jobs and economic growth through new products and services that improve natural capital rather than exhaust it.
The conference 'Nature-based Solutions: From Innovation to Common-use' is part of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and hosts leading scientists, politicians and entrepreneurs from around the world who will be sharing their experience on how nature-based innovation and eco-innovative technologies can be implemented in many areas of life.
The conference focuses on five main topics:
- blue-green infrastructure in smart cities
- integrated water management through natural systems
- using ICT as a supporting tool for nature-based solutions and ecosystems
- ecological restoration through eco-innovation
- nature-based solutions in a circular economy
Currently, 73% of Europe’s population lives in cities and this is increasing. Thus, there is a high need for sustainable urbanisation. While a key direction in this area has been the development of what are known as 'smart cities', these technologies can be used in combination with NBS to increase the resilience of cities and the well-being of citizens even further.
NBS has a great deal of potential for solving water management problems such as increasing demands for water treatment and disaster risk reduction. Many urban areas are vulnerable to flooding and extreme rainfall events that can be mitigated with the right blue-green infrastructure.
The conference also highlights the latest information and communications technology (ICT) solutions that can have a powerful, supporting effect on the development of NBS. Examples of these include geographic information systems (GIS), environmental data analysis, and mobile phone apps for the monitoring, planning and better management of natural systems, and more.
In addition to the main conference, several other events are also planned such as an open JPI workshop and a workshop on local NBS in Estonia.
Future Earth, The Green Spider Network, Forest-based Sector Technology Platform, Deltares as well as several NBS projects, including EnRoute and ThinkNature are also holding their meetings during the conference.
All of the details and topics of the conference are available on the conference website.
Tallinn University, Narva mnt 25, 10120 Tallinn, Estonia