The IUCN Global Ecosystem Management Programme is working with the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) on developing a Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions (NbS). This standard aims to create a common understanding and consensus on what constitutes a strong NbS. It is intended to be a simple yet robust hands-on tool that informs the planning, design and implementation of an NbS, especially as an alternative to other types of development interventions such as hard infrastructure. In doing so, the standard will support wider uptake of the NbS concept. 

The draft NbS standard is currently composed of seven criteria which are broken down into several indicators each. The criteria and indicators are not sequential, but are related to one another and adaptive management and stakeholder engagement are cross-cutting issues. 

Together with a verification tool which is yet to be developed, the standard will help determine whether and to what degree a project can be considered an NbS, in accordance with the IUCN Resolution and the IUCN framework. It will also allow assessing the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of an NbS and point to areas that need correction or can be improved to achieve the best possible outcome for society and nature.

The Global NbS Standard was already presented at an international workshop “Implementation of Nature Based Solutions to tackle climate change: Focus on the Mediterranean region” hosted by the City of Marseille on 22-24 January 2019 and organized by Plan BleuIUCN Centre for Mediterranean CooperationUICN French CommitteeConservatoire du Littoral, Tour du ValatMedWET and Wetlands International. This event brought together researchers, practitioners and policy makers of the Mediterranean region and European Union to discuss on the benefits and challenges related to Nature-based Solutions implementation. Eurosite has also attended the workshop on behalf of our Wetlands and Climate Change Working Group (WCCWG), which is at this moment focusing on the mainstreaming of the Natural Climate Buffers (NCB). 

The Eurosite WCCWG is planning to jointly contribute to the public consultation on the IUCN’s Global Standard for NbS on behalf of the Eurosite Network. Public consultation is open until the end of March 2019 and everyone is invited to contribute.

Photo / drawing credit: Aline Rollin