The #ReNatureWebinar recording available post-event
ReNature held its first webinar last Friday, 26. June 2020, to talk about nature-based solutions (NbS) and identify interventions that lead to co-benefits to biodiversity and well-being.
The 1st ReNature Webinar has been developed and designed to address (1) the need on effective implementation of nature-based solutions, (2) identify existing knowledge gaps and (3) present the approach adopted in the ReNature project in bringing experts together to discuss, and share knowledge and experiences.
Over 60 participants connected to the online meeting to learn how to identify solutions to concrete societal challenges and explore real-life examples from Malta, Trento (Italy) and Dublin (Ireland).
During the webinar, experts described the idea, purpose and impact of NbS, stressing that "nature can be seen as a solution to different problems and not just something to protect." (project coordinator M. Balzan). Researchers described how to achieve urban regeneration through NbS in cities.
The program included sessions on the use of indicators to identify the most effective nature-based solutions that may be applied in different urban environments, the identification of the different typologies of nature-based solutions and an associated impact evaluation framework of urban nature-based solutions. The results from recent collaborative research with practitioners that identified knowledge gaps limiting the uptake of nature-based solutions in the Mediterranean region have been presented.
Project coordinator, Mario Balzan, introduced the vision of shifting research ideas into practical solutions and referred a nature as a one of major solution for different type of current and future environmental issues. During his lecture more than 60 participants have learned how to identify nature-based solutions to societal challenges, to evaluate their contributions and benefits. The Nature-Based Solutions Compendium was introduced to participants as a multifunctional map linked to Mediterranean region created by ReNature team together with stakeholders to identify potential benefits or co-benefits from different nature-based solutions.
Marcus Collier from Trinity College Dublin in his presentation highlighted the need to be innovative with the nature-based solutions. Different typologies of nature-based solutions provide multiple benefits and co-benefits to society. Marcus pointed out that specified solutions such as a ‘raingarden’ or combinations of natural and green alternatives incorporated to well-known engineered technologies (green structure, living walls) can provide not only environmental benefits but reconnect people with nature as well which is much needed nowadays.
Miriam Grace (University of East Anglia) shared results based on knowledge needs for implementing nature-based solutions in the Mediterranean islands. This was a collaborative work started in Malta with project partners and also stakeholders. Knowledge gaps limiting implementation of nature-based solutions were identified inclusively through participatory processes systemising the knowledge received from environmental stakeholders during their participation in the previous workshops and interviews. As primary research shows, there is a need for evidence of effectiveness of nature-based solutions, and especially in local context. Although, there are a lots of information on nature-based solutions, but practitioners repeatedly were telling ‘that is great that it’s there, but when it comes to implementing things practically, people want to know that it’s going to work and that is the best alternative to use’. Unfortunately, evidence of good practices in the Mediterranean context is still lacking and this is where the ReNature Nature-Based Solutions Compendium could help highlighting what the lacks are and to give an opportunity to compare to other scenarios in different countries where nature-based solutions have been used and implemented successfully.
The concept of planning for nature-based solutions in urban areas and how to achieve urban regeneration through nature-based solutions was presented by Davide Geneletti from University of Trento. The strategy of urban plans should come together with green urban ecosystems and create a trend for planning authorities. According to EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the main objective is to bring nature back to European cities and reward their communities. Urban green plans should help to improve connections between green spaces, to create biodiverse, urban farms, green roofs and walls, urban meadows and other green practices. Prof Geneletti emphasised that ‘such plans could mobilise policy makers and become a powerful tool and good practice for implementation of nature-based solutions into cities’. This requires a lot of interactions with policy makers and all set of actors involved in the planning processes. All classical issues that could arise during the planning need to be discussed with stakeholders to make it more transparent and feasible for integration of nature-based solutions into urban planning.
A Q&A session was beneficial to all participants as questions could be asked in front of the panel and answered publicly during the meeting.
The webinar was streamed live on YouTube, making it available to anyone interested. Watch the recording below.