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Core principles for successfully implementing and upscaling Nature-based Solutions

Emmanuelle Cohen-Shacham, Angela Andrade, James Dalton, Nigel Dudley, Mike Jones, Chetan Kumar, Stewart Maginnis, Simone Maynard, Cara R. Nelson, Fabrice G. Renaud, Rebecca Welling, Gretchen Walters

Despite substantial increases in the scope and magnitude of biodiversity conservation and ecological restoration, there remains ongoing degradation of natural resources that adversely a ects both biodiversity and human well- being. Nature-based Solutions (NbS) can be an e ective framework for reversing this trend, by increasing the alignment between conservation and sustainable development objectives. However, unless there is clarity on its evolution, de nition and principles, and relationship with related approaches, it will not be possible to develop evidence-based standards and guidelines, or to implement, assess, improve and upscale NbS interventions globally. In order to address this gap, we present the de nition and principles underpinning the NbS framework, recently adopted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and compare it to (1) the Ecosystem Approach that was the foundation for developing the NbS de nitional framework, and (2) four speci c eco- system-based approaches (Forest Landscape Restoration, Ecosystem-based Adaptation, Ecological Restoration and Protected Areas) that can be considered as falling under the NbS framework. Although we found substantial alignment between NbS principles and the principles of the other frameworks, three of the eight NbS principles stand out from other approaches: NbS can be implemented alone or in an integrated manner with other solu- tions; NbS should be applied at a landscape scale; and, NbS are integral to the overall design of policies, measures and actions, to address societal challenges. Reversely, concepts such as adaptive management/governance, ef- fectiveness, uncertainty, multi-stakeholder participation, and temporal scale are present in other frameworks but not captured at all or detailed enough in the NbS principles.


Environmental Science and Policy 98 (2019) 20–29

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