This infographic summarises the key characteristics of Nature-based Solutions (NBS): NBS are aligned with natural ecosystem processes; must benefit biodiversity; are locally appropriate, adaptive, and multifunctional; and must address societal challenges and provide benefits to human well-being. Those characteristics allow to clearly differentiate between NBS and measures that may use nature or natural processes but are not qualified as NBS in light of scientific discourse (such as e.g. biochar or BECCS).
This infographic was created for the study "Nature-based Solutions and Global Climate Protection". It is based on Reise et al. (2022): Nature-based Solutions and global climate protection. Climate Change 01/2022. Dessau-Roßlau. The study examines the role of nature-based solutions (NBS) for global climate protection and in international climate policy. It provides a critical assessment of global mitigation potentials of NBS in forests, croplands, grasslands, terrestrial and coastal wetlands, and settlements and provides recommendations for international climate policy such as under UNFCCC.
As a first step to critically assess the global mitigation potential of NBS the study compared and evaluated different existing definitions and understandings of NBS in scientific literature. The study highlighted essential characteristics of NBS and proposed a working definition to inform the scope of the study, which are summarised in this infographic.
The results of the study show that the potential of NBS to mitigate emissions is probably overestimated in the scientific literature due to various factors. Nevertheless, NBS can bring multiple benefits for people and the environment and should be promoted actively.
The infographic has been developed by Öko-Institut and Ecologic Institute on behalf of the German Environment Agency. You can download a print version of the infographic.