The European Regions Research and Innovation Network's (ERRIN) Blue Economy Working Group held a hybrid meeting entitled "Water issues in the era of climate change" on 5 October 2023. McKenna Davis, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute and Coordinator of Nature-based Solutions, was invited to hold the keynote presentation to set the scene. Her contribution – entitled "Nature-based solutions in European policy: A framework for enhancing local action" – introduced the variety of nature-based solutions available for water management, current research focusing on these solutions (including the Ecologic-led NICHES project), the surrounding EU policy framework, and examples of enabling local policy instruments from the Urban Governance Atlas.
Regions across Europe are experiencing water-related challenges, ranging from water scarcity to flooding, as a direct impact of climate change. Nature-based solutions (NBS) represent natural and cost-effective solutions that simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the local community. Many regions and communities have therefore adopted nature-based solutions to address the water-related problems that they are facing. In this WG meeting, three regions shared examples of nature-based solutions that they have implemented to tackle local water-related challenges, with a focus on results, lessons learned and challenges tackled.