Poorly planned urbanisation can lead to exacerbation of societal challenges such as social deprivation, climate change impacts, deteriorating health and increasing pressure on urban nature. Urban ecosystem restoration can contribute to lessen these challenges, e.g. through implementing nature-based solutions (NBS). This online webinar illustrated how Horizon 2020 projects are supporting international cooperation in knowledge creation and knowledge exchange between local authorities and researchers to promote urban ecosystem restoration in Europe, China and Latin America.
This webinar was jointly organised by the projects: INTERLACE, CONEXUS, REGREEN and CLEARING HOUSE as an official side-event of the European Week of Regions and Cities 2022. The webinar brought together about 500 representatives from cities, regions and local authorities, city network representatives, policy-makers, researcher, civil society and experts on nature-based solutions and urban ecosystem restoration from Europe, China and Latin America. In line with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the proposed EU Nature Restoration Law and the NetworkNature semester on nature-based solutions standards and quality, the webinar focused on the following six topics: economics, governance, social aspects, ecological quality, environmental quality and education.
Each session featured a variety of research initiatives and findings, implemented nature-based solutions, and engagement formats and tools to support urban stakeholders worldwide in restoring urban ecosystems and implementing nature-based solutions. At the conclusion of the two-day webinar, it was noted that the benefits of urban nature restoration and nature-based solutions have been clearly demonstrated, encouraging regions and governments to move forward with nature-based solutions. However, despite all the efforts already made, many more actions are needed at all levels. So we need to put in a lot more effort, along with guidance, education, and good success stories that can be shared around the world.
Sandra Naumann, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute and coordinator of the INTERLACE project, co-organised and opened the webinar and moderated the governance session. McKenna Davis, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute, presented preliminary findings from the Urban Governance Atlas and moderated the Education Session. Natalia Burgos Cuevas, Researcher at the Ecologic Institute interviewed, as part of the Governance session, Diana Wiesner, a Colombian activist, urban landscaper architect and leader in socio-ecological issues.