At the NetworkNature Annual Event held on 8 June 2023 at the Flagey Building in Brussels (Belgium) participants gathered to explore the transformative potential of Nature-based Solutions (NBS) across sectors and communities. One noteworthy panel discussion included Natalia Burgos, representing the INTERLACE project, alongside representatives from the European Commission, the European Environmental Bureau, and the German Environment Agency.
On 7 June 2023, Malek Al Jebaie presented the findings of a joint research investigation conducted by Ecologic Institute, supervised by McKenna Davis, and the International Institute of Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University at the Ecocity World Summit in London at the Barbican Centre. The presentation primarily focused on the key trends and patterns observed in 151 European cases from the Urban Governance Atlas, whose development was coordinated by Ecologic Institute within the INTERLACE project.
McKenna Davis, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute, was one of 8 experts speaking on the topic of 'strategies for urban biodiversity' during the Digital Blue Green Event hosted by the Scandinavian Green Roof Institute on 14 March 2023. She began by outlining key challenges facing urban water management, including an increasing frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall events, urban surface sealing and combined sewer overflow events. McKenna then introduced the NICHES project and its aim to rethink the status quo by deploying nature-based solutions and approaching the urban water system as a holistic Social-Ecological-Technical-System (SETS).
On 15 January 2023 Ewa Iwaszuk gave a lecture to the students of Intercollegiate Academy of Climate, a post-graduate diploma course jointly run by three universities in Poland. Ewa’s lecture presented key steps and elements that need to be considered by local governments when developing climate mitigation and adaptation strategies. It also presented a landscape of local governance instruments that can be developed and implemented to support integrated planning, cross-sectoral cooperation, participation of citizens and sustainable implementation of such strategies.
Climate adaptation and climate protection are among the most important challenges of our time and have therefore become a major policy responsibility. The same applies to protecting biodiversity and ensuring the availability of water. Nature-based solutions (NBS) can play an essential role in addressing these challenges, as they are multifunctional and can generate high synergy effects. But what exactly are NBS, what do they have to do with climate adaptation, and can they be implemented? Sandra Naumann, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute, answered these questions in an interview with adelphi. The interview was published in the fifth issue of the Center for Climate Adaptation's Newsletter.
From 7 to 19 December 2022, the international community is scheduled to come together to discuss the future of the Convention on Biological Diversity. One of the key items that will be negotiated at the upcoming COP15 is the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. In the light of these upcoming negotiations on 2 November 2022, the Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law at New York University School of Law and the German Consulate General in New York organized an event with experts from New York City and Berlin to discuss the role of local governments in implementing global biodiversity targets, including the ways in which cities can support urban biodiversity. Sandra Naumann, Senior Fellow at the Ecologic Institute, presented Berlin's strategy to promote urban biodiversity and participated in the final panel.
From 21 to 22 September 2022, the INTERLACE project held the first European Cities Talk Nature Engagement Event in Kraków (Poland). Sandra Naumann, Coordinator of the INTERLACE project and Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute, opened the conference by presenting the INTERLACE project and its work on the ground to the audience.
In an interview with Sinan Reçber of the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel, Rodrigo Vidaurre and Benedict Bueb of Ecologic Institute discussed what measures can be taken in various sectors to lessen the impact of droughts in Germany. In addition to water-sensitive urban development, which increasingly relies on nature-based solutions to store water during dry periods, this includes the cultivation of drought-resistant agricultural varieties as well as the rewetting of peatlands.
On 16 and 17 August 2022, the 3rd International Forum on Urbanism – Portoviejo Vision 2035, for urban development and design of cities on a human scale with a focus on climate change, was held in the Las Vegas Park in the city of Portoviejo. Natalia Burgos Cuevas, Researcher at Ecologic Institute, was invited as keynote speaker to talk about on the promotion of nature-based solutions in Latin America drawing on the insights gathered from the Urban Governance Atlas, developed in INTERLACE.
Concrete and asphalt make cities up to 10 degrees hotter than the rural areas. In Poland, however, there is a persistent impression that greenspace is a nuisance that is best gotten rid of, says Ewa Iwaszuk of the Ecologic Institute in Berlin. She points out that the situation in Germany is better because nature has been considered an indispensable part of the city since the 1990s. She talks about innovative nature-based solutions that can mitigate climate change in cities and explains the introduction of blue-green infrastructure. Monika Sędzierska from the COSMO editorial office moderated the conversation.
On 4 July 2022, McKenna Davis from the Ecologic Institute spoke to the 2nd step of this methodology: EXPLORING existing urban greening policies, plans and regulations to identify gaps and understand local needs. Representing the CLEVER Cities project, she provided insights on how to ensure coherent and coordinated policymaking and align objectives across sectors and policies. She also highlighted relevant EU policies and initiatives supporting nature-based solutions to contextualise local action towards NBS mainstreaming.
How can European citizens become architects of the cities of tomorrow? The New European Bauhaus is an initiative to make our living spaces and experiences more beautiful, sustainable and inclusive. Nature-based solutions are seen as a key element to achieve this vision. To this end, the hybrid conference 'LIFE in the New European Bauhaus' was held from 15 until 17 November 2021. Sandra Naumann from the Ecologic Institute was invited as an expert to share insights from the H2020 INTERLACE project.
The climate crisis is impacting cities and communities across the globe. As extreme weather events become increasingly frequent, cities must work together to find effective nature-based solutions (NBS) to adapt to their changing climates. As lead partner in the BEGIN project, the Dutch city of Dodrecht welcomed cities, practitioners, researchers and citizens to join the conversation on the future of livable cities. To this end, the NEXT LEVEL 2021 conference was held as a hybrid event on the 20th of October 2021. Ecologic Institute's McKenna Davis was invited as an expert to present on NBS governance and policy.
Ecologic Institute together with the ICLEI African Secretariat and Durham University co-organized a session 'Urban Action Towards a New Deal for Nature' at the IUCN World Conservation Congress on 7 September 2021. The session, moderated by Ecologic Institute's McKenna Davis, demonstrated the success of urban action for biodiversity through evidence and experiences from around the world.
The Urban Agenda for the EU recognizes the importance of nature-based solutions as tools for sustainable recovery and development. Yet implementation and mainstreaming at city level remain limited. Can the European Green Deal support these efforts? What role can European research projects play? To answer these questions, McKenna Davis was invited as an expert to contribute to the European Urban Knowledge Network’s (EUKN) Policy Lab on 'The Urban Agenda for the EU, its 'green' actions and the European Green Deal'. The 18 March 2021 event aimed to unravel the 'green' actions of the Urban Agenda for the EU and develop concrete messages for the ministers under Slovenia's Presidency on how to support cities dealing with regulatory obstacles when trying to reach environmental goals.
This webinar series will explore how agroecology (including organic farming) and sustainable food consumption can enable a transition to climate friendly and resilient agri-food systems in Central Eastern Europe, while also addressing the biodiversity crisis and the economic crisis in agriculture. In each webinar, we will illustrate and exchange views on different elements of a transition to climate friendly and resilient agri-food systems based on agroecology. We will offer insights from research and practical examples, as well as have time for exchange and networking among the participants.
On 11 October 2023 from 10-12 a.m., the networking project "MoorNet" will introduce itself and its activities and provide an overview of its current status. The focus of this event is the new MoorNet website with a database of peatland conservation projects and funding programs in Germany, which will be continuously updated.
The online expert dialogue "Circular diversity: creative solutions to promote the re-use of second-hand goods" will take place on 10 October 2023, organized by Ecologic Institute for the Berlin Senate Department for Urban Mobility, Transportation, Climate Action and the Environment (SenMVKU). The aim of this event is to present the variety of existing creative approaches to promote the re-use of second-hand goods.