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.
On Thursday, 20 April 2023, INTERLACE hosted a Cities Talk Nature Talks webinar, aiming to strengthen cooperation, learning, and peer-to-peer interactions on the local, regional, and global scales. Natalia Burgos presented on governance instruments to mainstream nature-based solutions and shared best practices gathered in the Urban Governance Atlas.
A key objective of the Interlace project is strengthening cooperation, learning, and peer-to-peer interactions between regions and projects. As part of this process, Natalia Burgos from the Interlace team was invited to take part in a knowledge exchange Task Force organized by Clearing House Project. The Task Force took place in Bogotá (Colombia) on 30 and 31 March 2023 and focused on discussing strategies for urban forest management and implementation, with an emphasis on governance and community participation.
Carbon farming promises to mitigate climate change whilst generating income for farmers – but can this promise be realised, and what are the risks? The European Parliament’s Environment and Agricultural Committees held a joint hearing to understand how EU policy can support on-farm carbon sequestration. The hearing featured two panels, including a presentation from Ecologic Institute Fellow Hugh McDonald on the challenges of carbon farming certification.
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).
Building on the momentum created by the negotiations on the Nature Restoration Regulation (NRL) as well as by the overall successful outcome of the biodiversity summit COP15, the think tank network "Think Sustainable Europe" (TSE) met with EU Environment Commissioner Sinkevičius. As part of TSE, Ecologic Institute presented key recommendations on the NRL. These build on a series of policy briefs by Ecologic Institute and IEEP respectively, and were well received and aroused great interest both in the EU Commission and the European Parliament.
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.
Ewa Iwaszuk, a Fellow at Ecologic Institute, held a presentation "Policy instruments to promote implementation of nature-based solutions" at a side-event "Nature-based solutions for building performance" during the global climate conference COP27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt). Ewa's presentation made the case that policy instruments and their governance act as critical enablers or barriers to adoption of nature-based solutions. She presented the Urban Governance Atlas that Ecologic Institute is currently developing in the frames of the INTERLACE project and discussed good practice examples of policy instruments from around the world that support the implementation of nature-based solutions at a building level.
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.
McKenna Davis, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute, held a keynote speech at the conference "Designing Urban Spaces with Nature" on 7 September 2022 in Eindhoven (the Netherlands). She spoke about the integration of nature-based solutions (NBS) across key European policy initiatives as a framework for enhancing local NBS action, building on her work for the European Environmental Agency and Naturvation project. She also highlighted good practice examples of policy instruments supporting NBS in the Netherlands, which are part of the Urban Governance Atlas currently being developed within the INTERLACE project.
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.
The biodiversity and climate crises are increasingly threatening planetary biodiversity and dependent livelihoods. Linkages between these two crises are already recognised by science and policy, but they are still not sufficiently addressed in integrated manner in practice. Nature-based solutions (NBS) and ecosystem-based approaches have the potential to enhance these synergies and deliver multiple benefits for ecosystems, biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, human well-being among other objectives. This topic was explored during the "International workshop on strengthening synergies for biodiversity and climate in multifunctional landscapes", organized by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). Sandra Naumann, Senior Fellow at the Ecologic Institute, was a keynote speaker, presenting on the potential but also limitations of NBS to achieve climate and biodiversity 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.