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Nature-based solutions as a boundary concept for different disciplines and actors

A new paper by Carla Ferreira and colleagues provides a multi-, inter- and transdisciplinairy NbS framework in the context of flood risk management.

Nature-based solutions (NbS) can act as a valuable complement to conventional “grey” infrastructure for stormwater management (e.g. dams and dikes) in reducing flood risks, as these “green” solutions are perceived to be more flexible and multifunctional. A new paper, published in Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health by Carla Ferreira and colleagues, presents a multi-, inter- and transdisciplinairy NbS framework in the context of flood risk management, but it can also be effective for reducing other climate risks and land degradation problems.

The effective implementation of NBS requires collaboration between multiple actors, including flood risk managers and landowners, and expertise from multiple disciplines. However, different stakeholders interpret NbS in different ways, based on their needs and ambitions.

For example, hydrologists and engineers perceive NbS as a way to reduce flood risk, geographers observe the capacity of NbS to mitigate floods from a spatial perspective, ecologists focus on the impact of vegetation in flood retention, soil scientists consider the role of soil in retaining water, sociologists assess the impact of NbS in reducing the social impacts of floods, economists focus on the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of NbS as ways to address risk, and lawyers consider legal implications of NbS and compliance with regulations to reduce flood risk.

Research needs to identify the common ground on NbS across multiple disciplines and stakeholders and develop bridging concepts, a shared and understood vocabulary, commonly accepted rules and procedures, and a shared vision on how to deal with flood risk.

Tags :
DRR,water management
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