Nepal | September 30, 2020

New nature-friendly standard for solutions to global challenges unveiled

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
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New standard is ideally placed to harness and accelerate sustainable use of nature 

KATHMANDU, JULY 24

IUCN unveiled a Global Standard providing benchmarks for nature-based solutions to global challenges through a virtual conference yesterday.

The new IUCN Global Standard is expected to help governments, businesses and civil societies ensure effectiveness of nature-based solutions and maximise their potential to help address climate change, biodiversity loss and other societal challenges. “The world is looking for durable and effective options to tackle global challenges such as climate change, food and water security, and now, economic recovery from the global pandemic.

To this end, the new IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions is ideally placed to harness and accelerate the sustainable use of nature,” said IUCN’s Global Director for Nature-based Solutions Group Stewart Maginnis, in a press release circulated by IUCN, Nepal Office.

“For nature-based solutions to fulfill their potential, we must ensure that the actions put in place today bring about the desired benefits for society and biodiversity. This global standard offers a rigorous, consistent and accountable framework that will help avoid any misuse and take nature-based solutions from the local to global scale.”

The concept of nature-based solutions – actions addressing key societal challenges through the protection, sustainable management and restoration of ecosystems, benefiting both biodiversity and human well-being, is increasingly being applied around the world. More than 130 countries have already included NBS actions such as reforestation, green infrastructure, sustainable agriculture and aquaculture, or coastal protection in their national climate plans under the Paris Agreement.

However, not all actions labelled as “nature-based solutions” provide the anticipated benefits to both society and biodiversity, and the global potential of NBS is far from being fully realised.

“Until now, there has been neither consensus nor coherent guidance on how to design and implement nature-based solution interventions that are capable of consistent delivery of benefits for people and nature,” said Angela Andrade, chair of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management.

“The contribution of the commission, in addition to input from over 800 experts and practitioners from 100 countries, has been to guide the IUCN Global Standard, ensuring that it is scientifically robust and applicable across a wide range of regions and scenarios.”

“It is the right time to act on this in the context of environmental conservation as the world priority is increasing towards green recovery and green economic development in a post-COVID-19 context.

The Ministry of Forests and Environment is also aware of this and already initiated some efforts towards integrating and mainstreaming NbS through our policies and programs,” said Sindhu Prasad Dhungana, joint secretary at Planning, Monitoring and Coordination Division of MoFE.

The IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions has eight criteria and associated indicators that allow the user to assess aptness, scale, economic, environmental and social viability of an intervention; consider its possible trade-offs; ensure transparency and adaptive project management and explore possible linkages to international targets and commitments. It consists of a user guide and self-assessment tool.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 25, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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