The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Nature-based solutions

New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | Ensuring Adaptation: Nature-Based Solutions to Reducing Risk

Infrastructure or ecosystems? Nature or economic development? Historically, those have been the tensions expressed about investing how we innovate, grow economies, reduce the impact of disasters, and alleviate poverty relative to preserving natural systems and ecological integrity.

Climate adaptation has shifted the terms of this long-standing debate. Traditional gray infrastructure is harder to design and maintain to be resilient. Nature-based solutions (NbS) work better in some situations, such as when we need more flexibility or face higher levels of uncertainty. Is a middle ground appearing?

In this episode of the ClimateReady Podcast, we bring in Dr. Elena Lopez Gunn to discuss her leadership to study, demonstrate, and ultimately quantify the insurance value of nature through a project she is leading known as NAIAD. This EU-funded project aims to expand the evidence base around NbS for reducing flood and drought risk while creating the business and financial frameworks necessary for operationalizing these approaches.

After our main interview Al Meghji, an MPA candidate at Cornell University, sends us a “Postcard from the Future” for a glimpse into the world of 2070 and some advice on how we can focus our efforts now to create a more equitable and livable society in the future. Stick around until the end for next year’s winning lotto numbers!
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Water we doing about water?

This article was written by Susanna Tol (Wetlands International) and Ingrid Timboe (AGWA).
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Did you know that the answer can be found in nature? Nature-based solutions such as restoring mangrove buffers in degraded coastal areas or preserving peatlands have the potential to solve many of our climate and water challenges, reduce vulnerability and help us adapt to a changing climate. Commemorated this year with the theme ‘Nature for Water’, World Water Day 2018 urged people to explore nature-based solutions to contemporary water problems. And UN Water focused its World Water Development Report on Nature Based Solutions for Water stating that today, more than ever, we must work with nature, instead of against it. We highlight this topic at the ‘Talanoa Dialogue’ (6 May, Bonn) to enhance ambitions on water and wetlands under the Paris Agreement through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and other long-term strategies which provide key entry-points to discuss national targets, set policies and create cross-sectoral collaboration.
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Forests and Wetlands Are Water Infrastructure. New Green Bond Helps Finance Their Protection

This article was written by Todd Gartner, Manager of WRI's Natural Infrastructure for Water, and John Matthews, AGWA's Coordinator.
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East Africa’s Kariba Dam is almost empty due to diminishing rains. In Brazil, Sao Paulo’s reservoirs were reduced to dried mud three years ago, and experts say the city is heading toward another dry spell. Catastrophic floods recently wreaked havoc in southern England, Texas and Bangkok.

These are not simply one-off events; they represent systemic failures in water infrastructure development — failures that are increasing in frequency and severity as Earth’s climate shifts.

A new financial mechanism—“green bonds” that pay for using ecosystems as “natural infrastructure” for clean, ample water—can help.

To find out more about the Water Infrastructure Criteria of the Climate Bonds Standard, read the
Joint Press Release in the AGWA Blog or visit CBI's website. From there you can download the Standard and other helpful documents. Read More...
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Natural Hazards & Nature-based Solutions Platform

A new website has been launched to provide support and resources for those working around nature-based solutions and disaster risk reduction. The Natural Hazards – Nature-based Solutions platform is a hub for projects, investments, guidance and studies making use of nature to reduce the risks associated with natural hazards. Its objective is to host and facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experiences and lessons learned from a range of stakeholders, to provide guidance on the planning and implementation of nature-based solutions, and to champion these solutions in the arenas of policy-making and investment for disaster risk reduction.
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Call for comments: Primer on Nature-Based Solutions for Water Management

UN Environment – DHI, UN Environment, and IUCN invite comments on an upcoming publication on Nature Based Solutions (NBS) for Water Management.

A follow up to the UNEP’s Green Infrastructure Guide, this ‘Quick Guide’ is a primer for understanding the multiple benefits of NBS in water management, and identifying entry points to scaling up implementation, based on existing integrated approaches to stakeholder participation.

All feedback on the advanced draft (download here) is welcome, including relevant case study submissions.

The deadline for comments is 15 May, 2018. Feedback and comments can be sent directly to UN-DHI. Read More...
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NAIAD Project Presenting at European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018

AGWA and SIWI are part of an ongoing EU project called Nature Insurance Value: Assessment and Demonstration (NAIAD). The project is coordinated by the Duero River Basin Authority and funded under the European Horizon 2020 Program. The goal of the project is to operationalize the insurance value of ecosystems to reduce the human and economic cost of risks associated with water (floods and droughts) by developing and testing - with key insurers and municipalities - the concepts, tools, applications and instruments (business models) necessary for its mainstreaming.

NAIAD will be presenting at the EGU General Assembly this April in Vienna, Austria. Representatives of the NAIAD project will give a presentation and answer questions as part of Session HS5.4 - "Nature Based Solutions for hydrological extremes and water resource management."

For more information about EGU General Assembly 2018, visit https://www.egu2018.eu/. To learn more about NAIAD, visit http://www.naiad2020.eu/ or check them out on Facebook. Read More...
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Implementing nature based flood protection: Principles and implementation guidance

Earlier this year Deltares held a workshop entitled "Scaling Up Nature-Based Flood Risk Reduction." The goal of the workshop was to explore principles and guidance for planning, design, and implementation of nature-based solutions for flood risk management as an alternative to or complementary to conventional engineering measures.

Following the workshop in April, the World Bank has now published a full report (in English) outlining the principles and implementation steps that will lead to more effective flood risk management. You can access this open-source guidance document for free from the World Bank's website here.
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Water Criteria Phase 2 "Nature-based and Hybrid Water Infrastructure" Opens for Public Consultation

LONDON: 19/10/2017: 16:00 BST
WaterCriteriaFlyer


Water Consortium Moves to Next Phase in Water Standards Development

The Climate Bonds Initiative on behalf of the Water Consortium has released Water Criteria Phase 2 Nature-based and Hybrid Water infrastructure for public consultation.

The Water Criteria is part of the overarching Climate Bonds Standard which provides investors with a verifiable, science-based screening process to evaluate bond investments bringing climate mitigation, vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning to the fixed income investment space.

The Water Criteria lay out the requirements that water infrastructure assets and/or projects must meet to be eligible for inclusion as a Certified Climate Bond. They provide a means for investors to easily categorise and prioritise water infrastructure projects against climate impacts and climate resilience factors.

The Criteria have been developed in two phases:

Phase 1 Criteria, covering engineered water infrastructure, were released by the Water Consortium to the market in October 2016.

Phase 2 Criteria have a focus on nature-based and hybrid water infrastructure, such as wetlands and watersheds including for purposes as water collection, storage, treatment and distribution, flood protection and drought resilience.

The Phase 2 Criteria aim to:
I. Certify water infrastructure that are compatible with a 2°C trajectory
II. Ensure these assets and the surrounding ecosystem are adaptive and resilient to a changing climate

Water Phase 2 Criteria have been developed throughout 2016 and 2017 by a Technical Working Group (TWG) and Industry Working Group (IWG), convened by the Climate Bonds Initiative, Ceres, CDP, the World Resources Institute (WRI) & the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) acting in collaboration as a Water Consortium. AGWA is supported by the Stockholm International Water Institute.

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Harnessing Nature to Manage Rising Flood Risk

Press Release from WWF

WASHINGTON, D.C. (24, May 2017 - 8:00am ET) – Worldwide, flood risk will continue to rise as cities grow larger and rainstorms become more intense, making conventional engineering insufficient as the sole approach to flood management. “Natural and Nature-Based Flood Management: A Green Guide” released today by WWF, introduces an integrated framework for flood management, drawing on policy, green infrastructure and conventional engineering to help communities adapt and better manage growing flood risk.
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AGWA and SIWI Join EU Horizon 2020 Project on Nature Insurance Value: Assessment and Demonstration (NAIAD)

Earlier this month, AGWA and SIWI participated in a series of kick-off meetings in Valladolid, Spain for a new three-year EU project called Nature Insurance Value: Assessment and Demonstration (NAIAD). The project is coordinated by the Duero River Basin Authority and funded under the European Horizon 2020 Program. The goal of the project is to operationalize the insurance value of ecosystems to reduce the human and economic cost of risks associated with water (floods and droughts) by developing and testing - with key insurers and municipalities - the concepts, tools, applications and instruments (business models) necessary for its mainstreaming. Over 25 organizations from around 13 countries took part in the kick-off meetings.

AGWA and SIWI will contribute to the policy & mainstreaming, communications & dissemination, and basins models & financing instruments components of the project over the coming months and years.
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