World Water Development Report 2018, Nature-based solutions for water


Page selection:
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager at GIZ and SuSanA secretariat, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3372
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 931

Re: World Water Development Report 2018, Nature-based solutions for water

If anyone wants to know more about Nature-based solutions (NBS) for water, then I can recommend this Wikipedia article for you (I worked on it in March):

It's basically just a fancy overarching term for a range of systems, e.g. constructed wetlands and green roofs.

The lead (or summary) currently reads like this:

Nature-based solutions (NBS or NbS) refers to the sustainable management and use of nature for tackling environmental and societal challenges. The challenges include issues such as climate change, water security, water pollution, food security, human health, and disaster risk management.

A definition by the European Union states that these solutions are "inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience. Such solutions bring more, and more diverse, nature and natural features and processes into cities, landscapes and seascapes, through locally adapted, resource-efficient and systemic interventions".[1] With NBS, healthy, resilient and diverse ecosystems (whether natural, managed or newly created) are supposed to provide solutions for the benefit of our societies and overall biodiversity.

For instance, the restoration or protection of mangroves along coastlines can reduce exposure to the effects of extreme weather conditions, while providing nurseries for marine life that local populations may depend on for food sources, and sequestering CO2. Additionally, the mangrove forests can help control coastal erosion resulting from sea level rise and poorly planned development along the foreshore. Similarly green roofs or walls can be used to regulate high temperatures during summer, capture storm water, abate pollution, and act as carbon sinks, while enhancing biodiversity and connecting the city with the wider ecosystem.

The application of conservation approaches and implementation of environment management initiatives have already been carried out for decades. What is new is that the benefits of such actions to human wellbeing have been articulated for the first time through NBS. Therefore, as the term itself is still being framed [2], examples from many parts of the world can already be drawn upon. These examples demonstrate the added value with respect to existing terms and concepts and in complementing traditional conservation approaches. As a consequence, NBS are on their way to being mainstreamed in national and international policies and programmes (e.g. climate change policy, law, infrastructure investment and financing mechanisms).[citation needed] For example, the theme for World Water Day 2018 was "Nature for water" and by UN-Water's accompanying UN World Water Development Report had the title "Nature-based Solutions for Water".[3]

Comments welcome.

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
My Wikipedia user profile:

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • secretariat
  • secretariat's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Moderator
  • SuSanA secretariat currently allocates 2 full time person equivalents of time from members of GIZ Sustainable Sanitation Team: Arne Panesar, Alexandra Dubois, Maren Heuvels, Teresa Häberlein, Daphne Manolakos and Bettina-Sophie Heinz.
  • Posts: 1004
  • Karma: 23
  • Likes received: 347

World Water Development Report 2018, Nature-based solutions for water

Dear all,

The United Nations World Water Development Report was launched on March, 19th 2018 during the 8th World Water Forum, and in conjunction to the World Water Day, the report demonstrates how nature‐based solutions (NBS) offer a vital means of moving beyond business‐as‐usual to address many of the world’s water challenges while simultaneously delivering additional benefits vital to all aspects of sustainable development.

According to this year's report, nature-based solutions (NBS) are inspired and supported by nature and use natural processes to contribute to the improved management of water. The defining feature of an NBS is, therefore, not whether an ecosystem used is ‘natural’ but whether natural processes are being proactively managed to achieve a water-related objective. An NBS uses ecosystem services to contribute to a water management outcome. An NBS can involve conserving or rehabilitating natural ecosystems and/or the enhancement or creation of natural processes in modified or artificial ecosystems. They can be applied at micro- (e.g. a dry toilet) or macro-(e.g. landscape) scales.

The full report can now be downloaded from our SuSanA library here and is available in English, French and Spanish.

Best regards,
Ainul on behalf of the SuSanA secretariat
Posted by a member of the SuSanA secretariat held by the GIZ Sector Program Water Policy – Innovations for Resilience
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Bonn, Germany
Follow us on facebook:, linkedin: and twitter:


Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
Page selection:
Share this thread:
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 5.219 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum