Nature-Based Solutions are essential for sustainable management of natural systems, such as rivers and coasts. Nature-Based Solutions use the forces of natural processes as an opportunity to tackle socio-environmental challenges including climate change, water security and flood risk. The use of natural processes instead of traditional design and building methods leads to greener, more sustainable and cost-effective solutions. Solutions in which society, ecology and economy all benefit.
One of the main merits of Nature-Based Solutions is the increase in resilience that they provide. In contrast with the ‘hard’ engineering solutions, Nature-Based solutions are capable to grow and evolve with changes in the environment, because the building blocks are 'soft' measures and materials. That makes them more adaptable to for example the increasing pressure of sea-level rise. Nature-Based Solutions tackle multiple issues at once: restoration of mangrove forests and oyster reefs can serve as coastal protection and at the same time provide a sustainable source of income for the local population.
The range of application of Nature-Based Solutions is wide: from deltaic, coastal and riverine areas to urban developments and rural environments. For example, in coastal environments, Nature-Based Solutions are applied for coastal management issues, harbour development, land reclamations and large infrastructure projects. Examples include sand engines, green embankments, ecological dredging pits, wetland restoration and the development of natural lines of protection. In urban environments, focus lies on creating greener, more sustainable cities with Nature-Based flood resilience. Examples in the rural environment are natural climate buffers and watershed restorations.
Royal HaskoningDHV has been working on projects in the field of Nature-Based Solutions for decades and strives for innovative, sustainable and nature-friendly solutions to enhance society. We implement this approach and philosophy more and more as we truly believe in the power that natural forces and resources can provide to help us create sustainable solutions.