NetworkNature Factsheet 4 - Financing nature-based solutions in cities: Exploring opportunities from municipal funding
This factsheet explores how implementing Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in cities can be a more financially viable alternative to conventional approaches. By outlining inspiring NbS case studies, this facthseet lists possible options for municpalities to fund NbS in order to address societal challenges and to contribute to human well-being. Thus, it aims to provide municipalities with concrete pathways and advice from sucess-stories to systematically ensure financial viability when implementing NbS in cities.
Nature-based solutions (NbS) are “actions to protect, conserve, restore, sustainably use and manage natural or modified terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems, which address social, economic and environmental challenges effectively and adaptively, while simultaneously providing human well-being, ecosystem services and resilience and biodiversity benefits” (UNEA-5, 2022).
As set by the IUCN Global Standard on Nature-based Solutions (2020), NbS need to be economically viable to be recognized as such and to ensure their long-term sustainability. But how can this be made possible? The implementation of NbS requires an adapted response to factor in different aspects influencing the longterm sustainability of the intervention.
These aspects are not just economic but also involve governance, participation, and knowledge. However, municipalities generally report “lack of funding” as the main barrier to NbS implementation. To address this point, there are several external public funding initiatives that support the implementation of NbS in urban areas at different levels, from regional to European. Furthermore, local initiatives depending on municipal funding have the potential to provide opportunities for urban NbS implementation.