About the conference

This international meeting will bring together leading researchers from the social and natural sciences, engineering and economics, policymakers, civil society actors and business leaders to discuss the evidence for and potential of Nature-based Solutions to meet multiple Sustainable Development Goals in a warming world. Through a mix of panel sessions and interactive workshops, this conference will draw together the current state of the interdisciplinary evidence for the socioeconomic and ecological effectiveness of Nature-based Solutions, and explore the social, technical, ethical, ecological, governance and financial challenges around scaling them up. As well as highlighting avenues for further research, the meeting will aim to generate guidelines for the design and implementation of Nature-based Solutions targeting decision-makers in business and government. Outcomes will be synthesised in policy briefs, a special issue on Nature-based Solutions, and made available to a wide audience through a creative outreach campaign.

"Nature-based solutions can help address the causes and consequences climate change at relatively low-cost, while delivering multiple benefits for people and nature"

About Nature-based Solutions

Nature-based solutions—working with nature to address societal challenges—are emerging as an integrated approach that can reduce trade-offs and promote synergies among the SDGs. They can also help meet targets of the Paris Agreement, New York Declaration for Forests, Bonn Challenge, among others. Nature-based solutions can help address the causes and consequences of climate change at relatively low-cost, whilst delivering multiple benefits for people and nature.

Nature-based Solutions were highlighted in the recent IPBES Global Biodiversity Assessment Report and the IPCC Climate and Land Report and were prominently endorsed at the UN Climate Summit, and many countries have committed to Nature-based Solutions in their climate pledges. However, evidence on the potential of Nature-based Solutions to provide the intended benefits has not been rigorously synthesised. There are concerns over their reliability, scale-ability and cost-effectiveness compared to engineered alternatives, as well as their resilience to climate change. Trade-offs can arise if climate policy encourages Nature-based Solutions with low biodiversity value, such as afforestation with non-native monocultures. This can result in maladaptation, especially in a rapidly changing world where biodiversity-based socio-ecological resilience is key.

As high-level pledges for Nature-based Solutions to climate change get translated into action-on-the-ground, the process must be informed by the best available evidence from science and practice. This conference aims to consolidate and share that evidence, and highlight the gaps that most urgently need addressing.


The 2020 NbS conference is organised and hosted by the Nature-based Solutions Initiative, an interdisciplinary programme of research, policy advice and education based at the University of Oxford. Its mission is to enhance understanding of the potential of Nature-based Solutions to address global challenges and increase their sustainable implementation worldwide.

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