Dhaka, July 23, 2020 (UNB) - The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Thursday unveiled a Global Standard providing the first-ever set of benchmarks for nature-based solutions to global challenges.
The new IUCN Global Standard will help governments, business and civil society ensure the effectiveness of nature-based solutions and maximize their potential to help address climate change, biodiversity loss and other societal challenges on a global scale.
“The world is looking for durable and effective options to tackle global challenges such as climate change, food and water security, and now, economic recovery from the global pandemic. To this end, the new IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions is ideally placed to harness and accelerate the sustainable use of nature,” said IUCN’s Global Director for the Nature-based Solutions Group Stewart Maginnis.
For nature-based solutions to fulfil their potential, Maginnis said they must ensure that the actions put in place today bring about the desired benefits for society and biodiversity.
"This Global Standard offers a rigorous, consistent and accountable framework that will help avoid any misuse and take nature-based solutions from the local to global scale.”
The concept of nature-based solutions (NbS) – actions addressing key societal challenges through the protection, sustainable management and restoration of ecosystems, benefiting both biodiversity and human well-being – is increasingly being applied around the world.
More than 130 countries have already included NbS actions in their national climate plans under the Paris Agreement.
However, not all actions labelled as “nature-based solutions” provide the anticipated benefits to both society and biodiversity, and the global potential of NbS is far from being fully realized.
“Until now, there has been neither consensus nor coherent guidance on how to design and implement nature-based solution interventions that are capable of consistent delivery of benefits for people and nature,” said Angela Andrade, Chair of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management, which helped lead the development of the Global Standard.
“The contribution of the Commission, in addition to input from over 800 experts and practitioners from 100 countries, has been to guide the IUCN Global Standard, ensuring that it is scientifically robust and applicable across a wide range of regions and scenarios.”
In Bangladesh, launching of IUCN Global Standard of NbS has been widely welcomed by the government, experts and civil society.
Ahmed Shamim Al Razi, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change as the State Member of IUCN in Bangladesh is delighted on the occasion of launching the IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions.
Razi said as a nature-dependent and biodiversity-rich country, Bangladesh has continuously been emphasizing on economic development through building and protecting our natural capital.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has recently inaugurated the plantation of ten million saplings across the country as a part marking the Mujib Year, the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
"We believe, the Standard for Nature-based Solutions launched by IUCN will be a useful practical tool in our decision-making process including the implementation of Bangladesh Delta plan, 8th Five-Year Plan, Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and Climate Change Strategy and Action plan of Bangladesh," Razi said.
On this occasion, IUCN National Committee Chair in Bangladesh Professor Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir said Bangladesh is shaping its journey amidst the unprecedented crisis of COVID-19, exacerbated by the super cyclone Amphan and the flood situation worsening in the northern and central parts of the country in the past few days, causing human tragedy and stumbling the roadmap to recovery.
"We the IUCN family in Bangladesh, an ardent practitioner of nature-based Solutions (NbS) -- an umbrella concept covering a wide range of ecosystem-based actions -- urging the Governments to focus on humanity’s relationship with nature to overcome the challenges and build back better through transformational pathways”.
Dr Saleemul Huq, Director of International Centre for Climate Change & Development (ICCCAD) also said the Global Standard for Nature Based Solutions (NbS) by IUCN is indeed a welcome development for all those who are trying to learn about and implement NbS.
"In Bangladesh we have developed an NbS Network and this standard will be extremely useful for us going forward," he said.
The IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions has eight criteria and associated indicators that allow the user to assess the aptness, scale, economic, environmental and social viability of an intervention; consider its possible trade-offs; ensure transparency and adaptive project management; and explore possible linkages to international targets and commitments.
It consists of a user guide and self-assessment tool, which identifies areas for improving and learning.
The IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions can be accessed at IUCH.