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Benefits and Opportunities of Nature-Based Solutions

Within the framework of Natura network, the Latin American group “LAC Natura Regional Group” held on February 26 the meeting “Benefits and Opportunities of Nature-Based Solutions (NbS) in Latin America .

The meeting was organized by Natura Network, UNESCO Chair on Sustainability at UPC, CRHIAM of the University of Concepción (Chile) and the University of Aarhus (Denmark) and sponsored by the University of La Salle, RECNET, National Agrarian University of la Molina, Federal University of Bahia and University of Cauca.

The program was divided into 3 Blocks. In the first Block, the topic “Good NBS Practices in LAC” was discussed, with 6 short presentations by different researchers from Denmark, Chile, Colombia, RECNET and Mexico.

On the other hand, there were two Conversation Blocks. Block 2 addressed the “Lessons learned from participatory and community development of NBS” and the topic “Recovery of ancestral hydrotechnologies in Peru” was presented by the Backus Group and discussed by researchers from Bogotá, Peru, Colombia and Mexico.

Block 3 dealt with the topic "Barriers and Facilitators to the development of NbS, The urban challenge" and the inspiring presentation was "Ecoduct Rio La Piedad, Mexico City" carried out by Dr. Alejandro Federico Alva from UAM Itzapalapa. In this Block 3 the issue was discussed by researchers from Colombia, UNHabitat, RECNET and Brazil.

Among the most outstanding factors of the Latin American context highlighted by several of the speakers, we emphasized the following conclusions:

  1. There are legal, financial, political and cultural barriers and a lack of awareness in most of the LAC countries.

  2. While investments in the public and private water sector are significant; they have not been able to achieve the objectives of significantly improving the quality of water and ecosystems.

  3. Learning in LAC on existing experiences on NBS has been limited, mainly in its potential to help solve problems related to water management and in understanding and incorporating additional environmental benefits (mitigation and adaptation to CC, Biodiversity), socially (public health, welfare and social cohesion) and economically (job creation and risk management and reduction)

  4. It is necessary to overcome institutional governance challenges and develop new models of inclusive and participatory governance, which is why it is essential to involve local agents (ethnic, indigenous, Afro communities, and small and large farmers).

  5. It is important to develop the NbS integrating participatory processes and through a co-design and community empowerment approach,

  6. Importance of Universities as centers that can facilitate the transfer of experiences and can help to articulate projects.

  7. It is essential to have a business model associated with the development of Nature-Based Solutions,

The meeting had the participation of 50 NbS researchers from Latin America and lasted almost 3 hours.


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