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Words into Action: Nature-based solutions for disaster risk reduction

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Manual and Guideline
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Some of the most important risks faced by humankind today are environment-related: extreme weather, biodiversity loss, natural hazards, and human-made environmental disasters. In large part, the rising risks are the result of environmental degradation occurring worldwide due to increased human activity. However, these risks can be reduced through working with nature rather than against it; a concept known as nature-based solutions.

This guide aims to give practical, how-to-do information on setting up and implementing nature-based solutions (NbS), especially for disaster risk reduction (DRR), but also for climate change adaptation (CCA). It is designed to help implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (hereafter referred to as the Sendai Framework). The Sendai Framework recognizes that environmental degradation can cause hazards and that disasters also have an impact on the environment. It recognizes that environmental management is a key component that can reduce disaster risk and increase resilience (United Nations, 2015; PEDRR, 2016):

  • Poor land management, unsustainable use of natural resources and degrading ecosystems are highlighted as underlying drivers of disaster risk;
  • Environmental impacts of disasters are recognized;
  • Countries are explicitly encouraged to strengthen the sustainable use and management of ecosystems for building resilience to disasters.