Working Together With Nature to Solve Social Problems

How Can We Work With Nature?

Nature is our ally in solving social problems, such as climate change. For example, we need forests, rivers, grasslands, and healthy oceans to absorb CO2 and keep the climate stable. Coral reefs and mangrove forests act as natural breakwaters to protect our coasts from extreme weather. Healthy freshwater areas are essential for sufficient drinking water.

With these solutions (also known as Nature-based Solutions), we not only combat climate change, but we also strengthen biodiversity and our own living environment and health. Local communities have been using similar solutions to social problems for years. It is important to involve the local population for the creation of these solutions. They often experience problems such as floods from close by and are influenced by changes in their area, such as new legislation or project developments.

Mangrove forest with below corals © naturepl.com / Alex Mustard / WWF

How Do Nature-Based Solutions Work?

Why Do We Need Nature-based Solutions?

Our earth is dealing with a lot of problems that we have caused. Loss of biodiversity, climate change, the disappearance of nature. Millions of animals and plants are threatened with extinction and we humans are also experiencing great burdens due to these changes. There are more frequent heat waves, less food and water available, sea levels are rising, storms are more frequent and much more.

At the same time, half of the world is directly dependent on the use of natural resources for their income. Sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and tourism are particularly affected by the threat of changes in nature. For example, crops die from drought, and fish from sea warming.

With Nature-based Solutions we can address these issues and ensure that we can conserve essential resources from nature.

“In a world with rising temperatures, we run the risk of only seeing nature as a threat and using its forces against us. By investing in Nature-based Solutions, we also get nature on our side.” WWF’s Jeff Opperman, Global Freshwater Lead Scientist

What Does WWF Do?

Worldwide, WWF works on Nature-based Solutions. We develop initiatives with a focus on human needs through the restoration of nature. This way we can make the benefits of Nature-based Solutions clear and we use science to support us. Indigenous people’s rights are at the forefront of our ideas and we advocate for more room for them in policy changes. By creating good examples, WWF wants to encourage major financiers worldwide to invest more in Nature-based Solutions.

 

Example Project: Mangroves

Mangroves are versatile trees that contribute to biodiversity and it stores 7.5 to 10 times more CO2 than a rainforest! We’ve funded a community-based mangrove restoration program in Curaçao. The goal is to build climate-resilient and healthy coastal ecosystems that will protect the community from extreme weather events and other climate events. This goal is achieved by planting mangroves. To raise awareness on the importance of coastal ecosystems, the local community will be actively involved in the project and educational sessions are organized.

Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) is conducting a feasibility study on coastal restoration in the Caribbean. The primary goal of this project is to assess the potential for implementing initiatives to restore and conserve mangrove and seagrass in the region.

Historic reefs

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