2 September 2021 • ACTUALITÉS

Nature-based solutions by IUCN: the example of the MERCI project

Nature-based solutions by the IUCN: the example of the MERCI project “Nature-based solutions” (NBS) were born in 2009 during COP15 Climate in Copenhagen, under the impetus of the International Union for Nature Conservancy (IUCN). 

The IUCN World Conservation Congress starting this Friday, September 3, 2021, Planète Urgence offers you a better understanding of what defines a Nature-based Solution and gives you a concrete example implemented by the association in Indonesia. 

 

What is a “nature-based solution”? 

Nature-Based Solutions are defined by the IUCN as “actions aimed at protecting, sustainably managing and restoring natural or modified ecosystems to directly address societal challenges in an effective and adaptive manner, while ensuring the wellhuman being and producing benefits for biodiversity”. 

In concrete terms, an NbS project must present two essential implementation criteria: 

  1. Ensure human well-being by contributing directly to one or more societal challenges such as mitigation and adaptation to climate change, reduction of natural risks, socio-economic development, human health, food security, supply in water 
  2. Present benefits for biodiversity through actions for the preservation, restoration and/or sustainable management of ecosystems encompassing many associated concepts such as ecological restoration, green infrastructure or integrated ecosystem management.

 

 

How do Nature-based Solutions provide answers to climate change? 

 

We all know that there are many interdependencies between biodiversity and climate. 

The climate has an influence on ecosystems (temperature, rainfall), while biodiversity has a reciprocal influence on the local and global climate through the regulatory service provided by ecosystems (carbon sinks and reserves, regulation of temperature differences, stabilization of microclimates, water cycle, etc.). 

The two crises we are currently experiencing – climate change and the erosion of biodiversity – therefore affect each other and reinforce each other, harming human development more strongly. 

It was the Paris Agreement at COP21 in 2015 that recognized the role of natural ecosystems (including forests and oceans) in absorbing carbon emissions and in supporting societies to adapt to climate change. climatic changes. 

The integrity of these ecosystems and their preservation as well as that of biodiversity must be guaranteed to achieve the objectives of the fight against climate change. 

Nature-based Solutions can contribute to climate change mitigation because many ecosystems capture and store carbon such as mangroves or forests. A mangrove restoration project can thus contribute to mitigating climate change. 

 

The example of Planète Urgence’s “MERCI” mangrove restoration project 

 

MERCI reforestation planète urgence

Planète Urgence’s MERCI project was selected as an example of the Nature-based Solutions drafted by the IUCN in September 2021. Launched in March 2020, this project located on the island of Java in Indonesia aims to restore degraded mangrove ecosystems within and around Ujung Kulon National Park. 

This project must contribute to the reduction of frequent natural risks in the area (volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis), but also to the preservation of the Javan rhinoceros, classified as critically endangered (red list of threatened species of the IUCN). 

It is in response to this dual objective that this degraded habitat restoration project was designed, while ensuring the provision of fisheries resources to local communities, so as not to lead them to displacements leading to increased habitat destruction, sometimes within the national park itself. It allows a net gain in biodiversity through the planting of fourteen local species contributing to the conservation of the Javan rhinoceros and allows the generation of income by the development of an aquaculture activity of crab farming within the mangroves. 

In order to set up inclusive governance, Planète Urgence has joined forces with the ALABAMA organization, which works with local communities to involve them in the protection of the area’s coastline. Designed with a long-term perspective, project management is adaptive and includes the implementation of evaluation and monitoring measures and an adaptation strategy based on global changes. It therefore aims to encourage implementation over the long term and over a large geographical area, in particular through the identification of the main stakeholders in the territory and their integration within the project (national park, government agencies, municipality, groups community, etc). 

 

 

NBS are therefore a tool allowing synergy between issues related to climate change, the fight against the erosion of biodiversity and the achievement of sustainable development objectives. 

Given the uncertainties regarding the impacts of climate change, relying on nature-based solutions is therefore an optimal lever to strengthen “the resilience capacities of ecosystems in the face of a changing environment”. 

Read the Note Sud 33°

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