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via Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience

World - Nature-based solutions are underfunded, but very effective

Nature-based solutions are key to advancing climate adaptation.

  • Nature-based solutions offer a 'triple dividend', according to the Global Commission on Adaptation, but are currently under-funded.
  • This includes avoiding losses from climate impacts, while generating economic gains and delivering both social and environmental benefits.
  • Mangrove forests save an estimated $80 billion per year in avoided losses from coastal flooding globally and could help to protect up to 18 million people.

Nature-based solutions are key to advancing climate adaptation. These are approaches that work with nature, not against it — from restoring wetlands, which can protect against storms, to conserving forests that stabilize soil and slow water runoff. Mangrove forests, for example, save an estimated $80 billion per year in avoided losses from coastal flooding globally, and could help to protect up to 18 million people. Additionally, nature-based solutions can provide many co-benefits — for nature, economies, communities, culture and health.

But despite these extensive benefits, new research finds that as little as 1.5% of all public international climate finance has gone to support nature-based solutions for adaptation in developing countries. Just a handful of major bilateral donors and multilateral institutions have driven public funding for these approaches.

The first-ever assessment of global funding for nature-based solutions for adaptation, produced by WRI and Climate Finance Advisors — in support of the Global Commission on Adaptation’s Nature-based Solutions Action Track — finds that while there is increasing awareness and interest in natural solutions for adaptation more broadly, this has not yet translated into adequate financial support for developing countries.

Public funding for these approaches is beginning to increase, but it’s not enough to meet the rising demand for nature-based solutions for adaptation. Bilateral and multilateral funding is also critical to mobilize much-needed private finance.

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