Towards Sustainable Development Goals with Nature-Based Solutions

25 February 2019

This workshop will be led by Professor Harriet Bulkeley from the Department of Geography at University of Durham and Leader of the NATURVATION program, for and with Melbourne based researchers and practitioners. It will include a discussion on nature based solutions in local urban development and how these projects could contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. The workshop will test and review two NATURVATION tools. Register for the event!

Why? Growing international attention is now being directed to the potential for cities to work with nature to address a broad range of sustainability goals, from climate resilience to health and well-being, economic development to biodiversity. Within Europe, a significant programme of investment is focusing on the impact of ‘nature-based solutions’ in relation to environmental, economic and social outcomes.

Global organisations including ICLEI, the IUCN, The Nature Conservancy, the UNFCCC, WWF and many others are seeking to mobilize urban actions that are working with nature to realise sustainability goals, and in particular the Sustainable Development Goals. Locally, there are examples at all levels of Australian governments of investment in research and infrastructure with these outcomes in mind.

Central to these efforts is the realization that working with nature can potentially address multiple goals simultaneously. For example, the provision of green space in cities can cool the surrounding city, reduce pollutants, provide a sense of well-being, create inclusive spaces and encourage physical activity. Whilst more and more research and on-ground experience, confirms these contributions, we currently have limited ability or capacity to plan and capture the multiple contributions that nature can make towards the sustainable development goals and to create the means through which this value can be recognised, and investment enabled.