Characteristics of Nature-based Solutions in non-urban environments

Heikki Tuomenvirta, Natalia Korhonen, Athanasios Votsis, Massimo Menenti, Silvia Alfieri, Prashant Kumar, Fabrice Renault, Katriina Soini

Research output: Other contributionAcademic


Nature-based Solutions (NBS) are being developed in variable environments to address societal challenges with use of ecosystem services. Recently there has been notable activities and progress in developing and implementing NBS in urban environments. On the other hand, NBS have “roots” in nature conservation and ecosystem services. Accordingly, the International Union for Conservation of Nature is leading the community effort to articulate a Global Standard for the Design and Verification of Nature-based Solutions.

The ongoing EU H2020 project OPERANDUM focuses on development and implementation of NBS to mitigate exposure, vulnerabilities and risks to hydro-meteorological hazards in European rural and natural landscapes. This presentation identifies and examines some of the characteristic of NBS in non-urban settings based on literature and experiences gained in the OPERANDUM project. These include, e.g. physical environment, economic and social capital as well as other resources, and legal and governance issues. Additional challenges arise from requirement to co-design of NBS with the stakeholders which can have a large diversity of societal demands for land use. The OPERANDUM project activities are discussed in relation to four approaches relevant for the OPERANDUM project: Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction; Climate adaptation services; Ecosystem-based adaptation; Ecosystem-based mitigation.

Case – studies are being developed to document the impact of extreme events related to different hydro-meteorological hazards, e.g. floods, landslides and droughts by combining earth observation with hydro-meteorological data. The analysis is designed to mirror the role of NBS in providing multiple benefits, in particular in mitigating impacts of extreme hydro-meterological events by acting on bio-geophysical and socio-economic variables characterizing exposure and vulnerabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Nature Based Solutions
  • Rural communities
  • Hydro-meteorological hazards
  • Disaster risk reduction


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